Absent a CTO that knows how to lead and operate a product engineering shop, the team’s ability to innovate at an acceptable velocity is unlikely. The Chief Technology Officer is responsible for developing, nurturing, and iterating on a company's product technology strategy. However, there may be times when a company experiences a gap in its technology leadership, such as when a CTO leaves the company or is on a temporary leave of absence. In other situations, the company’s growth may exceed the CTO’s skillset growth. In these situations, an interim or fractional AKF CTO will provide valuable expertise, accelerate change, provide leadership, and mentor the team. See our Guide, Hiring an Interim CTO and When To Hire an Interim CTO in one of our blogs.
Our clients have realized several benefits from an Interim AKF CTO. We explore them here:
1. High Impact Product Engineering Expertise
When a company experiences a leadership gap in its technology department, it will cause significant disruption to its operations, slowing velocity and value planned for its software products. An interim CTO brings immediate expertise and leadership to the company, ensuring that there is less risk of momentum lost or critical decision-making capabilities during the transition period. We are a team of technologists that have operated in CTO, VP of Engineering, Operations, and other roles in our careers at companies of all sizes. At AKF, we see companies across many industries through tech diligence, product engineering workshops, and interim engagements. Our exposure to a wide variety of business challenges, tech stacks and architectures along with working across a diverse makeup of engineering teams makes us uniquely positioned to provide a perspective that enables us to quick diagnosis and address problems. An interim CTO can quickly assess the current state of the engineering shop and develop a plan to move forward and progress during a transition for the company.
2. An Interim Solution Where Value Outweighs the Cost
Hiring a permanent CTO can be a lengthy and expensive process. An AKF interim CTO provides a cost-effective solution that allows a company to fill the leadership gap accelerating progress in the short-term during the permanent CTO search which can sometimes take many months. While the weekly/monthly costs could be higher based on location and size of the company, the value received by accelerating the team with high impact operators will outweigh theshort term costs. Further, partnering with an AKF technical interim CTO demonstrates to your engineers they are highly valued. A permanent CTO will likely require executive recruiters with access to accomplished talent. Good candidates proposed can command a highly competitive salary, equity, and sizable bonuses depending on the role expectations. During the recruiting process, we will partner with recruiters to assess all candidates in the pipeline looking for the right experience for the business. Finding someone who will be able to continue leading and implementing the recommendations we make is critical for continuity, velocity and team morale
3. Objective Perspective on the Technology Strategy
AKF interim CTOs bring an objective perspective to a company's technology strategy. We are not invested in the company's internal politics or biases and can provide valuable, objective recommendations based on our expertise and experience. This perspective is especially valuable in times of crisis or change when a company may need to make tough decisions or pivot its technology strategy. Often the path to a better strategy is obscured by what made a company successful in the past and isn’t obvious or can’t be expressed by leaders and team members internally operating.
4. Proven Models That Drive Innovation
An AKF interim CTO can drive innovation within a company's product engineering shop. We will bring a fresh perspective and can identify new opportunities for growth and development. Based on the business’s needs, we will introduce a focus on outcomes, the right technologies, the right processes, and develop appropriate team and architecture alignment with business domains and goals. When implemented correctly, the results will lead to improved velocity and time to market making the company more competitive and agile.
5. Mentorship of The Team for Long Term Success
AKF interim CTOs provide mentorship to the company's technology team. We provide guidance and leadership to enable the team to achieve its goals and develop its skills. This mentorship will help the team become more effective and helps to cement a foundation of learning with our models which will increase success over the long-term. Once a permanent CTO is identified we will often provide ongoing mentorship to assist the incoming leader in their transition.
An AKF Interim CTO provides immediate expertise and leadership to a company during times of transition or crisis. We offer a valuable solution that allows companies to fill leadership gaps without the immediate expense of hiring a permanent CTO. We have CTOs that will provide an objective perspective, drive innovation, and provide mentorship to a company's technology team.
AKF Partners can help you with your Interim CTO needs. We regularly work in an interim capacity and have helped many companies over the years. Contact us to partner with a passionate team interested in our trade.