7 Ways A CTO Advisory Service Can Help a Company

CTO Advisory Service

“You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level.” – Albert Einstein

Most of the companies these days are exploring innovative ways in information technology for business growth and are hence adding a role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in their leadership teams. Given the impact of technology on business these days this role seems to be the most promising one considering the future competitive strategy of any organization.

A CTO is responsible for the transformation of capital whether it is intellectual, monetary, or political into technology for the advancement of company’s objectives. There are broadly two possibilities as to why an organization will have a Chief Technology Officer-

  • When a company has a central R&D function and they need a person who will ensure better responsiveness to business unit’s requirements and also improved receptiveness from the business.
  • When R&D is isolated within the business units, there is a need for someone to ensure overall leadership to maintain company’s technological base which includes the need to scan for technologies that are available outside the company.

However, the size and type of organization play a key role in defining the responsibilities of a CTO. In case of startup companies, the responsibility of a technical leader may starts right from starting up a Wi-Fi router to installing software, networking, making product strategies, building sales process, infrastructure management and the list goes on. A CTO needs to wear multiple hats almost every day of working he not only collaborates with organizations throughout the company but work in the public arena as well.

We have seen startups hiring software engineers or a techie friend to lead their technical organization. The lack of experience and knowledge may be justifiable due to budget constraints. This may work in the short term – but in the long run, may have devastating consequences. To get around this problem – why not hire a fractional CTO or CTO advisory service – which can work with your business, understand the objectives and make recommendations which will have long-term positive effects on your business.

Evolution of CTO

Previously, companies used to have only CIO’s (Chief Information officer) who handled double roles as CIO and CTO. However, with advancement and new technologies coming in, the need to separate the two roles for company’s growth increased. So now many large companies have both a CTO who is responsible for company’s technology (R&D) and a CIO who is more focused on company’s strategic planning.

A CTO’s role is multi-layered as it takes on different attributes based on the organization’s requirements. A CTO would either assess how existing technology can be used or works on developing a new which impacts the company in making its performance better among the competition within the industry. Experts suggest that CTO’s are the ones who are going to be the difference makers as to whether the business will succeed or fail.

Read: CTO as a Service

Evolution of CTO

Here, we have compiled 7 ways in which we think a CTO can be really helpful to a company.

  • With increasing complexities in information technology, many companies are looking up to a role of CTO who can manage both infrastructure and operations of IT which include network operations, data center operations, application maintenance & development and other line functions. The CTO, in other words, works as an “infrastructure manager” who ensures that the IT structure of the company operates effectively.
  • Nowadays technology is shifting from physical assets to virtual assets such as the Internet of Things, big data, and cloud technology and the focus has increased on integrating applications, data, and processes. Here, the role of a CTO comes into play to ensure that the company stays in the competition as they keep the business abreast with latest cloud technology, analytics, and big data which help in furtherance of company’s goals.

Read: 6 Skills that will make you more marketable

Role of a CTO

  • A CTO’s focus is mostly centered on the product or service that the company provides its customers and makes sure that best technology is used for the customer segment. With today’s customer-focused market the role of a CTO becomes increasingly important not only for the fact that there is a singular focus on the customer is required but also due to reason that there are so many technologies which exist for enhancing any product. CTO’s keep their hand firmly on the pulse of technology and how that new technology will change business.
  • CTO’s spend time evaluating how technology can be used internally by the business so as to increase revenues, enable new business models, anticipate competitor’s attempt to use new technology to disrupt his company’s market position. They do competitive analysis, planning and technology assessment for further development and growth of a business. As a “big thinker” of the company a CTO looks for technology advancement at all levels.
  • A CTO works as a technology visionary for an organization. He helps in determining how technology can be used to implement the business strategy and subsequently works on integrating and running the technology thus also doubling up the role of an “operations manager”. A CTO with an excellent combination of both business and technical skills can help in successfully designing the functional and technical aspects of the business strategy and build an IT organization to implement its components.
  • As a Chief Technology Officer of the company, he/she ensures that the best practices for exploiting technology are shared across the organization e. from the front line to the customers. He also becomes a face for the company’s technical vision by engaging in conferences and media activities and also works with the marketing team to develop strategies.
  • CTO can also help the senior management in evaluating different paths to achieve the business goals with his broad knowledge and understanding of how the emerging technologies can affect the company’s business processes.

Chief Information Officer

Verdict-

The reason why CTO’s are becoming more important than ever is that there is a shift in the way on how and what customers want these days and the experience we provide them with our products is what matters. An effective CTO understands the context of technology regarding customer needs, corporate strategy, and the impact on business. He or she not only understands these issues but can communicate them in terms that apply to the concerned in the organization.

The technology is changing at an accelerated rate and to stay ahead in competition CTO can play a pivotal role as he or she understands the needs of business and is able to communicate solutions to both IT and the leadership teams. In a nutshell, the role of a CTO is not just to enable technology but it is the use of that technology which he makes that helps the business to move forward.

How Fractional CTO Services can help your startup get off the ground

Fractional CTO Services

According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there were a total of 582 million people running their own business or setting it up, in 2016 alone. This number is rising at an exponential rate. People from all over the world are looking for business opportunities to benefit from. However, the process of setting up a business is not free from hurdles. A significant portion of these companies is technology startups.

As the marketplace is getting saturated with a large number of startups happening, at the same time – there is also a considerable number of startups which never saw the day of light. Many future entrepreneurs come up with new and brilliant ideas but back off due to fear of the unknown or the potential hardships they are likely to face in building and growing a startup. A lot of these untouched ideas are related to technical fields because entrepreneurs (especially the non-technical entrepreneurs) do know where to start when it comes to building the technology.

TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE ISN’T ESSENTIAL

Contrary to popular belief, one doesn’t necessarily need the technical knowledge to implement his/her idea. For instance, Henry Ford was not a particularly accomplished engineer – but he is the father of automobile. Steve Jobs built some of the most successful devices on the planet – but he was neither a software or hardware engineer.
So that provides that all you need is a burning desire to succeed and your ability to surround yourself with competent advisors with proven track records. You lose 100% of the shots you DO NOT take. It is better to act upon your idea, understand the industry and hire the individuals having the necessary skill set to complete the task rather than putting off the idea completely.

Say you have an idea that has the potential to improve the lives of people around the world or fix massive problems that your organization, city or country may be facing. However, it involves building technology, assembling a team of engineers, writing code and deploying servers. For a non-techie person – these could be daunting tasks. And you give up on the idea rather than face these challenges. In this scenario who suffered the most significant loss? You who did not get to realize their dreams? Or the future users of your technology which will not be able to help them?
Won’t it be a much better proposition to look for expert advise and bring your dream project to life?

Read: CTO AS A SERVICE

TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE ISN’T ESSENTIAL

Outsourcing is key

There are two main options while using technical skills of other people. Either you can outsource it or hire in-house technical staff. As is typical for startups, most companies have a tight budget and cannot afford to hire highly qualified people for the long term. Thus, the obvious solution, in this case, is outsourcing. Smart entrepreneurs utilize the globalization phenomenon to their advantage and get a massive edge in terms of cost savings by hiring experienced and qualified staff overseas. Moreover, if your team is in different timezone – you can also get an advantage of around the clock progress.

Outsourcing any work (especially technical work) should not be taken lightly though. Everyone knows about the benefits it provides – but most people miss the mark when it comes to operationalizing a remote team. The key to a successful outsourced operation is effective communication.

So you should do your homework when it comes to working with an outsourcing vendor and then setup a process of constantly communicating with them. A short daily meeting is highly recommended. It is also recommended that you have at least person on-shore who could guide you through the ins and outs fo outsourcing world. This person can also help you manage the remote teams effectively.

Different organizations and freelancers are offering their services at varied hourly rates. You should be careful and make cost as sole criteria for your selection. As in most cases, the most affordable option often proves to be the most expensive one in the long run. It is because the cheap rates usually come with low standard work and long work time. So you not only pay more due to more work hours but also for low productivity. Thus, it is vital to optimize the outsourcing process.

At TetraNoodle Technologies we provide fractional CTO services. We have helped many ideas come to life at fraction of the cost because of our experience and expertise in building highly productive and experienced outsource teams all over the world.

Outsourcing is key

PROFESSIONAL HELP IS HANDY

There are a whole lot of communities of like-minded entrepreneurial people (both offline and online) who come together to share their ideas, experiences and wisdom with others. These communities are definitely a big help in the hard growth stage of startups. Some of these communities arrange seminars, workshops and provide other advisory services. Sometimes you can get guidance and mentorship from expert entrepreneurs guiding the new upcoming entrepreneurs by sharing their success stories and the tips that helped them in making their dreams come true.

These communities also promote intercommunication between local entrepreneurs. This allows entrepreneurs to form connections and partnerships that they require to be successful in the field. Moreover, seminars and workshops are also a good place to find technical advisors for the hard step of startup of business.

These communities are important and indispensable – but to be truly efficient and navigate the treacherous path of tech entrepreneurship – getting help from personal advisors fares much better. These advisors take the time to know you, understand your business and recommend tailored solutions which are suitable to your business, budget, and timelines. This greatly reduces the risks involved and time taken in getting your business off the ground. They possess the practical knowledge and experience in building, deploying and maintaining complex technology that is needed to run a successful startup and grow it into a booming company. They also have all the connections to build highly productive teams very quickly and at affordable rates.

Our fractional CTO services help entrepreneurs validate their ideas quickly, bring them to life and put it in the hands of the customers in no time.

WAY TO MAKE YOUR PRODUCT LONG LASTING

Startups are incredibly hard. However, this next step cannot be ignored at any cost. We talked about the startups which never happened – but you will be amazed to know there are yet another group of startups which actually came to life. They were successful in bringing a product or service to market – something that their customers wanted to pay for. But rather than ride the wave of opportunity – they failed to maintain their presence. Their products or services were unable to pass the test of time. In most cases – it is attributed to poor technology choices. This is a direct result of hiring inexperienced teams who do not understand how to build technology which lasts.

To make sure that your company doesn’t follow the same suit – you must pay particular attention to two factors – customer feedback and innovation. These TWO factors will make sure you sure stay on the right side of the growth path. Your customers will tell you exactly what they need to solve their problems. And if you can bring innovative solutions to their problems to the market – it is tough to lose in business. These innovations and positive changes are necessary to prevent the death of service or product in the eye of the general public.

Obviously, here as well you need expert help to interpret customer feedback and translate into tactical actions which the company should take to address the feedback. Innovation requires visionary abilities – but it also needs to be grounded in experience.

No one has the luxury of unlimited time and resources. So you always need to make trade-offs between various projects you can undertake and how you execute those projects. If you make the wrong compromise like cut corners on building a strong technology foundation in order to save money for a new logo – it can come back to haunt you later. Building a strong foundation is essential in the early stage of the product lifecycle. Because if your product is successful and people want it – guess what – you will not get a chance to rip out the old shaky foundation and put in a new one while your customers are using the product or service.

So there is no substitute for expert advice – which is backed by experience and an unbeaten track record of products built and money saved. Globalization has greatly improved the chances of anyone launching a successful business. You no longer need to have the technical skills or higher insanely expensive teams to implement an idea. If you have the right advisor at your side – you can do much faster and cheaper than you think. However, pick your advisors carefully – thoroughly check their backgrounds and references before giving them your time and money.

CTO as a Service

CTO services

The software industry inherently goes through numerous changes. The newest trend in the market is the use of short-term Chief Technology Officer to meet the dynamic demands of a company. This may seem odd while considering the contemporary requirements of organizations, however, in the modern business era, it is all about cutting costs.

A consulting CTO that works temporarily for your company will not only provide you with all the necessary technical guidance (both strategic and tactical) but will also be available on short moment’s notice.

The trend of a freelancer CTO is not that common as of now, but if you find one, then they have to be highly valued due to their dynamic market experience. These people offer the best services without the burden of a long-term contract. The people who offer their services as a consulting CTO are generally serial entrepreneurs and have been the CTO for a few startups.

Why are CTOs Required?

A non-technical founder or a savvy businessperson may not always be aware of the latest technological innovations that may make their businesses more efficient. Therefore, in order to make the most out of business, a CEO can always hire a CTO who is an experienced technology leader, executioner and is up to date with the latest technological innovations.

The responsibilities of a CTO are to deal with projects with a technological perspective and making sure that the project can be completed with the tool available to the company. The CTO also guides the leadership on how to the improve the existing infrastructure of the organization to meet the latest demands. CTO deals with all IT, software, and engineering team-related matters. A CTO is of absolute necessity for the modern tech startup; otherwise, the startup is in danger of going astray when it comes to technical solutions.

Read: HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR IT CAREER IN 4 SIMPLE STEPS

CTO services

Consulting CTO Services

A consultant is usually a person that is hired on a short-term basis to help out a company with a specific project. The concept of a consulting CTO is very similar and startups and small-scale businesses that require technical expertise and guidance can hire CTOs on a consulting basis to help them out on their projects.

The following are some other situations where the use of a consulting CTO may be beneficial for technology executives or investors:

  • When time is short, and a permanent technology advisor is unavailable, then a consulting CTO is the best choice to guide the project to success.
  • Tech executives can hire consulting CTOs to help them out in a project if it needs to be completed
  • Investors can also use the services of a consulting CTO to learn more about the technology that is being used in their interested company.

The Right Time to Use Consulting CTO Services

In startups and small-scale businesses where funding is scarce, and projects need to be completed within strict deadlines, a consulting CTO may be the difference between failure and success. Startups usually need to save their funds before launching their companies and a consulting CTO will help by avoiding a permanent technology partner that would be more expensive.

  • Avoid wasting time and hire a consulting CTO immediately before finding the right permanent partner.
  • A consulting CTO will raise awareness regarding all the technology constraints and issues that need to be dealt with when the company brings in a permanent CTO.

Startups can preserve their capital by hiring a contract CTO.

CTO services

Why a Consulting CTO?

Why hire a consulting CTO instead of a permanent one? The following are some of the reasons that answer this question.

  • A consulting CTO can be used to complete the business plan and will help in estimating the costs of developing and deploying technological tools necessary for the thriving of the company.
  • For startups, the CTO can provide the guidance needed to complete a preliminary mock-up that can be presented to potential investors and buyers.
  • A consulting CTO is an expert on the latest technologies available in the market and to a non-technical founder or businessperson, they can help in choosing the right hardware and software that will help the company in its path to success.
  • A consulting CTO may help the startup in finding the perfect permanent CTO for the new company. The temporary one may guide them and explain their requirements so that the right match for the company can be selected.
  • A consulting CTO is mostly an industry person who is aware of the best practices when it comes to software development. He would guide and set a standard for your development projects that can be followed in the future.

Finding a Consulting CTO

The concept is still unheard of, but outsourced CTO services are gaining momentum, and if you need to find a freelance CTO then one can easily be found on the internet by searching for CTO consulting services. For startups and small-scale business that cannot afford the overhead that is usually associated with a permanent CTO, consulting CTO services may be the right option, if not the best. In this technological world, no company can thrive without the right kind of online presence. Therefore, a CTO is mostly a necessity if not a requirement for companies.