Why Hire a Virtual CTO?

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As you plan for a new year, you may be wondering about the value of a virtual Chief Technology Officer (vCTO). Why hire a vCTO, what assets will they bring to the company, and the cost? 

Recently, I wrote a blog, Inspire 2021. In that post, I list ways to inspire your team into 2021, including the use of virtual CTOs. Now, let's look at the benefits of hiring a vCTO and how to make your business competitive in the next year. 

This quote from Ex Squared sums up why you would want to hire a virtual Chief Technology Officer over an employee:

"Just like a CTO, a Virtual Chief Technology Officer's job is to be the organization's technologist, responsible for overseeing technology assets, and more important, for developing a technology vision for the organization. They provide valuable resources before, during, and after any technology project."—Ex Squared

It's time to hire a vCTO

Often, business leaders ask when a company should consider hiring a vCTO.  My top response:  "When IT maintenance and problems become a distraction to the growth of your business." 

Are quick emergency IT fixes dominating the discussion in your manager's meetings? If you are ready to be proactive instead of reactive, it is time to discuss hiring a vCTO. 

A vCTO fits the need for any size company. A small company can solve issues and maintain a robust IT plan without an additional employee's expense. While a large company can also benefit from a vCTO; a company of any size benefits from hiring an expert. 

The top two benefits of hiring a vCTO

I am writing this blog in December of 2020. There is no doubt that this has been a challenging year for all businesses. No matter the size of your business, the market segment, or location, the COVID-19 crisis has caused stress. The situation has also shown a spotlight on business planning and continuity. 

As you read through the benefits of hiring a vCTO, you will quickly realize that those same benefits can help your company weather a future storm. Here are my top two benefits of hiring a vCTO:

  1. vCTOs keep up with current technology trends. Their skillset is not stagnant. They are part of the growing virtual marketplace. It is their job to know the latest technology solutions for a broad base of clients. 
  2. Although they are a contractor, the vCTO will participate with your management team and your business leaders. To the outside world, your company will appear to be on the cutting edge of technology. Hiring a vCTO is a strategic hire.

What to expect from a vCTO

If I have piqued your interest in hiring a vCTO, you may be wondering what to expect in the first months after the hire. You should expect the vCTO to show their IT knowledge base and an understanding of your business.

To set expectations, here is a list of 6 vCTO milestones:

  1. The vCTO will evaluate the current situation. Your vCTO will evaluate your current IT landscape and will interview your team leaders. Remember, what is currently working for one team may not fit the needs of another group. It is also important to note that your IT landscape must also serve the needs of your customers. Are you losing sales due to IT shortcomings?
  2. Your vCTO will inventory all current IT assets and evaluate use. Are you paying for subscriptions or ongoing software license programs that are not being used? Are you using an outdated version of the software, or are you using hardware beyond its life-span?
  3. Vendor management. A vCTO will review all current vendor agreements to ensure that they fit your current needs and budget. Moving forward, your vCTO will ensure those vendor agreements include future goals.
  4. Your vCTO will develop and implement policy. For example, are you sure that your current Work From Home (WFH) policy is also protecting your business data? Your vCTO will set the IT policy and help you communicate the policy to all employees. 
  5. Expect to learn about new trends to compete in an unknown marketplace. Virtual CTOs keep their thumb on the pulse of technology trends. Expect your vCTO to bring new solutions to your company. 
  6. A vCTO will develop a future IT plan. They will not only protect your current assets and business goals. Still, They will develop and implement a plan for the future. Your vCTO becomes a part of your team, and their goal is your future business growth. 

Prepare for the future

You may be reading this blog as you prepare for a new business year. But you can hire a vCTO at any time. Hiring a virtual contractor is much like hiring an employee. Start with an interview process to find the person that fits your company goals and culture. 

What does your IT situation look like today? Visit the MainSpring IT Services and Support Guide to evaluate your needs and start finding a vCTO. Team MainSpring offers services and support in the Virginia, Maryland, and DC (DMV) region. 

How can Team MainSpring help you today?