Skip to content
Home » What is a Fractional CTO?

What is a Fractional CTO?

I like the following definition:

fractional CTO is defined as a Chief Technology Officer who manages technology for a company “for a fraction of the time, on a fraction of the projects, and for a fraction of the cost,” compared to their traditional full-time counterpart. There’s no distinction between education level, years of experience, or any other skill – the only difference is that a fractional CTO is essentially an on-demand consultant for specific projects, plans, or technologies.

Esteemed Blog

A Fractional CTO helps if you do have a vision but you struggle to understand or execute aspects of:

  • Choosing a technology stack
  • Hiring developers and designers
  • Anticipating and scaling for platform growth
  • Designing or architecting for scale
  • Running your software stack smoothly and anticipating user needs
  • Hiring a full-time CTO

A fractional CTO oversees a multitude of responsibilities, including daily operations, cybersecurity efforts, technology contracts, routine maintenance, crisis management, technology contract management, product strategy, and growth planning. Essentially, they’re responsible for designing your company’s tech strategy, overseeing its launch, adjusting the strategy as needed, and looking for ways in which to optimize technical operations on an ongoing basis.

Fractional CTOs typically involve themselves in both the technical aspect (collaborating with developers, overseeing IT maintenance, etc.) and with business development. Sometimes, a fractional CTO will focus exclusively on technology matters. These executives are actively involved in decision-making and play a critical role in connecting upper management with tech teams.

A fractional CTO is a great way in which to manage technology direction at a fraction of a full-time salary.

What Do I Offer as a Fractional CTO?

There are many responsibilities that a fractional CTO can take on, and they generally vary by the company’s industry, size, and maturity.

My professional experience is in software development and delivery at enterprise scale for banking, insurance, telecoms and retail. I’ve worked at a variety of global companies, but also for scale-ups and start-ups delivering end-user applications, backends, frontend, mobile and web apps.

I offer a variety of services which complement this experience:

  • Understanding the problem domain and working with founders to understand and maximise opportunities
  • Deep data and competitor analysis
  • Creating an initial product roadmap
  • Taking a cloud-first approach to delivery
  • Building a scalable product using best practices such as OOP, DDD and TDD
  • Database design and architecture
  • Managing strategic partnerships with technology vendors
  • Test and Deployment automation (CI/CD pipeline and DevOps way of working)
  • Supervising in-house and/or outsourced IT professionals
  • Overseeing technology developments and internal IT operations

“While fractional CTOs are usually associated with startups,” argues tech journalist Erika Morphy, “there has been a change in thinking in recent years about the value that a [fractional] CTO can add and now even larger companies are embracing their use.”

Want to learn more about how I can help you with your technology mission?