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Top reasons to hire an on-demand CTO / CIO

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

What do the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) do?

A CTO / CIO is an experienced executive with technical expertise and business knowledge. They are a trusted advisor of leadership and provides technical direction that aligns with the goals of the business. In some companies, the CTO and CIO are the same person/position. But in larger companies, the CIO will manage areas around business data and security.

A CTO or CIO will possess the following skillsets to navigate between information technology and business successfully.

  • Strategic Planning: A CTO/CIO needs to develop a strategic plan for the organization's information technology function and align it with the overall business strategy.

  • Business Acumen: CTO/CIOs must understand the organization's business model, objectives, and operational processes to identify how technology can support them.

  • Leadership and Management: A CTO/CIO must lead and manage the IT department, ensuring that the team is performing well and aligning with business objectives.

  • Project Management: They need to be able to manage complex IT projects, from conception to implementation.

  • Communication: They must communicate effectively with various stakeholders, including business leaders, IT staff, vendors, and customers.

  • Technical Expertise: A CTO / CIO must possess a deep understanding of current and emerging technologies, including cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, and artificial intelligence.

  • Vendor Management: They must manage relationships with IT vendors, negotiate contracts, and ensure that vendors deliver what they promise.

  • Financial Management: They must understand IT budgets, costs, and return on investment (ROI) to make informed decisions.

  • Risk Management: They must assess and manage IT risks, including cybersecurity, data privacy, and regulatory compliance.

  • Innovation: CTOs and CIOs must stay up-to-date with emerging technologies and identify opportunities to innovate and improve business processes using technology.

What is an on-demand CTO / CIO?

An on-demand CTO (Chief Technology Officer) is a type of service to access the skillsets of a CTO/CIO on a flexible basis, as and when they need it. This arrangement can be on an hourly basis or a retainer. This service provides the same level of guidance and support as an in-house CTO but without the commitment of hiring a full-time employee. An on-demand CTO may offer various services such as technology strategy development, software development management, infrastructure planning, team management, project planning, and technical advisory services. The CTO / CIO usually reports to the CEO or upper management but can work directly with IT staff to ensure technology and business strategy align.

Who needs to hire an on-demand CTO/CIO?

  • On-demand CTOs are particularly useful for startups and small to medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources to hire a full-time CTO or need specialized technical advice for specific projects.

  • Technology executives use an On-Demand CTO/CIO when short-staffed and need to advance technical projects.

  • Executives may use a CTO / CIO when they want to supplement their understanding of new technology with additional knowledge and experience

  • Technology executives might need advice or a second opinion.

  • Investors or venture capitalists may hire a CTO as part of the due diligence process.

  • Anyone concerned with the protection and security of their business data

Why does your business need a CTO / CIO?

Technology is a critical part of business today. As a small business, most of the time being spent is on running the business and not necessarily on technology. Engaging an on-demand CTO/CIO allows a company to focus on business operations and have an expert determine the best technology for your business.

  • An on-demand CTO/CIO can be available to interview candidates and assist in placing the right person in a technology role.

  • They can create solutions for inefficient business workflows that can be streamlined by technology processes, saving time and potentially increasing profits.

  • An on-demand CTO/CIO can assist with a business plan by estimating costs and timelines for the company’s technology deployment.

  • They can advise which technology or software platform to use for a project or overall technology strategy.

  • An on-demand CTO/CIO can provide a cyber security and recovery strategy for critical business systems.


Technology is changing every day and may provide the edge needed for the success of a business. An on-demand CTO/CIO can be a valuable resource for a company’s strategic vision and goals. Often a company may simply have a question that can be answered in a brief email, for which the consultant wouldn’t charge, however, this piece of information could greatly affect the direction or priority of an initiative. The value of consulting an on-demand CTO/CIO outweighs the costs.

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