This Is When You Know You Need to Hire a CTO
Every business starts with a simple idea. But even simple ideas require sophisticated technology to implement these days. Our world has become one of digital strategy; of outsourced solutions, mobile apps, cloud-based connectivity, and evolving enterprise platforms.
In most cases, companies will be unprepared to manage these challenges without the help of a dedicated CTO.
What Is a CTO?
The Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) are the tech gurus of the C-Suite. Their role is to guide technology development in an organization and ensure their companies make the right technology choices—and partnerships—as the enterprise scales.
Every company will eventually reach a point where they need to bring a CTO on board. This timeline naturally varies based on what business you’re in, but you can use the following guidelines to help you decide when to bring a more robust tech professional to the team.
Your Existing Team May Not Be Enough
A quick note on hiring a CTO—sourcing from within your existing company may do you more harm than good. Many startups believe that the best engineer on the team should fill the CTO role, or more often, the CTO role goes unfilled for too long until the engineer slides into the role by default. This isn’t ideal.
There’s a big gap in the skillsets of a coder/engineer and a tech guru-in-chief. CTOs are fusions of tech experts and business managers; their goal isn’t to stay in the trenches and code every day, but rather to take a top-level view of the organization and ensure that the company’s technology integrations support efficiency. As such, it’s almost always better to work with a recruitment firm that can find candidates who have these skills and who gel with your company’s culture.
When Do I Hire One?
Keep a lookout for these signs in your company. If you meet any of these criteria, a CTO hire may be in your future:
1. Your tech workflows are lacking
If you need the insight of a technical expert on a client project, you might need a CTO. Aside from finding the solutions themselves, CTOs can take ownership of all aspects of a project, including deployment, ongoing management, and tying results back to overall business performance.
2. You need new tech solutions or partners
In our world of competitive tech solutions and outsourced providers, it pays to have someone on board who can separate the wheat from the chaff. CTOs will have experience assessing various service providers and working with these companies to come up with feasible solutions. Indeed, being the trusted intermediary among these providers is one of a CTO’s key duties and is a highly valuable skill when looking for new business partners.
3. Your technology can’t keep up
Your technology needs will grow as you scale, and can quickly grow out of hand without a qualified CTO at the helm. CTOs are drivers of change and innovation; they specialize in leveraging new solutions that help manage the company workload and improve efficiency across the board. A CTO can completely redefine a company’s workflows with the right strategies.
4. The CEO needs to be reined in
If your CEO is a pie-in-the-sky dreamer who’s not used to hearing “no”, a logical CTO can be just what the company needs. CTOs build their skills in grounded fields like computing, mathematics, and logic. This can make them the perfect complement to an ambitious CEO and will guarantee that tech solutions are realistic and practical.
5. You need new tech team members
You should hire a qualified CTO before committing resources to hiring a dedicated IT team. CTOs can visualize staging of tech development projects and help identify which type of expertise will be needed for long-term growth.
Start Searching Sooner Rather Than Later
If any of these issues are affecting your company, it’s time to start considering a CTO. Don’t wait to begin the hunt—the CTO role is a big position to fill, and you’ll have lots of research to do. Start putting together your list of requirements early, and if you need help, reach out to a recruiting company like Urgenci to expedite the process.