What does the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) do for your firm? It is likely that he or she plays an executive role and supports ongoing technological needs as well as any R&D role that is required. A CTO may review the long or short-term needs of your company, and use whatever capital is budgeted to him or her to support your business in striking goals or objectives.
The CTO emerged within the past decade as a branch of the CIO and is likely to play a strong role in strategic planning. According to Investopedia, the CTO is also the “highest technology executive position within a company. He or she develops policies and procedures and uses technology to enhance products and services that focus on external customers. The CTO also develops strategies to increase revenue and performs a cost-benefit analysis and return-on-investment analysis.”
That is quite a plate-full, and if you read through this and realize that it may be better to use the collective skill set of a team rather than heaping so many responsibilities on a single individual, you are not alone. Today, and especially during the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, many firms are leaning into a different solution – the interim CTO team.
Before you argue against this, let’s reconsider the evolution of remote working. The world has been going towards a remote work model for a while now, and technology as well as infrastructure exist to such a degree that it is easier than ever to visualize a permanent shift to this approach. Consider what an article from Forbes said of this: “Technologies like Slack, Zoom or Google Hangouts, Dropbox, etc. are making it easy to be productive as a team while remote.”
Enter the Interim CTO Team
The average salary for a CTO is $159,419 (according to PayScale.com), but may soar as high as $241k, or more. Add in bonuses, profit sharing, commissions, and benefits and the numbers grow substantially larger. Most startups face that significant figure along with the rest of the cost of staffing the company.
As a hiring priority, though, finding the ideal CTO is important, and yet it is also a major struggle. The CTO happens to be one of the most competitive positions in the job market, and particularly in major urban areas and specific industries. Therefore, the choice to work with an interim CTO makes more sense now than ever before.
Sadly, the interim CTO can be just as difficult to find as the more permanent candidates. And in the current COVID-19 crisis, the ability to interview and screen candidates in the traditional way is limited, at best. The opportunity for face to face meetings has been reduced to screen to screen meetings, and even if a company is adapted to remote workers and remote hiring, the process remains daunting. Fraught with pitfalls, it can start to feel as if progress during the COVID-19 crisis is an untenable goal.
And this is where technology and an interim CTO team can save the day.
5 Benefits of Working with an Interim CTO Team
You know the costs of that single CTO, and even when recruitment is flawless, it is almost impossible to find a single person who can offer the expansive skillset of a group. The interim CTO team is going to offer many benefits, including:
- A collection of individuals with many skills and experiences that instantly override the tech talent gap for workers in the technology field
- The ability to meet all product development demands
- Avoiding the usual pitfalls of unsustainability in deliverables by utilizing a team of people
- Enjoying scalability to a degree impossible with a single CTO or interim CTO
- Management becomes nimbler and more adept at handling remote or distributed teams, i.e. remote ready (which is in line with emerging trends and sure to become a beneficial capability)
Let’s consider that final point, since it is incredibly relevant during this current COVID-19 crisis. Without the ability to enjoy traditional face time with employees at all levels, it can feel as if there is a lack of defined company culture.
However, when management (whether in a startup or existing firm) has to adapt to managing distributed teams, they begin to also build a culture oriented towards remote success. There will be an emphasis on clear, fast and concise communication. Trust is essential as teams will need the ability to act autonomously in order to hasten growth – an essential during startup.
The CTO who is a “jack of all trades,” is highly desirable but as rare as a unicorn, and as costly. A diverse talent pool is desirable, and possible with the implementation of an interim CTO team. If you are eager to join the Future of Work, today, and during the current COVID-19 crisis, Celerik can help; becoming your digital partner, and helping you build your mobile or web application, enabled by cloud and data science technologies.