Brandon Howard founded his software development agency Zelifcam to help businesses with software development, project management, and information technology. He discusses how startups can leverage a part-time or fractional chief technology officer.
Have you considered hiring a fractional CTO?
Starting a new business can be an expensive undertaking. One of the high costs can be hiring a full-time Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Some tech startups need a CTO in the early building stage of the company but decide to do without one and struggle as a result.
A Fractional CTO is an experienced technology executive who can deliver high-impact advice to startups that may not need a full-time executive but are looking for help in a specific area of expertise.
Fractional CTOs have a wealth of experience and expertise in their field. They can bring a fresh perspective to the company and help startups navigate the complex world of technology. With the rise of fractional and part-time CTOs, startups can now access expert technical guidance without breaking the bank.
Difference between a fractional CTO and full-time CTO
A full-time CTO is a dedicated employee who works exclusively for a single organization, while a fractional CTO is a part-time consultant who works with multiple companies.
An interim CTO is also an option. An interim CTO is usually brought on board to provide leadership in the absence of a permanent CTO. Interim CTOs are hired for a specific period to fill a temporary leadership gap.
The main difference between a fractional and a full-time CTO is the level of commitment and availability. A full-time CTO is a permanent employee who is available for the company’s technical needs 24/7. In contrast, a fractional CTO is available for a limited number of hours each week, and their level of commitment varies based on the contract.
Why fractional CTOs are in demand
Fractional CTOs offer startups the benefits of an experienced and skilled CTO without the high costs of hiring a full-time employee. These professionals work with multiple clients, providing strategic guidance, managing teams, and helping startups develop and execute their technology roadmap.
Fractional CTOs can provide strategic guidance to startups on technology-related matters, such as product development, technology roadmaps, and software architecture. They can help startups make informed decisions that align with their business goals.
The rise of distributed remote work also makes using a fractional CTO easier. Startups can now access more talent globally who can work on their tech projects part-time.
Reasons to hire a fractional CTO
Fractional CTOs can bring a wealth of benefits to startups, such as providing expert guidance, developing and implementing technical strategies, and helping recruit and manage technical teams. They can also save startups money by reducing the cost of hiring a full-time CTO.
Hiring a fractional CTO can allow startups to access a broader range of technical expertise than a full-time CTO, who may be limited to their particular area of expertise.
Fractional CTOs can also help startups scale their technology infrastructure as the company grows. They can develop a technology roadmap that supports the startup’s long-term goals and ensures that the technology can support growth.
Pay for these roles vary depending on experience and skillset but can range from $100 to $1,000 hourly rates. Be sure to confirm their expertise and experience as you ask for references.
Finding a fractional CTO
There are many ways to find a fractional CTO. Networking events, LinkedIn, and startup communities are good places to start. Startups can also reach out to technology consulting firms or agencies that offer fractional CTO services. It’s essential to look for someone with a proven success track record and a deep understanding of the startup culture.
To find the right fractional CTO, startups should network, research, and establish clear goals and expectations to ensure a successful partnership.
Also, be sure to scope your work appropriately for a fractional employee. The work fractional CTOs typically do is usually more strategic and less hands-on than a full-time role. Clarify the scope upfront to ensure it matches the level of commitment agreed upon.
Hiring a fractional or part-time CTO is a cost-effective way for startups to access the expertise of an experienced CTO without breaking the budget. The benefits of working with a fractional CTO can be significant, from providing expert guidance to developing and implementing technical strategies. A high-performing chief technology officer can make the difference in your startup, so consider a fractional CTO for your tech needs.
The featured image is a photo of a desk with a laptop, notebook, and cellphone. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.