The tech world has a changed a lot in the last 10 years. Almost immeasurably so in the last 20. And it’s a lot to manage.
You know the situation well:
- The rise of cloud-based infrastructure
- The proliferation of SaaS
- The growing number of offshore teams
- The increase in remote employees
These are common knowledge, and there are many other changes, too. To resolve complexities that arise from tech change, businesses need executive level technology direction.
But they don’t have the resources to hire an experienced Chief Technology Officer. And they may not know when to engage an outside resource.
Even so, you need to align business and technology strategies fast. The business needs to understand how updated technology can improve things. Above all, you need to ensure priorities focus on the outcomes you want.
In this describes your situation, you may need a Fractional CTO.
The companies that I work with all have unique challenges. Here are the top three reasons that companies have hired me as a Fractional CTO.
#1: Executive Leadership struggles to communicate with the technology team
There’s a wall. It’s invisible, but it’s real. It’s like you’re speaking different languages. Because you are.
Effective technical leadership is a liaison between technology teams and business (non-technology) teams. Whether on-shore or offshore, you need the best results.
Communication problems are the tip of the iceberg. They usually result in systems or applications that don’t meet requirements. Projects are late. Marketing worries that development is behind schedule. Developers worry that people are selling something that doesn’t exist.
Rarely have I met a CTO that has a deep understanding of what it takes to be a CFO. The opposite is also true. Bring on the right experience to make the difference.
It’s a common struggle. An experienced Fractional CTO can help you tear down this wall and improve communication.
#2: The technology team struggles to achieve results
When a technology team isn’t delivering, it can be due to one of these reasons:
- Development does not meet business needs. I’ve seen this happen due to poorly written requirements. I’ve also seen it happen because developers have a “better idea” with and don’t discuss it with the business. And this happens with the best intent.
- Lack of priorities. If everything is high priority, nothing is a high priority. How can the business and technology teams align on what’s important and maintain that focus?
- The technology team lacks process and is not measured on any meaningful metrics. If you’re measuring lines of code, welcome to the 70’s. If not that, what are useful metrics? I’ve helped companies determine the right approach and put visible reporting in place.
- Technology doesn’t look at the core business as its client. Unless you’re involved in R&D or you work with DARPA, it isn’t about technology for technologies sake. You need technology to solve a business problem. Either yours or someone else’s. A technology team that sees the business a the client, can transform the relationship.
- Your technology is old and hard to maintain. How do you best make the jump to newer technology? It is possible to balance the need to maintain existing systems with the need to transform? Somethings gotta give, and you’re not sure where to start.
- Your team has the wrong skills. Sometimes this is the case. Your developers are out of date. Or your product manager is no longer connected to customer needs. Could be either. Both. How do you assess whether to train or hire resources with the right experience? My clients and I have navigate these waters together to get results.
#3: Your company is lagging behind competition, attrition is on the rise, and customers are complaining
The lack of experienced technology leadership can make it feel as if things are coming unglued. And to make matters worse, you can’t afford a full-time experienced technology executive.
How do you catch up with competition that is outpacing you? Where do you start? How do you identify leaders on the technology team that can take you to the next level?
Can I somehow convince my best technologists to stay? Why are they leaving?
When facing a confluence of events arising from technology interactions, it’s time to take action.
Hire an Experienced Fractional CTO
If you need a Fractional CTO, make sure you hire experience. Whether you hire me or someone else, make sure they understand your situation and have been there. Hiring new leadership is impactful, so make sure the impact is positive.
Hiring a full-time resource is not only expensive, it is time consuming. A Fractional CTO with a successful track record can usually start sooner, at a lower cost, and provide great results.
Get in Touch
If you’re looking for a Fractional CTO, I’d love to hear from you. Please complete the form below and/or subscribe to The Fractional CTO newsletter. You can also follow me on LinkedIn. In addition, I’d be happy to spend a few minutes on the phone learning about your business and the unique challenges you are facing.