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February Edition 2024

Innovation Vista – Redefining IT Consulting Excellence, Guiding Small and Midsize Organizations towards Success with the Distinctive Innovate Beyond Efficiency® Framework

Innovation Vista – Redefining IT Consulting Excellence, Guiding Small and Midsize Organizations towards Success with the Distinctive Innovate Beyond Efficiency® Framework

Innovation Vista is an elite IT consultancy delivering cutting-edge tech strategy and leadership to small and midsize organizations. Specializing in ROI-driven IT assessments, digital transformation, advisory services, and virtual CIO solutions, they offer virtual and interim CIO solutions through a network of 350+ C-level IT leaders. Powered by the unique Innovation framework, the company ensures swift, insightful actions with a best-practices library. Boasting 100% expertise at a fraction of the cost, Innovation Vista is committed to pushing beyond efficiency, ushering in transformative success for businesses.

Jeff Roberts, Founder of Innovation Vista, spoke exclusively to CIO Bulletin about how he and his team are transforming IT into a key driver of business results.

Interview Highlights

Q. What inspired the inception of Innovation Vista, and what was the driving vision behind its establishment?

In 2019, following five tenures as the CIO of midsize companies, I made the decision to launch Innovation Vista, aiming to provide affordable IT strategy and leadership services to small and midsize organizations. My guiding principle was to ensure that we could match every client with the very best consultant. Instead of adopting the conventional approach of maintaining a “bench” of consultants, as most firms do, I opted to build a network of C-level IT consultants. This network allows us to select the ideal fit for each project, preventing the common scenario where consultants arrive at a client site needing to familiarize themselves with the business before contributing ideas. Our consultants walk in the door already equipped with knowledge about the industry’s business models and technology solutions, enabling them to collaborate immediately with the client to identify improvements and harness the power of IT for their business.

Q. Can you provide an overview of the primary products and services offered by Innovation Vista?

Many engagements commence with a technology assessment and recommendations report. From there, some clients seek assistance in developing a strategic IT roadmap, engaging in digital transformation, and/or crafting innovation plans. Many clients desire the guidance of our consultants in steering their improvements—either as advisors or by actively taking on the role of the head of IT on a short-term and/or part-time basis as Interim CIO or Virtual CIO.

Q. Tell us how Innovation Vista’s unique Innovation framework sets you apart from other CIO service providers?

There are truly two distinct advantages to our approach over our competitors. First, our network model ensures that the very best consultant is matched with each client’s project—a match selected from over 350 potential consultant options. Second, when engaged for strategic planning or digital transformation, we unlock a library of intellectual property for our consultants to help clients identify ways technology can drive revenue and market share. We have trademarked the slogan ‘Innovate Beyond Efficiency® to encapsulate this mindset—not to be satisfied solely with efficiency gains but to find ways IT can help our clients grow their top-line results. None of our competitors offer either of these two advantages.

Q. How does Innovation Vista tailor its IT assessments to ensure they directly contribute to driving ROI for small and midsize organizations?

We bring an ROI-driven business mindset to all our engagements, including the initial assessment. Many competing firms include a laundry list of ‘things that could be better’ in IT when conducting an assessment, leaving clients feeling overwhelmed and lacking guidance on how specific improvements will impact their business capabilities and performance. Our framework ensures that our entire focus is on business results and views IT enhancements as a means to that end. Viewing technology through this business lens is the key to successful CIO services, and we are proud to have made it the focal point of our approach.

Q. In a dynamic field like technology, how does Innovation Vista stay abreast of emerging trends and continuously enhance your best-practices library of IT solutions?

There are two parallel tracks that keep us at the leading edge. First, there’s our constant client collaboration. The best ideas for innovation truly emerge from collaboration with clients dedicated to leveraging technology to enhance their business results. While our consultants bring a wealth of expertise and ideas to the table, our most successful innovations often stem from hybrid concepts, combining our consultants’ insights with our clients’ strategies and capabilities.

The second way we stay up-to-date in this fast-moving industry is through industry events and subscriptions. Everyone involved in consulting must commit a significant portion of their time to staying aware of the leading edge, and we’re no different.

Q. How does Innovation Vista measure the success of your IT assessments and strategic initiatives in terms of tangible business outcomes?

In keeping with our focus on business results, measuring real impact is even more important to us than having good models for making those estimates. Before initiating any significant project, our consultants collaborate with the client’s business leadership to establish a clear method for distinguishing project impact from normal-course business results. This process is more straightforward in some cases than in others; for instance, isolating a brand-new revenue stream is simple and can be directly attributed to the tech initiative that made it possible. Efficiencies, especially those involving cost avoidance or changes in workload/staff ratios and allocations, are often fairly easy to attribute as well.

The most challenging impact to measure is often the acceleration of existing revenue streams. Although the innovation aims to enhance existing sales processes, those processes would have been operational even without the project. We diligently work with the client’s leadership to define what will be considered ‘incremental’ before the project goes live, maximizing visibility on true ROI.

Our proudest achievements for clients revolve around revenue and efficiency impact, and we maintain a running total of our impact on our website. Currently, those totals exceed 1.3 billion in revenue and 1.1 billion in efficiencies from various IT and innovation projects.

Q. What is Innovation Vista’s strategic vision for the next 3-5 years, both in terms of growth and service offerings? Are there emerging technologies that the company sees as particularly influential in the next phase of its growth?

We have experienced annual growth since our inception and anticipate continued expansion in terms of the number of engagements, revenue, and our consultant count. To achieve this goal, we will persist in operating and expanding our marketing and sales across various media. Personally, I am committed to maintaining visibility as a thought leader in IT consulting, digital transformation, and innovation.

One of our fastest-growing services currently is AI strategy consulting, and we expect it to remain a leading force in our growth in the coming years. While there are still value-add projects in infrastructure, cybersecurity, data & analytics, applications, and automation, the growth in those areas has been active for a longer duration compared to AI. There is a growing realization in midsize and leading-edge small companies that AI is not exclusive to tech giants or blue-chip multi-national corporations. In many ways, AI is positioning midsize organizations to achieve parity with larger entities. Success in AI often hinges on expert guidance to start on the right path and avoid pitfalls and overhype. This will continue to be a significant value proposition for our CIO services in the coming years.

Q. What message would you like to convey to the readers of CIO Bulletin, as well as your current and future partners?

In today’s world, there is an enormous pool of expert IT consultants, and many of our competitors boast exceptionally talented and experienced staff. For those in search of a C-level consultant, we strongly recommend delving deep into the specifics of who will be assigned to your project when engaging with a consulting firm. While senior partners may have impressive resumes, it’s essential to ensure they actively contribute to client work.

In C-level IT strategy and leadership, more so than in other tech consulting areas, the person you work with is of utmost importance. If your success hinges on the specific consultant assigned to your project, rather than leaving it to luck, we advise exploring alternatives.

About | Jeff Roberts

Jeff Roberts is the Founder of Innovation Vista. Across 25+ years of IT leadership, Jeff has gained recognition as a 5-time CIO, former finalist for Enterprise CIO of the Year, and as the founder and leader of Innovation Vista since 2019. He has turned around multiple struggling IT departments, led IT in dozens of successful M&A transactions, guided Digital Transformations in several industries, and transformed multiple IT departments into profit centers. 16 of his former subordinates have later advanced to C-level positions. Jeff has been interviewed on television, on multiple podcasts, and in many magazine articles on the topics of Innovation, IT Leadership, Tech Consulting, and Digital Transformation.

“Our commitment to ‘Innovate Beyond Efficiency®’ isn’t just a slogan; it’s a relentless pursuit of pushing boundaries and ushering in a new era of business results.”

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