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What is a Fractional CTO?

The CTO is a key role that sits between business and technology: the person who identifies how to translate business requirements into tech product outcomes.

Today we want to chat about Fractional CTOs: what they are, who they are good for, what benefits they provide, and yes, how Bixly can help!

First of all, a CTO is the Chief Technology Officer. This member of your c-suite oversees the major technology decisions your company makes: what's the tech stack, what are the quarterly product goals, ensuring those goals are aligned with the business goals, ensuring the product is successfully creating revenue, identifying key pathways for development, identifying engineering staffing needs, and so much more. The CTO is a key role that sits between business and technology: the person who identifies how to translate business requirements into tech product outcomes.

However, as with all hyper-valuable members of your team, they come with a big salary and attractive benefits packages. Early-stage startups need an experienced CTO more than at any other time in their company but are also unlikely to have the budget for it or even full-time work. Nonetheless, they need experienced guidance on key decisions that can make or break their company.

That's where a Fractional CTO comes in. Get the experienced consulting you need, at a fraction of the cost, for the time that you need (and no more), and in the key areas that you need. That third point is also key: early-stage startups don't always need all the areas of expertise that a CTO can bring. With a Fractional CTO, you can snap off different job roles and focuses on an as-needed basis.

So let's dive into the different areas a Fractional CTO can help you with:

1. Project Scope

Identifying what your technology needs to build now and what can be built in subsequent releases is key. Especially, if you are still in the phase of identifying or building your MVP, really focusing on the minimum part of that equation is essential. It sits right at the center of what a CTO is best at: understanding the intersection of business and technology. Why? Because your MVP has to be viable. It has to be viable not only in terms of technology (can this be built?) but also in terms of business (can this make money?).

2. Technology Stack

Once the project scope has been defined, it's now time to ask yourself what technology should be used to solve this problem. This has to balance both short-term and long-term costs, which will vary depending on your stage in business and funding. Time and again we have worked with clients in the early stages of the sales cycle to understand their project only to have them work with another team and come back to us, after they've blown their budget on a short-sighted solution that ultimately didn't work. Please let us help you not to make that mistake!

3. Strategic Planning

Now that the project scope and technology stack has been defined, it's time for strategic planning. There is generally not a lot of wiggle room when it comes to building your project in an efficient manner. There are certain pieces that need to be built before others. A Fractional CTO will help you identify the most efficient path to release for your project.

4. RevOps

As you continue to iterate on your project, and as you continue to receive user feedback, your project goals will shift. A huge marker for success will be your ability to identify good ideas from bad ideas, revenue-generating ideas from those that will end up sucking up all your money. RevOps is a key role that your Fractional CTO can play on your team, by providing essential insight into these ideas.

5. Technical Recruiting

It takes engineers to find great engineers. You want smart people on your technical team. Obviously. So you need a technical lead to be able to find those great people to onboard. However, recruiting is like step seven in your business process. You will need to grow when you need to grow, but it is unlikely to be day one of your business. Again, your Fractional CTO will be able to identify when you need to bring on new technical roles as internal hires and contractors. They can also help you identify the difference between candidates who are rock stars and those who maybe just have a shiny resume.

These are only five of the key areas that a Fractional CTO can guide your business and these are all services provided under Bixly's new Fractional CTO service package. Contact us today if this is something your company needs!

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