Having a holistic view of your IT ecosystem is fundamental to the creation of a successful digital transformation strategy – one that supports the realisation of core business goals and objectives, as well as the delivery of an exceptional customer experience.
It can be difficult to achieve this view when you’re extremely close to the daily operations of an organisation however, and embedded processes, legacy systems and internal dependencies can additionally hamper efforts to innovate and improve.
It’s here that our CTO as a Service (also known as CTOaaS, or CaaS) offering can deliver real value – providing you with cost-effective access to outsourced Chief Technology Officer (CTO) services and giving you expert strategic advice on all aspects of your technology strategy, from supplier assessment and procurement to oversight of project delivery.
Typically more flexible than similar virtual CTO services, our CTO as a Service model allows you to define the range of responsibilities covered, time spent in the role, and duration of your engagement. Throughout, you’ll also benefit from the experience and expertise of the entire Box UK team, built up over more than two decades and hundreds of successfully-delivered technology projects.
In order to drive the future direction of your technology strategy, we first need to understand the status quo. To achieve this, your CTO as a Service engagement will begin with your CTO consultant reviewing and documenting the various platforms, tools and integrations that make up your technology stack, as well as the ways various business functions interact with one another.
Your consultant will also review the goals of your wider business strategy and, through stakeholder workshops and interviews, build up a comprehensive picture of your end-users, their needs, and motivations.
Armed with this benchmark of your existing technology strategy and insight into current challenges, your CTO can then begin building a future plan to address these – and deliver you the enhanced and integrated IT systems you require.
Your CTO consultant will oversee the assessment and selection of suitable technologies, and define strategic implementation plans that maximise speed of delivery while minimising risk. Crucially, everything will be guided by a holistic view of existing, new and emerging technologies to ensure that an appropriate balance between customer and colleague expectations, and the cost and surety of operations, is maintained for the long-term.
As well as supporting the development of your technology strategy, our CTO as a Service capabilities can also be deployed to deliver project-specific technical support throughout your digital journey. From the delivery of business-critical communication, HR and finance systems to exploring the ‘art of the possible’, your CTO will not only help design solutions that serve your goals, but keep a close eye on project progress to ensure that key outcomes are achieved in line with pre-defined milestones.
Our consultants can additionally guide the development of your roadmaps for existing technology, and support effective prioritisation both within individual projects and across your wider portfolio. Throughout too, they’ll help you with change management programmes that ensure the smooth adoption of any new approaches, tools and technologies.
At every stage of your CTO as a Service engagement, your consultant will take a strategic approach to engaging internal and external stakeholders, whether you’re a growing start-up or established enterprise organisation.
Embracing collaboration and shared understanding via regular workshops, prioritisation exercises and ideation sessions combined with open and rapid feedback loops, your CTO will ensure that your technology strategy is informed and improved based on valuable front-line insight, while also helping you to secure buy-in and streamline the onboarding process.
Working from our offices in London and Cardiff, on-site at your offices, or virtually anywhere in the world, our flexible CTO as a Service packages can be tailored to deliver you the expertise you need – allowing you to define the range of Chief Technology Officer responsibilities covered, time spent in the role, and duration of your engagement.
If technology is fundamental to your operations, or you’re dealing with systems that are particularly complex or large-scale, then engaging a dedicated CTO consultant to oversee all aspects of your technical landscape can deliver you the momentum and confidence you need to drive long-term growth and innovation. Box UK’s technical consultants are experienced in the full range of CTO responsibilities, from overseeing critical systems to stakeholder management, providing you with a comprehensive CTO as a Service solution.
The majority of CTO as a Service engagements are taken on a part-time basis, enabling you to target your investment more effectively, as you only pay for the technical oversight and support you require. This is a good option for mid-size organisations and those with less complex technical needs; or you may wish to engage a CTO consultant to define your overarching strategy, with the implementation then carried out by your internal teams.
As the name suggests, fractional CTO services typically focus on a select fraction of Chief Technology Officer responsibilities, or the management of specific processes and systems. These solutions provided targeted advice and troubleshooting, and are ideal for organisations looking to overcome development blockers, or kick-start a period of growth.
If you’re looking to hire a new Chief Technology Officer – whether to replace an existing position, or as part of the creation of a new role – engaging an interim CTO can help streamline the handover process and help maintain the quality and velocity of your development operations. Our CTO consultants can even support you as you recruit for a permanent role, advising on desirable skills and experience and reviewing candidates to ensure you bring in the right skills to serve your business.
When housing association ateb wanted to optimise core service delivery for its tenants, Box UK supported the client with valuable CTO as a Service capabilities, providing technical and strategic guidance to help them consolidate their complex IT ecosystem.
ateb now have the centralised digital platform, streamlined processes and prioritised, strategic roadmap they need to work more flexibly and focus their efforts where they’re most needed: providing their customers with the highest levels of service and the best possible multi-channel experience.
The CTO as a Service (CTOaaS, or CaaS) model is a highly flexible approach to technology leadership, where organisations can specify what Chief Technology Officer skills they require, the responsibilities to be covered, and the proportion of time spent in the role along with the length of the contract.
The access to on-demand, third-party CTO capabilities can be phased in gradually, to help with organisational change management. This can be achieved through a tailored CTOaaS programme, for example a monthly retainer for a certain minimum number of days per month, working to an agreed, but not necessarily narrow, remit.
The level of support can be ramped up or down in line with your business programmes and changes to circumstances. The “service” aspect of CTOaaS can extend to upskilling and knowledge transfer for your existing permanent staff, whether working directly in technology or in adjacent areas.
To be effective, a CTO requires a broad skillset and experience across a range of responsibilities, including governance and oversight of critical systems and the business’ technology portfolio, driving the technology roadmap for the business to keep it relevant and enable growth, and maintaining and developing technology partnerships and relationships.
Technical knowledge however is only a part of a good CTO’s skillset; they also need excellent soft skills such as collaboration, stakeholder management, empathy and decision making. As a change can only be as good as the two-way communication that accompanies it, knowledge of each audience and multi-level communication skills is also vital.
As a cost-effective alternative to recruiting a permanent and/or full-time Chief Technology Officer, CTO as a Service is ideal for ambitious start-ups who want to increase development velocity and bring validated products to market quickly, SMEs looking to enhance and optimise their technical strategies to drive innovation and growth, as well as larger companies who require an external perspective into their current systems and future development roadmap.
Both private businesses and public sector organisations can benefit hugely from a CTO as a Service engagement, as this model gives access to the combined expertise and experience of an entire technology organisation – drawing on cross-sector best practice and innovative approaches being employed by leaders across a range of industries.