“What is a fractional CTO?” you ask yourself. The whole concept of a fractional or part-time workforce is nothing new but being able to hire CXO level expertise on essentially a part-time basis is new. Many startups just don’t have the money or can’t part with enough equity to make hiring essential executives possible. One of the most sought-after executives for any modern startup is usually a Chief Technology Officer or CTO. These are the technical experts that can save any company, especially startups significant amounts of money by advising on the right technical solutions and creating best practices security protocols to secure your company or startup. The expertise of a CTO doesn’t come cheap, but there is a solution that can help you get off the ground the right way or steer your company in the right direction, the fractional CTO.
Many people dream about starting a business, but very few actually have the resources and tools to do it. You need more than a good idea to start a business that ends up bringing you nothing but years of success. You need resources, materials, marketing, budgeting, accounting services, and most importantly, you need a fractional Chief Technology Officer.
Table of Contents
What does A Fractional CTO Do for Your Business?
8 Ways a Fractional CTO Can Add Value to Your Startup
- Research and development
- Problem-solving before creating a solution
- Budgeting & purchasing
- Streamline processes
- Increasing capital and profits
- Knowing what tech is worth investing in
- Cybersecurity solutions
A fractional CTO is someone who works with you part-time as a Chief Technology Officer. They work with your business for a fraction of the time, for a fraction of special projects, and better yet, they work for a fraction of the cost.
If you are just starting your new business venture and you’re wondering if you need a fractional CTO to help start your business, you absolutely do. Whether you want to believe it or not, the technology part of your business is one of the most important pieces to have set in place before launching. Before you can focus on growing your business with technology, you need to have the proper software in place to get it started. With the help of an experienced fractional CTO, this will be much easier than you could ever imagine.
When you hire a fractional CTO, their expertise becomes your expertise in a way. They help you with your day-to-day activities, and they make sure you invest your money properly so your startup business is set for success. If you decide to hire a fractional CTO, they will work to create technology strategies for your startup, they support you in various ways, and they work to deliver technology solutions that will enhance the growth of your startup business.
By hiring a fractional CTO, you are investing in the success of your business. They will guide you along the right path, they will make sure your investments work for you, and they will always find ways to make growing your business easier. Now that you know what a fractional CTO is, let’s discuss what it is that they do and how they can add value to your startup business.
What does A Fractional CTO Do for Your Business?
As a business owner, you know your business needs to invest in technology, but where do you put your money? Knowing when it’s time to hire a fractional CTO is just as important as knowing exactly what they can do for your business.
Technology is a huge part of any new business, especially if you plan to have a huge online presence. A fractional CTO is your go-to for all things tech since they have years of experience in the field and they know exactly where to spend, and where to hold off. There are so many things you are going to struggle with when starting your new business venture, meaning it’s okay to ask or admit you need help.
Needing help means you need to hire new people, but being a startup business, you may not have the budget to hire people full-time for executive positions. That’s where a fractional CTO comes into play! Since they will only be working for you a fraction of the time, you’ll save a lot in salary costs, but you’ll receive the benefits of having a CTO on your team.
Now, you’re probably wondering exactly what a fractional CTO does so you can determine if it will be worth your investment or not. A fractional CTO does so much more than just help you with the technology part of your business.
They have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to forecasting, budgeting, networking, software development, and so much more. Here are some examples of how a fractional CTO can save your startup business:
- They can help create and implement your startup technology strategy. Once your strategy is implemented, they will be the ones to monitor it and make any necessary changes as time goes on.
- Your business is very different from any other business out there, meaning your goals are going to be different from your competitors. Your fractional CTO will ensure that the technology you invest in works for you and helps you achieve your goals.
- A fractional CTO has the ability to see things from a bird’s eye view and they see the bigger picture while you see each individual milestone. They work to make sure you are on the right path to reach your business goals and objectives. If they see you steering down the wrong path, they will make sure to put you right back on track.
- Software development is one of the trickiest parts of creating a successful startup, but since they work solely in technology, they can make that process much easier. They help your startup business to overcome the very common software development challenges you may face. They will train your team to be able to solve any problem that may arise.
To put it simply, the term fractional CTO describes a high-level executive that will work with you hand-in-hand to drive innovation in your business, increase effectiveness, use technology to grow your business and reach your business goals, and help you learn the ins and outs of software development. They are a great thing to have on your team and they can add so much value to your startup. Speaking of adding value, let’s dive into how a fractional CTO can add value to your startup…
8 Ways a Fractional CTO Can Add Value to Your Startup
Needing a fractional CTO as a part of your startup team has become much more important in recent years. How do I know this? In a recent study from Tech Republic, it was stated that 41% of business owners stated that they include an IT professional in all of their meetings and include them in their decision making.
It’s very clear that having a fractional CTO in your corner adds more than just another mind to your team. Here are just some of the many ways adding a fractional CTO adds value to your startup business:
1. Research and development
In any new business, there is so much research and development that has to happen in the first couple of years in business. No matter what industry you are in, something is always changing, and as a business owner, you need to stay up to date on those changes. But since you wear so many other hats, you may not have time for R&D. That’s where your fractional CTO comes into play. They already have a wealth of knowledge of your industry and the tech industry, meaning they can handle the R&D for you. They will work with your directly to ensure you understand the changes happening, but they will brief you on exactly what you need to know, and they will make sure your hard work has the biggest payout.
2. Problem-solving before creating a solution
When something happens in your business, your automatic response is to find a solution. Your time is valuable and you don’t want to waste it trying to find the problem in your system, you just want to fix it. Your fractional CTO knows how to create innovative products that solve you and your customer’s problems before they even need a solution. They work to understand what your product or service is, how that poses a problem in your customer’s life, and how to properly create the solution they’ve been looking for.
3. Budgeting & purchasing
Even though a fractional CTO works with you only part-time, they want to make sure your budget works for you, and they always keep your budget in mind when it comes to making a business purchase. As tech experts, they know exactly what is worth the investment or not. They want to make your budget work for you, not you working for your budget. As business owners, we tend to be impulsive and want to have the latest and greatest technology, but sometimes that isn’t the smartest option. Your fractional CTO will ensure your budget is used in a way that helps grow your business, not hurt it.
You’re a busy business owner – you don’t have time for hundreds of different manual processes. Your fractional CTO will work to automate your business processes in any way they can. They want to do nothing but make your life easier, and they will find the proper software to do so. They can determine your areas for improvement, resources allocated, and they can tell you what is wasteful and what processes you actually need. They work to create a plan on what you can automate in your startup and how much easier your daily life can be.
5. Streamline processes
Are you the type of business owner that still likes to do everything on paper? Do you like having multiple inputs even though that takes longer? You need a fractional CTO! They create easy solutions that can streamline the processes that take you the longest. You should be focusing on growing your business, not doing manual paperwork. Hire a fractional CTO to help you streamline your business so you can focus on what’s more important.
6. Increasing capital and profits
Any fractional CTO you speak with will tell you that their #1 goal is to create the highest amount of profits for your startup. They want to help you increase capital by only investing in what software you need, and making sure your money works for you and not the other way around. As stated earlier, they create a technology strategy to help achieve your business goals. They will always make sure the steps in the strategic plan work to grow your business and increase your capital so you will see nothing but growth in your first couple of years in business.
7. Knowing what tech is worth investing in
The world of technology can be overwhelming because it is always improving. Every day there is something new on the market and there is some new kind of tech that is better than the previous. A fractional CTO keeps up to date on these advances so they can tell you what technology is worth investing in. They want to stretch your budget as far as possible, and that means only investing in technology that is going to help your business become profitable. They do the proper research to determine what’s worth it and what’s not.
8. Cybersecurity solutions
Cybersecurity is one of the most talked-about topics in the tech world these days. There are thousands of hackers out there trying to ruin your business, and a fractional CTO will make sure that doesn’t happen to you. Instead of always adding security controls, they work to make sure your systems are properly protected from any cybersecurity attacks. They know what potential threats are, what attacks are happening in your area, and they know how to catch these attacks before they cause major damage. If you aren’t familiar with cybersecurity, these are things you may fail to miss that can cause terrible consequences. That’s why a fractional CTO is so necessary!
I could go on forever about how fractional CTO’s leverage their expertise to help save your company millions of dollars each year. With the help of a fractional CTO, your business can grow exponentially as you’ve always wished it would!
When it comes to telling you why it is absolutely necessary, there are hundreds of reasons that come to mind. As a Chief Technology Officer, I’ve seen everything you can imagine when it comes to startup success and failures. As your business first starts, it can be overwhelming. From the amount of time it takes out of your day, the amount of money it takes out of your pockets, and the amount of energy it takes from you, you feel like there is never going to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Hiring a fractional CTO is easy on your pockets, and it leads you directly to that light at the end of the tunnel! Don’t let yourself drown in work and deal with areas of your business that you know nothing about. A fractional CTO works for you and they want to see you succeed. Your fractional CTO wants to give you time to focus on what’s most important to your business growth!
About the Author
Jeff Nelson AKA “the Relatable CTO”; has helped countless people leverage technology to better human productivity and help them achieve their goals.
Jeff is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Blavity Inc, the leading company for Black culture and millennials, and the Founder and CEO of Cinchapi Inc., a real-time software platform for data discovery, analytics, and automation. His companies have combined to raise over $13 million in venture funding, generated millions in recurring revenue, and created dozens of jobs for women and underrepresented people.
Jeff’s expertise as a technical architect, software expert, and serial entrepreneur help him drive innovation in technology, business, culture, and public policy. His technology consulting and software development expertise to create elegant solutions to complex problems using the latest technology, such as creatively harnessing the power of human and machine intelligence to make it easier for people to connect, work and thrive.
Jeff currently resides in Atlanta Ga with his family. In his spare time, he’s working on new work -life-framework called High-Intensity Interval Productivity (HIIP). He enjoys playing golf and watching baseball while occasionally dabbling in interior design. Jeff has a B.S. in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis.