Consulting CTO

Photo by Dirk Tussing   – CC BY-SA

Also known as a Consulting CTO, “Strategic Technology Consulting” is a service for companies who need short term guidance and advice, but don’t have an in-house expert on technology, software, information, and infrastructure.

In this article, we’ll look at who might use a Consulting CTO, when those parties might choose to engage the consultant, and what the Consulting CTO can provide.

Who would use a Consulting CTO?

  • Founders of startups use a Consulting CTO when they have business vision but limited knowledge of the technology needed to launch their company.
  • Technology executives use a Consulting CTO when timelines are short and a project needs to be pushed ahead.
  • Technology executives use a Consulting CTO when they want to supplement their own understanding of a new technology with additional knowledge and experience.
  • Investors use a Consulting CTO for technical due diligence.

When should A Consulting CTO be Engaged?

Time is a valuable asset when launching a startup or new venture. Engaging a Consulting CTO on a temporary basis allows a company to move forward and gain traction in the early stages of technology development. The Consulting CTO can help vet permanent CTO candidates and aid in placing the right person in the role.

  • A company can avoid project and strategic delays by using a Consulting CTO while searching for a permanent placement.
  • A Consulting CTO can help uncover technology issues that a company needs to know about before selecting a permanent technology partner or hiring a permanent CTO.
  • A startup may use a Consulting CTO to preserve equity and ramp up the company before securing early-stage funding and hiring a permanent technology partner or CTO.

What Can A Consulting CTO Provide?

  • A Consulting CTO can help complete a business plan by estimating costs and timelines for the company’s technology development and deployment.
  • A Consulting CTO can provide the help needed to draft the preliminary prototype that will be presented to investors and potential business partners.
  • A Consulting CTO is an expert on the current state of technology, and can suggest the most appropriate development platform for a business. For the layperson, this means advice about “what software or technology to use,” but also guidance through software development, including advice about programming languages, software development methodologies, web application frameworks, software architecture, version control systems, etc.
  • A Consulting CTO can help find and qualify a permanent technology partner, a lead software engineer, a user experience expert, a graphic designer, or a VP of engineering. They can help determine whether to outsource development (locally or overseas) or build an in-house team.
  • A Consulting CTO is familiar with software development best practices and can establish quality standards for software architectures, coding conventions, documentation requirements, and quality assurance processes at the very beginning of a project, ensuring that the business scales with growth and survives investors’ technical due diligence reviews.



So you think the project will be 3x our budget?  Thanks! we’ll probably table it for now.– business owner

A Consulting CTO can sometimes be difficult to find, but typically when a company does make the connection, the resource is quite valuable for a company’s strategic vision and goals.  Many times, a company may simply have a question that can be answered in a brief email, for which the consultant wouldn’t charge.  This could greatly affect the direction or priority of an initiative.

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