Most of the articles about CTO as a Service will focus on telling you that this is a low-cost alternative to hiring a full-time CTO as part of your company.
While this is often not the case, externalizing services to build new digital products can indeed be more cost-effective. However, there are far more important advantages of hiring an external CTO, aspects that go beyond price.
We will discuss these aspects further to help you wrap your head around this new fancy term, and understand the benefits of partnering with development agencies when it comes to making big decisions about your products and overall company’s growth.
For that, we are going to answer the following questions:
As a startup founder, you want to collaborate with teams that believe in your product as much as you do and consider it as their own.
While this might be the case when you have an already established and consistent in-house team, we’re seeing a whole lot of tech, specifically early-stage startup founders looking towards web and mobile development companies that can cover the entire lifecycle of their digital product.
Now, there are some who are skeptical towards these collaborations, arguing that, unlike an in-house team, an external development agency won’t have the same level of implication, because it is not their own product that they are working on.
Still, it is safe to say that, within the current context where remote working is becoming a common thing, these concerned founders realize what they have been missing out on –
Commitment can flourish regardless of geographical borders and hiring cohesive and experimented teams can do much more to a company’s growth than a single leader could achieve.
What is CaaS?
CaaS stands for “CTO as a service” which is a 3rd party consultant or company whose responsibilities are very much the same as those of a traditional full-time CTO.
With profound experience in scaling businesses and managing the technical aspects of a company, most consulting CTOs will bring you onboard their own individual experience, together with a team have previously collaborated with both startups as well as mature firms.
We know, it might look like another acronym emerged in the context of cloud computing to get your head spinning, but it is really not that complicated. At its simplest form, CTO as a Service represents a rebrand of the collaboration between a custom software development company and its clients.
The term is still relatively new to the market, but it’s gaining more traction by day as both startups and enterprises realize they can hire expert teams to lead technology implementation, create and manage in-house teams, and support strategic decision-making within their companies.
What is the difference between a full-time CTO and CaaS?
A CTO as a Service is not much different from a permanent CTO when it comes to the responsibilities it holds within the organization.
Overall, both have to offer support throughout the end-to-end software development process and other tech-related queries by creating the software architecture, articulating a well-defined strategy and a budget to activate it, suggesting the right tech stack for your project, streamlining the workflow through automation where possible and ensuring top quality standards.
Though similar in terms of responsibilities, an important differentiator when hiring an external CTO is the team it brings and specifically the combined seniority of each member and overall versatility of the entire group.
You basically get to collaborate with a synergic group of experts that have worked before on many digital products ranging from different industries, which makes their collective knowledge an asset to any startup.
Why should startups consider the CTO as a Service model?
As it is often the case for most early-stage startups, teams are rather limited to a small number of members. That’s why we believe that their founders can benefit greatly from collaborating with external homogeneous teams to guide their product development process from idea stage and all the way to market launch.
In our experience, we’ve seen founders who disregard any collaborations in the initial stages of their business. This is a common misconception that costs startups a lot of money that be otherwise invested wisely.
Specifically, we are talking about the Research and MVP development stage, basically, the most important aspects that lead to product-market fit.
Thus, the CTO as a Service model implies that you will work with an Agile team that is already used to collaborating and has countless years of experience in launching, scaling and even pivoting web and mobile products.
This team will support you in addressing tech-related situations while aiming to achieve business performance growth by eliminating unnecessary risks and ensuring the budget is spent efficiently.
Overseeing the latest trends in the industry, just like a full time CTO, a consulting CTO will also guide your company towards staying relevant and constantly delivering value to its customers.
Now in terms of cost, you will find that, unlike hiring a single professional, CTO as a Service might seem more expensive. The reason being launching a collaboration with an entire team of developers, QA engineers, and designers led by a technical & business-minded engineer.
However, in the long run, this will only prove to be a cost-effective decision when looking at the output that such team can bring to your product development in terms of quality and resources spent.
What qualities should you look for in a consulting CTO?
- A solid technical background. Having technical expertise and a track record of working with various technologies will support your collaborating CTO team in understanding and dealing with complex technical challenges that your company might face. The entire team should be in loop with the latest tech trends and be able to choose the stack that fits best for your and your clients’ goals. This will bring added value to the projects you are developing, as well as provide a differentiating factor against the competitors.
- Experience working for a similar company. Depending on the size of the company, as well as the industry that you’re activating in, the responsibilities of most CTO teams will vary.
- Proven experience in communicating with and managing multiple parties. Being primarily responsible for the development process, your technical partners will also serve as a link between other 3rd party collaborators, as well as your own in-house teams, engineers, executives, investors, or clients. Hence, your designated collaborator will need to attract, engage, and persuade a wide variety of people, which is why outstanding social skills are fundamental.
- Leadership traits. As an integral part of a leadership team, the CTO will actively engage in building and maintaining a healthy corporate culture. The same applies for an external CTO team. They might not share the same experiences as you do within your company, but they surely can positively influence your teams, inspire them to achieve business goals and work together to achieve your company’s mission.
- Strategic thinking. By nature, CTOs are preoccupied with envisioning the big picture, not just the output of the development teams. That’s why you should make sure that your future partner can also display a business understanding and is able to zoom out when needed and assess how each small effort is a step forward towards completing the wider picture of your company.
Choosing RebelDot as your CTO as a Service.
RebelDot is a digital product company, helping businesses accelerate their process towards digitalization and innovation.
With over a decade of experience in building products for over 50 companies in multiple industries, we come with proven experience in building web and mobile apps from the idea phase to a thriving digital product.
At RebelDot, we collaborate with founders from over 15 industries, leveraging our expertise to lead the technical component of all our clients’ projects.
Overseeing the development process from start to end, our teams are actively involved in building fully working web and mobile products, as well as establishing strategies to scale these products and grow companies in the long term.
As a tech service provider, RebelDot can provide:
- Business analysis & Technology Consultancy
- UX & UI Design
- Full Product Development
- Blockchain Development
- Digital Product Testing & Quality Assurance
- Digital Product Launch and Maintenance
CTO as a Service might be a novel concept to most readers. Still, it is one that started to get quite a lot of traction lately, as an increasing number of companies are adopting a work-from-home approach, looking for remote partners to support their growth.
Many startups are considering launching a collaboration with a cohesive and experienced CTO team, aiming to increase return on investment, reduce the amount of risk involved in their business and build digital products that the users enjoy using.
If you haven’t thought about getting on board a technical partner, this seems to be the right time. In the end, a well-researched software development partner can be a powerful asset to your business goals.
We hope you now got a good overview of what it means to collaborate with CTO teams — the Agile way.
Ready to bring your digital product idea to life? 🚀 Get in touch and let’s explore your product idea together!