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The difference a vCTO makes

Posted: 18th February 2020

I Love getting technology right for companies, Without technology leadership and a focus on data you might find your company struggles to deliver new features and products to your customers.

At ClearSky Logic we help companies achieve more through software development by providing a Virtual Chief Technology Officer service, helping companies make the right technology decisions and delivering new technology fasters.

For people not familiar with the term Chief Technology Officer it’s the most senior technical position in a company, as a CTO you are responsible for the entire technology offering at the company, all current technology in use, managing suppliers, achieving and maintaining accreditation for the company(ISO), identifying gaps in the offering, building out a technology roadmap to meet the objectives of the business and to grow the capabilities of the business. It can be referred to similar roles such as IT Director or Head of IT.

Scaling up without a CTO

It’s often when businesses start up they originate from a good idea coming from a non-technical founder, they will then outsource or bring in a single software developer to get things off the ground. This then continues with the success of the company and either revenue fuels the business or the first round of investment gets over the line.

This is a substantial injection of funds for the fledgling company and the business quickly prioritise the features their customers are desperate to have in the latest version of their offering. Usually this is where either major outsourcing or major scaling up of internal IT resource starts, it’s often where things start to go off course.

With the investment being of substantial size it’s easily squandered by non-technical founders, spending on high paid agencies without managing the engagement well i.e. knowing to tie milestones to payments, being laser focused on getting the MVP of a service delivered into the hands of end users for valuable feedback. Alternatively the plan maybe to hire more developers internally before understanding the complications, overheads and direction required.

The end result of this is usually features take longer to be delivered, the quality isn’t right, it doesn’t quite do what the end user needed and ultimately the investment doesn’t go as far as needed. Worse still fundamental errors can be made by allowing multiple products to be built on vastly different tech stacks meaning that future growth of the company can be held back or at the very least meaning that multiple different technical resources or teams will be required where as

Why not have a CTO

The most common reason for this is down to cost or the thinking that the potential client has got this far without one, it’s not a high priority to invest in one. With the salary of a CTO in Edinburgh nudging up to 120k per year in Edinburgh this is understandable and certainly the need for a full time CTO requires a scale of business to support.

Scaling up with a Virtual CTO at ClearSky Logic 

When joining a company as Virtual CTO we are often greeted with open arms and many parts of the business saying something along the lines of :

“finally, someone who can really get things back on track”

Quickly we get to grips with knowing where you are going as a business as this is the most important area for us to understand, contrary to what you would think as its the business which is most important and not the current technology in use, we then review which technology assets the clients business has now and what will we need to get the business to where it wants to be.

One of the most beneficial parts of the service for many of our clients is that this now enables them to have technology leadership reporting directly into board level, having someone which is accountable and can deliver change at pace.

We can also take the reins on growing the clients in-house technology team. One of our core skills is building up software teams, over the years hiring many teams of developers, bringing in the right people to help drive the company forward and mentor junior developers into high flying technical gurus.

For the software developers currently in place within the clients company, we love to get to know them, understand frustrations and work together to introduce new ways of working to help with efficiency and quality.

Due to our team as ClearSky Logic we are often able to help companies scale up temporarily to deliver key features. This ticks a lot of boxes from our clients if they just need a burst of resource for a short time.

A huge return on investment

vCTO service at ClearSky Logic can be as little as a couple of days a month worth of effort, the value for the companies we are working with provides a huge ROI with IT being turned from a function viewed as holding back the business into an enabler allowing for the company to accelerate ambitions, deliver a better service to it’s clients and keep ahead of it’s competitions offerings.

If you are a leader of a business which you think could benefit from our help then please get in touch, we are based in Edinburgh and the majority of our vCTO clients are based in the central belt Scotland & Northern England.

For a limited time only, we are looking to provide 5 companies in the Edinburgh area an opportunity to benefit from our vCTO service absolutely free of charge & no obligation involved. We will provide an afternoon of our time to review the current technology capabilities within a company, listen to the ambitions of the organisation and present a plan outlining the potential ways forward along with current risks.

Darren Auld

Director & Co-Founder

ClearSky Logic Ltd.

 

 

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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