A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is an essential job for any contemporary startup or business offering software and IT services. This person will set up your IT infrastructure, manage your management and developer teams and tools, and describe your plans and tactics in line with your company’s objectives. CTO is a crucial communicator, planner, and strategist.
The following is a brief list of a CTO’s actual duties:
- Keeping control over the entire workflow.
- Comprehending demands and current technologies.
It appears that this person is a full-time employee of a business. However, given the widespread tendency to outsource CTO positions, a straightforward query arises: Can you also outsource a CTO? In a nutshell, the answer is yes.
Also Read About: 14 Qualities That Make You a Good CTO- ENOU Guides
What Does The Term CTO Mean?
Your organization’s long- and short-term needs are examined by the chief technology officer (CTO), who subsequently makes investments in new technology or updates and redesigns existing technology to fit those demands. Your business can accomplish internal goals and produce goods that satisfy customer needs and provide value.
The CTO’s responsibilities might also change at different phases of startup expansion. For instance, a startup may recruit some technical personnel, which will probably alter the duties of a CTO. The CTO may now make judgments that will guide the technical personnel in completing the task. For additional information, see our outsourced CTO Services for Startups.
Also Read About: An In-Depth Guide to Successfully Hiring a CTO
Detailed Instructions on Outsourcing a CTO.
To hire a CTO on the outside, take these procedures.
1- Find an External CTO
There are various options available when you need a CTO. Below are them:
a) Make the most of your network in your field
Ask your buddies who are CTOs or software developers from other companies accustomed to working in startups for help.
Remember that they are already preoccupied with their Projects, even though it shouldn’t cost you anything. You shouldn’t anticipate them to be dedicated to your startup and ready to assist you for more than a few hours each day.
Instead of a highly qualified CTO, which is excellent but places some limitations on you, you’ll get a superb adviser.
Also Read About: Detailed Guide on Fractional CTO | All You Need to Know
The vastness of LinkedIn’s professional social network gives you a variety of CTO outsourcing alternatives. How?
Start your search by entering “freelance CTO” into the search box. There will surely be some qualified people for your project and have experience as interim CTOs.
But managing multiple jobs at once is a common aspect of freelancing. Because of this, your outsourced CTO may not be as involved in your startup as you’d like them to be.
Freelancers can work on a single massive project simultaneously, and there is always room for negotiation. However, you must speak with potential applicants about these matters individually.
c) CTO-as-a-Service providers
If you don’t want to waste time looking for the right person, some companies specialize in CTO Outsourcing.
This option has several benefits because they are well-versed in providing CTO-as-a-service solutions and already employ tried-and-true methods to guarantee effective customer connection.
But we do have some misgivings about working with outside CTO-as-a-Service companies.
Also Read About: Everything You Need to Know about Interim CTO
d) An organization with a track record in product development
In our opinion, finding tech partners represented by a Mobile/Web Development Agency is one of the most logical options. The benefits and drawbacks of this approach are as follows:
Why should you select a development agency?
- A Rockstar Scrum Team that is skilled in delivering Scalable and is familiar with the inner workings of the development lifecycle will be what you find.
- Typically, agencies assemble several experts from several businesses. They will pick the Tech Stack that best suits your project because they are familiar with the company’s technology and operating procedures.
- Each efficient development business also has its internal Agile rituals and productivity hacks, making it easier for them to teach their best practices to your future in-house team.
- While you are looking for an internal CTO for your team, we would like to emphasize that all the above options are merely temporary solutions to suit your needs.
2- How can a candidate’s ideal fit be identified?
You’ll undoubtedly come across a few options during your search. Eventually, you’ll have to choose which candidates are more suited for your project. Which strategy would be best in this case? Call a meeting.
We suggest separating your job interview’s technical and product portions into two separate sessions.
The main goal of the technical part is to find out if the candidate’s experience with development would help your software startup. At this time, some queries that might be made are:
- On what projects have you been working?
- Have you ever finished tasks like this before?
- Which specialties do you have the most of?
To do this, you might create native or react native applications, including technology.
- How can your experience help our fledgling business?
In some ways, the interview’s product section is more important than the technical section. If your product is unclear to them and they cannot apply their expertise to the circumstance, even the best development experts won’t be much assistance.
You should additionally query a CTO candidate on the following matters to make sure they comprehend your objectives:
- Who is your target audience?
- What issues would our product address to alleviate the suffering of our target market?
- Customers might choose websites and mobile apps, but would they frequently switch between them?
- What best describes the MVP of our startup? What should it include?
- What should be our current top priorities in terms of product development?
Although these questions are more appropriate for a chief operating officer or chief executive officer, they will reveal whether or not the candidate is truly committed to your company’s mission. Also, you’ll know if they are a good fit for the position of chief technology officer at your software company.
Also Read About: Reasons Why You Should Hire a Part-Time CTO
3- Establish a successful line of communication
In contrast to an internal CTO, your outsourced CTO will probably work remotely with you. But if the right communication technology is developed, remote collaboration’s disadvantages may be easily overlooked.
Because our development staff often completes projects remotely, we commonly employ technological solutions to stay in touch with our clients from different parts of Europe and the world.
The best and most user-friendly options, in our opinion, are as follows:
- Tech teams utilize Slack to manage communication.
- Use Skype or Hangouts to communicate with the clients
- Use Jira and Trello to establish a clear and transparent task management process.
Benefits of an Outsourced CTO
The experience you cannot duplicate or replace with other persons and actions is the strongest argument in favor of CTO outsourcing. A CTO would be highly beneficial when you require an objective viewpoint, a new perspective, and someone with specialized talents in both technical and business sectors.
Overall advantages of CTO-as-a-service are as follows:
- Ensuring that your IT plan is in line with your business goals.
- Evaluation and analysis of ICT (information and communication technologies) and specific recommendations to boost productivity.
- Assist decision-making for stakeholders and offer technical expertise.
- Professional delivery of technological efforts, setting up operations that reduce risk.
- Creating a “roadmap” for your company’s future.
- Providing project delivery management and assistance in finding suitable candidates.
- Cost savings in IT operations and recruitment (compared to hiring an internal employee).
- Designing yearly IT budgets with knowledge.
- Communication between the management and development teams will be improved.
Also Read About: A Detailed Guide on CTO as a Service (Roles, Costs, Duties)
When Should Your Startup Use Services from an Outsourced CTO?
You should consider where you are in your company’s development and what technology needs you now have. Most small and medium businesses do not require a full-time, seasoned CTO. Instead, it would help if you had someone to oversee the software development life cycle, the software development team, and any short- and long-term technological plans.
- When there may not be a clear structure, and the only concern is delivering a functional product to market, you have the option to outsource. Right now, it would be best if you had someone to oversee the development team, ensure all features are functional and see to it that all technical requirements are satisfied. Along with working with management and other stakeholders, it’s also essential to ensure that the company’s short- and long-term goals are prioritized while creating the product.
- This is often done when looking for funding and during the product’s beta testing phase. Your company’s unique demands, how much work has to be done, and how much money you have available to invest will determine whether you want to hire a full-time CTO or outsource your CTO role.
- Review the requirements for your business and the responsibilities the CTO will have. Determine how much you are prepared to pay for the service after considering if a person who visits once a week or only when necessary is the best alternative to execute these duties. You may settle for outsourcing if your budget is too tight to hire a full-time company CTO.
- CTO outsourcing is the ideal temporary option that will meet your demands until you can hire CTO as a service on a full-time basis. When it’s time to scale up, you should consider bringing a full-time CTO as a committed staff member to help things run smoothly, provide an excellent organizational structure, and polish the development team.
Considering those mentioned above, if you decide to outsource a CTO role, you want the best candidate. An experienced CTO can guide a product development team by utilizing the most recent technology to help you reach your company goals more quickly and affordably.
Therefore, take your time with the necessary research, look into all the top outsourcing organizations, and do a comprehensive background check on potential applicants.
The argument for outsourced CTO
Experience is the strongest defense of CTO outsourcing. Nothing compares to experience from someone who has a comprehensive understanding of the technology landscape and can provide you with a dispassionate assessment of your service or product. This individual will:
- Make sure your technology and commercial plans are compatible.
- Give thorough guidance on tech stack and technical concerns to assist stakeholders’ decision-making.
- Plan your annual and weekly IT spending efficiently.
- Make sure your management and development teams have a clear roadmap. Where you are now and where you want to go in the long term
- Establish immediate and long-term objectives for the company to give everyone a sense of direction.
- Identify hazards, outline risk-reduction processes, and get you ready for a due diligence process.
- Review and evaluate the technologies used by your firm and IT department, and offer advice on how to boost efficiency.
- Oversee and direct the hiring process for the IT staff.
- Manage the delivery of IT projects and make sure that operations are risk-reducing.
- Organize the company’s executive staff and software development team together.
However, for this to be successful, you need to find someone with a demonstrable history of experience and the company’s success. This implies that outsourcing a CTO may be the best option if you cannot afford a full-time CTO.
Also Read About: How Much Does Fractional CTO Cost?
The argument against Outsourced CTO
Non-programmers and businesspeople without a technical background frequently hire a third-party consultant or company to assist them in realizing their ideas. People who are skeptical about outsourcing contend that if you need a CTO, you should hire them as a full-time employee who solely works for you instead of outsourcing it for a short period.
Essentially, this means that an expert should feel a strong emotional connection to a project or product; it should, in a way, be their kid. An individual who devotes their entire time and energy to make it successful, as opposed to someone who joins for a bit of time, helps with transportation, collects payment, then departs.
Generally, the following disadvantages of outsourcing CTO are:
- To guarantee that you create a product that people will use, you need to think from a commercial standpoint and technical execution.
- There are fewer options for frequent iterations where you may test new concepts or implement enhancements since outsourcing allows you to cut costs by just completing essential tasks.
- Scaling up will be expensive and time-consuming because you’ll need to recruit more staff to add new features, train them on the codebase, and other things. Additionally, there’s no guarantee that everything will work out.
- Any outsourced CTO won’t prioritize your project unless you throw a lot of money at them, drastically diminishing your chances against more devoted competitors,
It will indeed be challenging to find a qualified CTO based on a concept for a specific product. You may convince them to join your firm by doing research, learning about the industry, examining the competition, validating the idea, communicating with a variety of people, creating prototypes or mockups, and providing a share in the company’s future.
Also Read About: The Comprehensive Guide to Startup CTO, its Roles
Things to consider before Hiring an Outsourced CTO
It’s a significant responsibility to hire a professional for a CTO role. Making the incorrect match might force your business to deviate from its objectives. Additionally, that results in a waste of time and money.
1- Understand What the Role Contains
Before choosing a CTO, you must have a thorough grasp of its function and responsibilities. In this manner, you may decide what credentials and characteristics to seek in a candidate.
CTOs lead all technology operations inside a corporation. To the organization’s advantage, they must supervise and mentor every employee. As a result, they must use specific methods to identify possible dangers or hazards. CTOs must also be aware of any opportunity or emerging trend they might use to benefit their businesses.
All employees and the rest of the executive team must be informed about new technology introduced by a good CTO. As a result, they should preferably be knowledgeable in software development, networking, and programming.
Technical expertise and aptitude alone, however, are insufficient. CTOs must exercise authority to be effective. Because of this, they need to be exceptional leaders who can empower their teams during periods of significant technological change.
When selecting the ideal candidate for the CTO role, a blend of broad and specialized skills will help you in the right direction.
2- Recognize the requirements of your organization and its stage of development
Consider the demands of the business, particularly with relation to impending breakthroughs, before appointing a CTO. What technical implementation needs are unique to your company? What procedures need to be improved, and what qualifications are required? What stage of your company’s expansion and development are you at? Are you working toward a specific objective, such as doubling your workload and staff?
To select a CTO who can guide your business in the proper direction, you must clearly understand your objectives as a company.
3- Personality Matters
Technology accomplishments and abilities alone are not significant. Your ideal CTO must have a distinctive character. They must favorably impact the ecology and culture of the company.
Additionally, a personality cannot be inferred only from a CV. For instance, looking at the candidate’s behavior under pressure is crucial. Pay close attention while experiencing significant challenges throughout the screening or trial procedure.
Another important consideration is finding out how much time the prospects spent working for past employers. Why did they give up? Can they see embracing the organization’s principles and objectives and remaining steadfast even in adversity?
Strong work ethics and an understanding of the variety and demands of the management team are requirements for potential CTOs. Their job will need the highest level of honesty since they will select the tools to influence processes and systems at all levels.
4- Examine the Experience and Achievements of the Potential CTO
Examine a candidate’s accomplishments and work history before making a hiring decision for an executive job. These are often shown on the resumes of candidates. A strong CV will explain how applicants may use their knowledge and abilities to advance the business.
A solid understanding of current IT trends, the capacity to inspire creativity, and the ability to develop winning technological strategies are some qualities to look for. CTOs also need to be knowledgeable about finances and long-term technology strategies. Additionally, they require expertise in doing technological research and analysis. Excellent applicants should also possess strong leadership, administrative, and communication abilities.
Find out how they contribute to the success of an organization or project and how they will meet your business’s needs.
Additionally, a particular educational background is required. A bachelor’s degree in technology or current networking and software development certifications are prerequisites for good CTOs.
However, it is also typical for self-taught applicants to excel in their fields. All backgrounds should be welcome during recruiting. You should evaluate dedication, inventiveness, and technology initiatives as part of the employment process.
5- From Where Can You Hire a CTO?
When you have all the jigsaw pieces, you may wonder where to go for CTO prospects.
You cannot make a mistake since the destiny of your organization will be in the hands of the person you choose. Thus, many businesses opt to contract with an agency to handle the technical issues or aspects of hiring.
You do not need to take a chance because agencies have a database of completed projects in your business. Examine the available portfolios in great detail. Check to see whether they have a thorough understanding of the market. Then, think about the difficulties your business is facing. Do they have plans to get over these challenges?
Due to the more straightforward procedure when outsourcing, it may be the ideal choice for businesses. You may collaborate with outstanding subject-matter experts and access a wealth of experience and information unavailable from a single source. Time and money are also saved.
Additionally, some businesses provide a cutting-edge offshore approach termed “your shoring,” which enables more incredible customizability. A skilled human resource (HR) staff selects the most suitable talents for your business and will ensure they adhere to your organization’s goal, vision, and values.
How Can ENOU Labs Help?
As your outsourced CTO, ENOU Labs will be your go-to resource for advice on all significant technological decisions as well as for any of your on-the-go inquiries.
Planning well not only helps you prevent technological errors that frequently result in IT problems but also increases the value of your business as it grows.
You and your organization will benefit from having a seasoned technology specialist on your side as a critical technology adviser. Contact us right now to get an outsourced CTO.
Many entrepreneurs in the early stages lament the weakness of the technical leadership of their staff. Since a CTO manages and organizes software teams rather than producing code, they must also develop concepts.
CTO Outsourcing provides a quick solution to satisfy your needs until you recruit the appropriate In-House Tech Guru. You can get help building your company’s technology infrastructure and directing its expansion from a competent professional.
Please contact us if you have enjoyed reading our articles and are interested in having ENOU act as your company’s CTO. It would be an honor for us to collaborate with you to develop your digital product!
What are the types of CTO?
The Visionary, the Infrastructure Commander, the Customer Champion, and the Big Thinker are the four types of CTOs in the ICT industry.
Does every company need a CTO?
No. A CTO performs a high-level management position as a member of the C-level executive team. They provide strategic advice on how to use technology to accomplish short- and long-term organizational goals since they have a thorough grasp of the business and are well connected with the company vision.