One of the most common questions business executives ask is, “How do I go about hiring a CIO/CTO?” An organization’s executive technology decision maker plays a critical role in shaping its future; so choosing one for a full time position is a delicate and sometimes long process, as the decision will have an immeasurable impact on a business’s ability to grow, scale and evolve.
Every organization is different. Every business faces unique challenges. But hiring the perfect CIO/CTO is especially essential for fast growing companies who have limited or outdated technical background that’s necessary to streamline and scale the activities and technologies in advanced ways to attain the greatest margin in a competitive business environment. When companies grow fast, they also outgrow their competence in both technical as well as economic skills to manage business operations in a technical way to achieve the greatest business outcomes.
As noted, It is a very long and delicate process to find the perfect full time CIO/CTO. It often takes 6-12 months and sometimes longer; requiring several revisions of job specifications and rising compensation in salaries, sign on, bonus and equity, not to mention the recruiting agency fees and needs. During this time it takes searching for that perfect CIO/CTO, growing companies are still seeing margins erode, productivity losses, stability issues and frustrated customers due to a vacancy in this important role.
To make things more complex, companies should also be cautious not to make the mistake of assuming that all technology leadership roles are the same. A chief information officer, or CIO, is a business-oriented executive who has a technology background. In contrast, a chief technology officer, or CTO, is more focused on architecture, infrastructure, and applications. So it's important to avoid a generic job description and instead, spend time thinking about the role the technology leader will play in the company and tailor the description appropriately.
On-Demand Technology Leadership … A Better Approach
A better approach for growing companies is to quickly hire an on-demand CIO/CTO (or sometimes called “CIO/CTO-as-a-service”) who can immediately fill in the technology leadership vacancy, drive roadmaps focused on business outcomes, and become the business’ trusted advisor with unmatched insight and expertise. Essentially, a growing business gets immediate access to an experienced CIO/CTO capable of quickly syncing with the business’ vision and goals to get things done.
The right on-demand CIO/CTOs are experienced in many industries and technologies. It’s always best to hire an on-demand CIO/CTO from an established company that has a great reputation, proven documented case studies, and an extended team of leaders and experts who bring even more knowledge and insight to the table versus just a single freelance operator.
An on-demand CIO/CTO can make an immediate impact to the business, is much more cost effective, and a great low risk solution while the long and delicate search for a permanent leader is in progress.
Many companies are now hiring on-demand CIO/CTOs and getting immediate benefits from it. In fact, many of these companies, after experiencing on-demand technology leadership, have decided to stop their search for a full time technology leader as they prefer cooperating with an on-demand CIO/CTO or “CIO/CIO-as-a-service” instead.