If you’re running a business or thinking about starting a small or medium-sized business soon, hiring a fractional Chief Technical Officer (CTO) will help you compartmentalize technological management while cutting costs.
What is a fractional CTO?
In today’s new normal, SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) require exemplary leadership now more than ever. However, they may lack resources or capital to bring in a CTO on a full-time basis. This is where the concept of hiring a fractional CTO comes into the picture.
A business can hire a fractional Chief Technical Officer for a fraction of projects, a fraction of time, and for a fraction of the cost, compared to hiring a traditional full-time CTO. Generally, on-call CTO advisory services & CTO consulting are delivered by a fractional CTO.
According to a pre-COVID era report from Gartner, prioritizing technology was at the forefront of business owners, stating:
- 56% of CEOs surveyed were of the view that digital interventions had resulted in significant improvements in bottom lines.
- 31% of businesses surveyed said that technology was their top priority.
According to TechRepublic, IT decision-makers had 30% more control of all business decisions today than they had pre-COVID.
One of the biggest advantages of hiring a fractional Chief Technical Officer is that the CTO will generally concentrate his or her efforts in predetermined areas. This is primarily because fractional CTOs have specialized tasks and don’t usually take on the broad responsibilities of their full-time counterparts. For instance, SMBs usually hire a fractional CTO to develop their initial strategy and technology roadmap. Businesses that are about to launch a new product or service often hire a fractional CTO to see the project through smoothly.
Fractional CTOs also act as useful resources for addressing the required implementation requirements and technological needs. One of the other advantages of hiring a fractional CTO is that they may have faced a similar challenge a few months earlier with a different client, where a full-time CTO’s expertise is restricted to a single point of view of their company. Furthermore, fractional CTOs are less likely to dirty their hands with office politics. This is primarily because the client organization is not their sole source of income or employment. If this is not all, a fractional CTO can offer an outside perspective to an organization’s current technological strategy.
SMBs hire fractional CTOs contractually, temporarily, or at reduced hours for different reasons, including but not limited to:
- IT security
- Daily operations
- Technology contracts
When do you know it’s time for a fractional CTO?
Every SMB doesn’t need to hire a fractional CTO but they still require someone leading the technology charge.
In case your business finds things overwhelming with any of the following, it would make sense to hire a fractional CTO:
- Your business struggles to raise funds to grow itself or meet company milestones.
- There are no technology experts on your leadership team.
- There is a lack of the right experience or industry knowledge among your software developers to make the strategic technology decisions for your business.
- You want to fill the CTO role, but don’t have enough work to employ a full-time CTO or cannot afford to hire a full-time CTO.
- You want a CTO to temporarily, yet effectively, step in.
- You are working on a specific project or series of projects that require insights from a seasoned tech executive.
What exactly does a fractional CTO do?
- Make sure that your SMB is leveraging the correct technology to reach its goals.
- Craft the technology strategy of your business, put it into motion, make required adjustments, and execute it.
- Overcome common challenges that are commonly encountered by the software development team.
- Plan for future technology advancements and challenges.
- Help pitch a project or deliver value through experience.
- Plan to reduce operational risks.
- Help your technology suppliers/outsourcing and staff work effectively and successfully.
- Increase agility of business operations and enrich your organization with a multi-company/industry perspective.
- Define and measure ROI; align technology spending with business objectives.
- Focus on business performance growth.
- Look at the “bigger picture” and ensure the product roadmap is being properly built.
- Take part in executive decisions on technology leadership and management.
- Implement development and operational methodologies.
- Improve the level of resilience/scalability of technology platforms.
- Review and negotiate business contracts.
Take your business to a higher level by hiring a fractional CTO to develop new software products, optimize internal efficiencies, and stay protected against security breaches. Discover more about why to hire a fractional CTO, book a strategy session now!