What are Fractional CTO Services?

The Difference Between Full-Time, Part-Time, Fractional and Interim CTOs

Fractional CTO Services Outlined

A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is one of the crucial resources that every competitive firm needs in order to maintain their edge. The multi-faceted, well-experienced and highly creative head is responsible for creating the overall strategic direction for the company and enables an efficient utilization of technology throughout the enterprise.

Due to the vast experience and skill-set CTOs bring to the table, the cost of hiring a full-time CTO is very high, but considering the advantages a strong CTO can offer to an organization, it is all worth it. However, businesses can now escape the heavy cost of hiring a full-time CTO by opting for an interim, fractional or part-time resource.

While all offer similar cost-saving benefits, part-time, interim and fractional CTOs aren’t exactly interchangeable terms. They are all different models for employing a CTO and having to pay them based on the amount of efforts they put in.

TechCXO CTO Services

Full-Time CTO

As the term suggests, a full-time CTO is a dedicated resource completely vested in the achievement of your business interests. Having a CTO working full-time means that all your technology related issues would be identified and rectified in real time, while every activity and process concerning technology will be proactively managed.

Fractional CTO

A fractional CTO, as the name suggests looks after a fraction of responsibilities and focuses on specific areas of requirements. Their responsibility is usually shared with other in-house resources. Small to medium sized businesses that are seeking to launch a new product can use a fractional CTO to ensure timely deployment and effective troubleshooting of issues.

Part-Time CTO

The main difference between a fractional CTO and a part-time CTO is that a fractional CTO only looks at a certain number of responsibilities, whereas a part-time resource looks after all the responsibilities, but only part of the time. Business owners that are not sure how to effectively utilize a fractional CTO can opt to hire a part-time one and have him identify the needs of your business.

Interim CTO

These are transitional CTOs. While you are in the process of replacing your CTO or choosing a new one, you may hire an interim CTO to look after the responsibilities. They can conduct interviews of potential candidates to ensure that the new hiring is a strategic fit for the organization.

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Fractional Chief Technology Officer Roles, Responsibilities and Experiences

It takes years of experience and a boatload of enthusiasm to face each day as a blank slate, with endless possibilities and room for improvement. Finding the best path to take, even in impossible situations, is something that requires, not only the right intellect but a great attitude too.

What are a Fractional CTO’s roles and responsibilities?

A Fractional CTO first and foremost, needs to understand the workings of your company. They have to be in harmony with the company’s vision, mission, objectives, and long-term goals for there to be a productive business relationship.

As much as my experience and zeal for this kind of work would take me a long way ahead, being realistic and futuristic is also an added advantage. Technology is constantly changing, becoming better, faster and much more intelligent. As such, I tend to encourage and promote the use of the latest relevant technology to hasten and improve a business’ performance.

An open and realistic mind is invaluable as well. It is important to find a balance between a business’ necessities and luxuries they can do without. Minimizing cost while maximizing profits is every business’ mantra, and it is mine as well.

With a business’ objectives as a guiding map, and personal experience, insight and relevant technology as a shining light, navigating through challenges becomes much easier and manageable.

Other responsibilities a Fractional CIO, under the umbrella of technology include:

  • Prompt staff management
  • Taking part in developing executive decisions on leadership and management
  • Researching and evaluating relevant technology of importance to the business.
  • Spearheading and implementing business objectives, missions and visions.
  • Development and management of software, and their methodologies.
  • Optimizing the design and delivery of products and services with the aid of technology.
  • Defining a business’ Key Performance Metrics (KPMs)
  • Understanding the level of scalability and resilience of various technologies
  • Technology maintenance assessment and planning.
  • Democratic governance of technology
  • Reviewing and negotiating business contracts

These are just a handful of the responsibilities a part-time CTO is faced with. These responsibilities will vary depending on the type of business.

When do you Require a Fractional CTO?

So when exactly would you require the services and expertise only a fractional CIO can lend?

  1. As mentioned above, a Fractional CTO brings forth equal, if not greater, experience and capability a full-time Chief Technology Officer would offer, at a fraction of the salary. So if you are out to save as much money as you can, and also need to take your business to a higher level, a Fractional CIO might be what you need.
  2. Are you currently seeking to develop new software products, but are not sure of which path to take or what logistic decisions to make, get a part-time CTO. This is where experience becomes paramount.
  3. If you are looking to optimize internal efficiencies, a Fractional CTO might be an excellent choice. As a Fractional CTO, I have a unique understanding of the workings of the internal environment, and highlighting underperforming areas becomes more like a habit for me.
  4. Have you been affected by security breaches and exposed yourself to security risks that could take apart your business? You might not know where you went wrong or who to turn to for assistance. A Fractional CTO can shed light on all vulnerabilities in your system and adequately secure your business from all forms of future risks.
  5. You might have an exquisite idea of where you see your business in a couple of years. However, coming up with a dynamite plan involving business growth and acquisition might seem quite challenging.

The TechCXO Product & Technology Team

Steve Benfield

Partner - Product & Technology; Interim CTO, CPO, COO

Dan Brown

Partner - Product & Technology and Executive Coach

Kevin Carlson

Partner - Product & Technology; Fractional CTO / Fractional CISO

Bryan Dennstedt

Interim CTO / Fractional CIO

Jack Ivers

Partner, Product & Technology; Fractional CTO | CPO

Jake Massey

Interim or fractional CIO / CISO / CTO / COO; Compliance Services and Audits

Greg Smith

Managing Partner, Executive Committee Member; Fractional CTO

Ashley Usher

Partner - Product & Technology; CSM, CSPO

Kirby Winters

Fractional CiSO / Interim CTO / Fractional CIO

Olin Wise


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