Technology is no longer just a part of the business—it’s the business. As the insightful Moises Nascimento, CTO of Banco Itaú, puts it “When everything becomes digital, technology becomes the core business, and the CTO becomes as key as the CEO.” 

In fact, a technology strategy is a business strategy. The more responsibility a company places in the hands of the Chief Technology Officer, the faster it adapts and gains more competitive advantage in the evolving digital world.

Here’s another staggering fact to ponder: The demand for IT management roles is soaring, not just in Europe but worldwide. According to the latest Q4 2022 report by CompTIA on EU tech hiring trends, there were 52,286 job postings for technology leadership positions across 11 EU countries. In addition, nearly a million job postings were related to various IT positions. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, there are 124,289 active Chief Technology Officer job openings in the US alone.

So why the rush for a business-focused CTO? More importantly, is there a way companies can hire a CTO while searching for a permanent in-house solution, all without undergoing an exhaustive hiring process? In this article, we’ll show you it’s both possible and lucrative. Join us in exploring the role of the Interim CTO.

Why do companies need a CTO?

In the digital whirlwind, the role of a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) alongside good development practices stands as a beacon of progress. Bioled down to an essence here’s why every company needs one regardless if it’s an Interim CTO, CTO as a Service, or a full-time CTO.

why companies need a cto

(1) Fueling Innovation in High Tech Companies

Every business these days is in the midst of one or a few major changes. In the next five years, every process or product you can think of is getting at least a facelift. If it’s not it’s probably going to slip through the cracks  To give you an example, IBM leaders report that more than 40 percent of their profits now come from things they couldn’t even do a few years ago. This shows how much tech-oriented businesses and their business strategy is focused on innovating. To say the least, someone – and it better be a tech-savvy leader – needs to be in charge of making these changes profit-yielding. It’s what makes a prototype development into a business success.

(2) Orchestrating a Change in Transitioning Companies. Many businesses grapple with legacy systems and outdated practices. Chief Technology Officers make sure the companies that carry legacy systems and still rely on ad hoc processes don’t get caught like a deer in the headlights.  They don’t just advise; they immerse themselves in teams to lead the way to change. Whether it’s legacy software, system deployment, standardizing software development or software architecture, making conceptual changes, or helping to navigate tech-provoked team conflicts, they are the partners in managing these transitions.

What is an Interim CTO?

interim cto meme

An Interim Chief Technology Officer (Interim CTO) is like a tech-savvy consultant who swoops in to save the day. Their role is to provide expert guidance and direction in the world of technology, acting as temporary strategist that helps companies navigate product and technology strategy. All the while, the company – for one reason or another – is looking to hire or raise its own in-house CTO eventually.

The role of the Interim CTO is to assess, plan, and execute a technology strategy that aligns with the company’s business strategy. Consider an Interim or Fractional CTO to be the blueprint maker – they ensure the tech infrastructure is solid and future-proof. Whether it’s a brief assignment or a more extended engagement, their mission lies in putting good development practices
in place and leading a business toward digital success. This makes the Interim CTO the best “In-the-meantime” solution that slashes costs and eliminates major business hiccups.

When do companies need a CTO?

🌊 Tech Navigator in Troubled Waters: When a company’s current tech captain unexpectedly departs, leaving a void in leadership, an Interim CTO can step in as a steady hand on the wheel. They offer a reliable, strategic direction and ensure smooth technology operations, preventing the ship from veering off course.

📡 Guiding Through the Tech Revolution: In times of swift technological change, like the shift from traditional to cloud-based systems, companies may find themselves in need of an Interim CTO to expertly guide and execute this transition. With their expertise, they ensure that the company sails smoothly through the turbulent waters of tech evolution.

🦄 Shepherding Startups: Startups, particularly those in the challenging deep-tech or hard-tech sectors, often seek a fractional CTO to tap into advanced tech know-how without the commitment of a full-time executive. These tech experts become a valuable asset, helping startups innovate, scale, and mature their processes as they prepare for critical funding rounds.

🧩 Mastering Technical Puzzles: When a company faces intricate technical dilemmas, such as product scalability or performance woes, an Interim CTO with specialized knowledge steps in as the problem-solving maestro. They diagnose the issues and provide effective solutions, ensuring that the company’s tech engine runs at full throttle.

🕵️‍♀️ Impartial Insight Seeker: Sometimes, in the aftermath of disputes or conflicts, companies require an independent perspective to assess their product, development team, or technology. An Interim CTO acts as the neutral observer, conducting a thorough evaluation and recommending a clear path forward, helping companies navigate tricky situations with objectivity and wisdom.

How can Interim CTO help your company?

how can interim cto help

Getting rid of legacy software. Interim CTOs offer a comprehensive solution to liberate businesses from the grip of outdated systems. Their role involves a thorough analysis of the existing system, a precise estimation of project costs, and the strategic setting of priorities. Any first-rate Interim CTO should transcend the role of mere advisor. They should seamlessly integrate into the business’s dynamics and make seamless changes that won’t disrupt but rather slowly allow companies to transition to better workflows. Herein lies the reason we don’t prefer using the term “Remote Interim CTO”.

Software deployment. Interim CTOs, often part of the CTO as a Service (CaaS) model, bring their expertise to the forefront, offering a holistic solution for businesses. One key role they undertake is the assumption of a significant portion of the project management responsibilities. This entails the critical aspects of technology selection, system design, and partner selection, making them more than just advisors in the process. In essence, an Interim CTO is more than a technical consultant; they are dedicated team members and leaders who not only facilitate the successful deployment of software but also ensure that the project aligns with the broader goals of the business. Their presence enhances project efficiency, encourages innovation, and supports the organization’s journey toward technological progress and achievement.

Conceptual change. The Interim CTO’s contribution should extend far beyond just writing code. They should immerse themselves in a thorough understanding of the business’s unique needs. They serve as change management partners, guiding organizations through every phase of the process, from initial assessment to full-scale implementation. They facilitate smooth transitions in both processes and team dynamics. This means that not only is your technology infrastructure updated, but the organization as a whole is well-prepared to embrace these changes seamlessly, fostering a culture of adaptability and innovation.

Product Development. Product development is a pivotal phase for businesses looking to transform a concept into a successful venture. Interim CTOs dive deep into understanding your target audience, the distinctive qualities of your product, and the vision for its future. They bridge the gap between vision and execution, offering scalable software solutions to turn your idea into a reality that can conquer the market. Furthermore, Interim CTOs serve as valuable connections in the quest for additional investment. They maintain active networks with angel and venture capital investors, ensuring that your innovative ideas are not only realized but also funded.

Looking to Hire an Interim CTO?

At Net Group, we offer ‘Interim CTO’ as one of our collaboration options with clients. With over two decades of experience in crafting innovations, establishing new business ventures, and acquiring successful companies, we’ve had our share of experimentation in preparing businesses for a global tech debut.

And it’s been quite a successful journey. From in-house initiatives to independent entities like Depowise and Syneral, along with the setup of offshore offices, we’ve served 200+ delighted customers and earned noteworthy accolades.

If you’re seeking a strategic partner for your team that delivers value for money, we’d love to connect with you.

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