Fractional CTO services are ideal for businesses that don’t need a full-time executive. By hiring a fractional CTO, a business gets the same expertise more quickly and at a lower cost than a full-time hire.
If you’re wondering why — and when — to hire a fractional CTO, here are five times that deserve consideration:
When You Need Technology Strategy
When an executive team lacks technical representation, the responsibility for tech strategy is often overlooked. And in the case where the exec team doesn’t have the technical knowledge, the big decisions are then delegated to the team. And the team? They’re busy chugging away at projects and can’t dedicate time to focus on longer term issues.
In such a scenario, results will be sub-optimal. This is a perfect time to hire a fractional CTO or CISO for much-needed guidance. Adding a seasoned resource to your team that has been down the road you’re traveling can save lots of time.
When Launching a New Product or Service Offering
Adding a new product or service to an existing portfolio is always exciting. It’s also fraught with problems. Resource contention, budget constraints, and competing business objectives to name a few.
A Fractional CTO offers a fresh view and shares lessons learned from their time in the “trenches”.
They’ll know the challenges and will have met with some degree of failure with a new product launch before. And that’s good, because they know the pitfalls and can help steer you clear of rough territory.
Meeting Sudden Security Needs
Companies often hire CISOs when they are reacting to pressures, such as major breaches or regulatory requirements. Whatever the cause may be, there’s a specific result needed.
And it’s needed fast.
This often occurs when a company learns that they don’t have the right guidance to meet security challenges. As with the previous example of new products/ventures, they tend to promote an engineer into the rank of CISO only to find out that technical skills don’t translate to leadership and strategic thinking.
For fledgling security programs, Fractional CISOs are lifesavers. They provide much needed input to the company with their combination of security expertise and business acumen. They can also mentor existing talent to ready them for success in a CISO role.
When You Need a Full-time CTO
When a company realizes the need for a full-time technology executive, they’re usually already behind on things. Hiring a full-time CTO can be a months-long process. And that drives many companies to focus on speed instead of quality of hire. This can lead to making an unfortunately choice that results in having to do it over again.
A seasoned fractional resource can help identify priorities and resolve immediate issues. Writing role descriptions and interviewing candidates help lead to the right hire and an effective transition.
It’s also a privilege to help companies identify internal candidates for a CTO role! They may lack experience in certain areas and providing on-going coaching is an effective way to develop and internal team member into a seasoned and confident CTO.
When an Executive is Transitioning Out
If a CTO or CISO is on the way out and the company doesn’t have anyone on hand to fill the role, then hiring fractional can fill that gap. The Fractional CTO can mentor someone within the company for the role, even help the company select a full-time successor. The stable continuation of operations is important for the team and customers alike.
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.
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