By Stephen Flaim, COO PTS Consulting.
PTS Managed Services (Division of PTS Consulting) introduces the Virtual CTO for Hire service.
Hiring the right CTO is integral to the success of a business that is expanding globally. Whether it’s a full-time, part-time or an acting-CTO, the wrong person in key company positions can cost a business thousands or tens of thousands of investment as well as man hours. This is especially true when it comes to hiring the CTO.
CTOs are notoriously difficult to hire, requiring a mix of talents; technical, business, interpersonal [able to communicate the technical drivers to the board], project management and leadership – and visionary too. Today, CTOs are multi-tasking individuals that aren’t just coders locked in some basement — they play a vital role in a company’s strategic plan and growth.
The hiring process, the time and budget, for such a high-ranking individual that manages staff, oversees budgets and reports to the board, can be a lengthy process and needs to be part of a longer-term corporate strategy. However, a new and novel way of hiring the right tech-executive is being proposed by PTS Consulting, the global ICT professional services, managed services and resourcing solutions firm. The Virtual CTO service or a ‘CTO on-tap’ promises to deliver a CTO at the fraction of the cost of a permanent hire and provides you with a senior executive with the combined intelligence of many.
The service is being introduced for UK or global businesses and will provide them with a CTO, senior C level facing Board advisor that understands an organisation’s business strategy and is able to translate this into action. The Virtual CTO is more than an individual and gives businesses access to over 320 technical experts worldwide; a knowledge bank that has been equipped with the deep understanding of vendors and cultures. Accessing so many experts also means the Virtual CTO can offer better advice when developing, designing, implementing and supporting technical solutions to fit a business’ requirements.
A Virtual CTO might typically be asked to provide an independent view of an organisation’s existing IT infrastructure and the operational processes before aligning it with the current business requirements. At the same time, the Virtual CTO will be expected to identify potential areas for optimisation, risks and investment and provide a proactive approach to implementing new processes and infrastructure, while still being sympathetic to any risks or costs.
An advisory role also takes the form of working with all C-level personnel to understand the ambitions of that business, factoring in drivers and issues before translating this into a high level structured IT strategy and budget responsive to change.
Managing any third-party vendor selection, contracts and relationships for a business is also an area where the Virtual CTO can add great value; removing a headache known to consume considerable resource. For a global organisation, the Virtual CTO could act as a central point from where to manage and operate the entire technology estate through regular reporting and face-to-face meetings, maximising the economies of scale and any vendor alignment.
Placing a CTO that is a good cultural fit in an organisation is still arguably one of the most understated and more difficult things to do. You want to ensure a new senior hire fits straight into the office and business culture. Introducing the complete opposite could be disastrous and almost certainly be met with resistance. Again, the idea of a Virtual-person is appealing. In theory you could switch a CTO if your requirements changed or if you didn’t like the one you were working with – it’s just more flexible than a permanent hire and a win-win scenario.
The service is aimed at SME (independent of sector) of between 20- 150 people with single or multiple offices on a local or global-basis. Other ideal candidates include firms with multiple offices which need help to coordinate and communicate their IT requirements or streamline delivery and any organisation expanding rapidly, with little overseas infrastructure/resources on the ground.
PTS Consulting has made the service versatile and available in a number of permutations to suit the needs of most organisations on a global basis. You can buy the service on pre-paid hours dedicated to the Virtual CTO or a pre-determined number of days as part of a support contract or if required, a mixture of both. And it is already available for financial services including hedge-fund and asset management firm, legal, media, education and insurance markets.
Of course, the effectiveness of any virtual service is reflected in quality of the talent on its roster and there is an ongoing commitment to maintain a stock of the best and brightest minds in the industry. PTS is known for its intellectual assets; its people and developing, nurturing and retaining talent is fundamental to the success of any service like this. A global graduate academy, a training ground for new leaders recruited any around the globe, bloods newcomers into the system while specialist expertise has been added through the acquisition of firms and experts. The most recent additions have come from education and multimedia.
Hiring a great CTO is no easy task. When organisations grow globally, costs increase for operational functions, the management of vendors and the hire of permanent staff as well as the knowledge an organisation needs to make it all happen. Firms are being driven towards the idea of a virtual CTO because a utility-based model with the option to buy additional resources on a project by project basis is very enticing.
Ultimately, the mark of a great CTO is one that lets you get on with your core business, while it handles the direction of IT – the Virtual CTO delivers all of that with consummate ease.
About PTS Consulting:
PTS Consulting PLC provides its clients with global ICT Professional Services, Managed Services and Resourcing solutions; specialising in Corporate Relocations and Data Centres. With 17 offices in financial centres that include London, Tokyo and New York PTS provides services to customers such as Morgan Stanley, Nomura and RBS.
PTS has successfully delivered high-value, vendor independent solutions to its clients in 270 cities in over 75 countries and in some of the most demanding environments, and has plans to further expand in the education, healthcare and oil-and-gas markets on a global basis.
In 2012, PTS Consulting PLC, the world class international IT Consulting and Project Management firm, was awarded and ranked in The Sunday Times PwC Ones to Recognise of firms to watch in the future. It also won acclaim in the recent HSBC Sunday Times InternationalTrack 100.