The vCIO collaborates with and advises clients’ IT departments and performs the same functions as a conventional CIO. Those duties include formulating strategic IT goals, planning the IT budget, analyzing and reworking business processes and facilitating technology changes. The vCIO can help customers maintain their IT infrastructure — keeping the lights on — but can also provide more-forward looking services. For example, a vCIO can work with customers to plan a technology roadmap, identify opportunities to use new technology tools. If a client lacks an internal IT department or has a very limited IT staff, the client may grant wider decision-making authority and technology deployment responsibilities to the vCIO. The main difference between the vCIO function and other technical advisory services is that the vCIO takes a broader view of the client, focusing on business and IT alignment.