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  • Writer's pictureDavid Panitch

3 Key Traits Of A Fractional CTO

In an earlier blog post, we wrote about the benefits of outsourcing the CTO function. We noted the cost-savings, the advantage of an outside professional who can offer an objective point-of-view, and that they leverage their historical success to help your company.

Today, we look at three key traits to help you choose a fractional CTO, who can provide the guidance and strategic input so that you can remain forward-thinking and grow your business.

1. One Who Focuses On The Growth Of Your Business

If you’ve given serious thought about your expansion plans, whether it’s regarding services, products, or locations, then you’re ready to hire a fractional CTO.

While your in-house technology experts certainly have the ability to manage the day-to-day tech needs of the business, they need someone who can guide them with strategic questions and directions. A CTO lays down the technology roadmap aligned with your strategic plan and all of its elements, like security, project prioritization, technology integration opportunities, decisions on key initiatives, vendor relations, and much more.

2. A Visionary

Your IT manager or system admin plays a key role in your operational excellence. Without them, your team and other stakeholders would not have access to all of the core technology that makes your organization function.

However, as a forward-thinking company, you’ll need a CTO who’s a visionary and thinks longer-term regarding your strategic direction and can provide your leadership team with unbiased sound advice. For example, a CTO may look at your current capacity to manage the fulfillment of customer orders and can identify opportunities to expand your ability to move higher volume through your warehouse. They then would set up the specific project plan and assign the tasks to the most appropriate personnel.

Your search needs to focus on finding a CTO who has a proven track record in finding opportunities based on their clients’ business types and future plans.

3. Someone Who Will Help You Stay Ahead Of Your Competitors

A fractional CTO looks at the bigger picture.

In their role, they keep their finger on the pulse of not just technology, but your specific business and market segment. As a result, they will consider your growth plans and your current technology to help you remain one step ahead of your competition. Because your fractional CTO has current experience with many other organizations they are able to draw from these multiple experiences to benefit your organization.

Having a CTO at the table with your other executives provides you with a distinct advantage. We find that other C-level execs are highly knowledgeable in their areas of expertise, but often struggle with technology strategy and the related initiatives that should be undertaken. Allow your competitors to struggle while you move past them with the right exec team members, including your new fractional CTO, leading your growth.

When Considering Bringing on a Fractional CTO, Be Sure To Ask The Right Questions

During the fractional CTO interview process, the important questions to ask include:

  • What is the first step you take to gain an understanding of our organization?

  • How long will it take?

  • What deliverables do you provide us?

  • How will you work with our leadership team?

  • How accessible will you be?

  • How do we get answers to our questions?

  • What tool(s) do you use to keep us abreast of ongoing projects?

  • What examples do you have of past client success?

  • Where does your accountability lie?

It can feel daunting to hire an outsider to fulfill such an important role, but that’s also the point. As long as you perform your due diligence, you’ll be in the best position to work with a fractional CTO to help you achieve your business and strategic goals.

Results Technology Group provides technology services to our clients with best-in-class software selection, project management, and business technology leadership services. To learn more about our fractional CTO expertise and capabilities, schedule a free 30-minute technology discussion. Visit our blog page for more content, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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