For businesses that want to gain, maintain, and develop their competitive edge (especially those in their growth stages), the CTO is one of the most valuable human resources. Chief Technical Officer (CTO) is one of the C-level executives responsible for all aspects of business tech strategy and software development, R&D, innovative product development, technical leadership on both team and board levels and a plethora of other tasks that will vary depending on the companies' specifics and other factors. 

We already wrote about the role of a CTO in business, and why you should consider hiring CTO as a service in more detail in our previous article 

What is Fractional, Part-Time, and Interim CTO

Cost-effectiveness and flexibility are some of the key motives for business owners to look in the direction of the on-demand CTO services. The cost of hiring a full-time CTO is very high, considering their skills, experience, creative vision, and strategic mindset. Many companies cannot afford top talent or, they might not need them in-house at this stage of business development. For example, you launched a great product, your organization is now putting more effort into sales and acquiring new customers, and the level of product complexity doesn’t require CTO services to administer it for some time. According to TechCXO, the on-demand executive model can be 50-75% more time and cost-effective than a full-time position.CTO Engagement Models 

Fractional, interim and part-time CTO are all different models of employing a CTO depending on your business needs and the number of efforts they will be putting in:

  • Fractional CTO. As the name suggests, they focus on a fraction of the responsibilities and specific areas of requirements. Generally, fractional CTO works one day a week/ ad hoc to solve specific problems, control some processes, provide coaching, or cover other of your business needs. They usually share responsibility with other in-house resources. Fractional CTO services will be invaluable in the early stages of your company or product, as you are validating your market and testing product strategies, without draining your budget. Also, you can include a fractional CTO to your pitch deck to help your company raise investors as you progress, to the point where you need to hire a full-time talent.

  • Part-Time CTO. The main difference between a part-time and a fractional CTO is that a fractional CTO's responsibilities are limited to a certain number of tasks, whereas a part-time executive looks after all the responsibilities but to a negotiated number of hours per month, usually on a long-term basis. Part-time CTO can help you in situations where you need something more than an ad hoc advisor but less than a full-time executive.

  • Interim CTO. In situations when you’ve abruptly lost or might lose your CTO, an interim executive could be your lifeline to keep the product on track, and the team engaged until you find a replacement. Interim CTOs are transitional CTOs who generally work on a fixed-term contract depending on the value you need them to provide: attend the weekly meetings, oversee DevOps, provide sales support, communicate with stakeholders, etc. They can as well assist you during the recruitment process by conducting interviews with potential candidates, making sure that they are a strategic fit for your business. 

On-demand Technical Leadership for Business: Pros and Cons

Fractional CTO services have long been associated generally with startups. However, there has been a change in thinking about the value a part-time CTO can deliver. Early to mid-stage companies often do not require a full-time CTO for every function. So, in which way the fractional, part-time CTO opportunities, and interim CTO services can be beneficial for your business? What are the cons of this approach? Let’s find it out.

Pros:

  • Fractional CTO delivers equal (if not greater) experience, capabilities as a full-time executive without the associated level of salary, bonuses, and overhead often required to attract and retain a CTO;

  • Fractional/ interim CTO is an independent, vendor agnostic, trusted advisor on your side and in it for the long-term;

  • Fractional/ interim CTO can act as a turnaround agent when there are challenges with an existing development team (missed deadlines, an unacceptable level of bugs, etc.), and help figure out what needs to be done to turnaround problem situations;

  • Facing down challenges: fractional/ part-time/ interim CTOs do similar work for other clients. They may have faced given challenges earlier and are not limited to a point of view of their company, having the freedom to provide an outside perspective to your business tech strategy;

  • External know-how brings new ideas and unbiased view on best practices and vendors, helping your development team become more productive and effective;

  • Small and medium-sized companies planning to launch a new product, can approach a fractional CTO to ensure timely deployment and effective troubleshooting of ongoing issues;

  • For companies that have never had a CTO and/or a tech strategy and who lack a product mindset, it is an opportunity to reframe their product perspective and to remain relevant in an ever-changing technology landscape;

  • Business owners have the flexibility to scale up or down how much time a fractional CTO spends with your company, call on expertise when needed, on-site, or remotely.

Cons:

  • It is questionable whether fractional/ part-time CTO is the right choice for an established company with complex needs;

  • Fractional/ part-time and especially interim CTO cannot be fully engaged in strategic roadmap discussions with a time frame of 2-5 years in which most CTOs operate, due to the nature of their hiring;

  • The interim model lacks flexibility for a client.

contact Evergreen

Fields of Competence of a Fractional/ Part-Time/ Interim CTO

For startups, small and medium-sized companies Evergreen is not just a development contractor, but a technology consultant and engaged business partner. Our level of expertise allows us to use technology to drive powerful organizational changes by implementing cutting-edge AI solutions, business process automation, robotization and much more, and to provide you with technical consultancy and CTO services on the following IT-solutions for startups and small and medium businesses:

  1. Artificial intelligence and business process management. Solutions based on AI, machine learning, deep learning, artificial neural networks that will be both feasible and fit within the project budget; automated business management, and integrations with company's existing IT-infrastructure including:

  • AI solutions and chatbots. Best technology to boost your business productivity, for minimizing human involvement in routine operations, and improving customer satisfaction.

  • Business process automation. Technical leadership experience in BP development, ERP systems integration, business automation by machine learning, and robotics for improved operability.

  • CRM. Advice on the CRM implementation before the start of the project, deployment, and setup, and post-launch assistance.

  1. Web and software development. We will provide you with expert advice on how to effectively bring the company's systems together to meet your individual requirements, and we know how to implement projects of varying complexity in the following areas:

  • SaaS development. Our experts will offer you an optimal balance between off-the-shelf components and custom development to create your unique SaaS-product: back-end/ front-end development, scalability, smooth integration with the existing systems, reliable architecture, proven processes, and technical know-how.

  • Startups development from scratch. Full range of services and support to build a turnkey startup. We help get your product out the door and know how to “pick up” projects started by other developers.

  • IoT development. We will share our technical expertise in developing IoT-compatible devices and web services, in order to create a competitive edge for your business and minimize routine operations. 

  • Web portals development. Defining the architecture, platform design, and selecting personalized solutions.

  • Highload systems development. Technical design and engineering of fault-tolerant highload architecture to create effective commercial projects.

  • MVP development. Full range of services on MVP app development, product/market fit configuration, assistance in passing the pivots in products’ life, assessment of the market response based on real-user testing, further development, support, and team scalability.

  • B2B solutions development. We always take into account the specifics of the B2B niche, and thoroughly plan every project before starting any works.

  • Ecommerce solutions based on an individual approach, and technology selection aimed at achieving a wow result for your business. 

  • Corporate website development. We study your business processes and specifics in-depth and create corporate websites that are both reliable and representative to deliver the image of your organization to its audience in the best way. 

  1. UI/UX design services. We will provide you with the Art Director/ UX Lead services, helping you to create a product with a unique appearance, architecture, and usability to bring value for your business through:

  • UI/UX design. We ensure the creation of quality UI/UX that users will love, allowing you to sell more without the need of altering the product characteristics, thus giving your business a new competitive advantage.

  • UI/UX audit. Our specialists delve into the issues leading to a reduced conversion, and changes in visitor statistics, providing you with a solution that will turn these processes in your favor.

  • Website redesign. We will undertake changes in the functionality and appearance of the interface. It is necessary for the continuous usability improvement, and it has a direct impact on business performance. 

  1. Support. We offer you comprehensive technical support and maintenance of websites, SaaS products, online stores, and web projects of various complexity.

Our team has many years of practical experience in software development, design, system architecture, and technical consulting. Evergreen’s technical approach relies on a deep understanding of product and engineering processes that are adapted to the situation and individual business requirements. We collaborate with you to develop and execute a sustainable technology strategy, will take care of all your technological needs, and always act in your best interest, guaranteeing results.

Are you looking for a reliable technology partner to help get your business off the ground? Do you need a technical leader to provide high-level technical strategy, guide, and support your development team? If you want to discuss in more detail how a fractional/ part-time/ interim CTO can benefit your business, don't hesitate to contact us. Just give us a call or fill in the form.

 

15.07.2020
The images used in this article are taken from open sources and are used as illustrations.