CTO as a Service (CaaS): How It Works? CTO as a Service (CaaS): How It Works?
Review: 5- 5 5 CTO as a Service (CaaS): How It Works?

CTO as a Service (CaaS): How It Works?

Project Management
14 Dec 2022
14 min read

CTO as a service today is also available. CTO services may help Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to self-assess their digital potential and access market-proven and cost-effective digital solutions at any time from anywhere as per their readiness and needs. This service will be ideal if you need to hire a CTO for a limited time.

Created by Fireart

What is CTO as a Service?

CaaS (CTO as a service) means technical director as a service, a top technology executive. This is a brand new way of cooperation with the CTO. When the company or a startup hires an external specialist to solve their technical problems, it may help them with development and solving  the issues in their local technical team, enable bringing their most ambitious and bold ideas to life, oversee the entire information technology department. CTO is also responsible for integrating business requirements and needs into IT planning and operations.

Types of CTO services

One of the new trends in this area is the CaaS service that allows hiring people to solve technical issues and simplify and streamline the company’s business processes. There is a different understanding of the CTO position, and it is quite natural that this can be a completely different story in each company. It’s already good when the founders and shareholders understand what the CTO should do in the company. Understanding the problem is the first step in successfully solving it. Let’s figure out what types of cto services can be used in various models.

Full-time internal CTO services

The job of a full-time internal CTO is to keep track of how a business is performing and what else could be done to improve the performance better to attract more customers, partners, and clients. So, full-time, internal CTO services include technical and business support regularly as if from an in house specialist.

Full-time offshore services

Outsource CTO may easily help to identify risks in such issues as company cybersecurity systems vulnerabilities or assist ensuring that your company’s services and products are up to required standards, etc. To supervise these and more issues, you may easily hire cto as a service offshore.

Part-time offshore or Fractional CTO services

There is also an option to hire Fractional CTO services which often may be called a Virtual CTO.  This is a specialist who manages technology for a company for a certain fraction of time, on the projects fraction or for a fraction of the cost, as compared to their traditional full-time counterpart. Many companies are finding this part-time CTO as a smart choice. As the name implies, a CTO is a part-time employee and utilizes like other on-demand services, on a part-time, retainer, or as-needed basis.

One-time CTO Services

This option is a perfect match for the one-time job or is suitable for projectized companies looking for CTO solutions that are not meant to last longer than a project period. So, one-time top executive that will oversee the entire data technology department and will be responsible for integrating your business needs and requirements to IT planning and other operations within a paerticular project till it ends.

Interim CTO services

Another collaboration scheme is an interim CTO. It is a technical expert who is normally hired to temporarily collaborate with another full-time internal CTO or any other C-level executives on particular technical or business responsibilities. This is a professional whio is able to power up on behalf of a bunch of different companies  in order to integrate the most promising technologies into overall corporate business strategy.

Cooperation Models

CTO outsourcing allows you to apply a flexible payment model: depending on the needs of the company, a freelance CTO will work for you when needed: from a few hours a week to a standard full-time job, or from time to time to meet with your agile development team or investors, etc. Let’s also consider the cooperation models between CTO specialists and their company-employers that may be used in practice.

CaaS Fixed Price

A fixed cost price model traditionally guarantees a fixed budget for the project, despite the expense and the time required. The main advantage this model is that it allows the clients to plan and set an exact budget for any CTO cooperation with any responsibilities.

CaaS Time & Material

Time & Material approach is the model where the project is drawn up not for a fixed result of the work and its cost, but for the hours of work for the project of specialists and their development during this time. CaaS based on this model works accordingly.

CTO Consulting

CTO Consultant oversees the assessment and selection of best technologies. Consulting works closely with the clients in the government, financial services or the services sector to make sure their Digital Transformations success.

At the same time, there is a myth that companies consider only candidates from competing companies for the role of a technical director. This is not quite true. Approaches within the same industry are often similar. And in the competitive struggle in the current realities, the winner is the company that is the first to find completely new approaches to solving standard problems or can be the first to offer new products to its consumers. And using experienced CTOs who can help with that is the answer, no matter if they ever worked for a competition or not.

Benefits of CTO Services

A full-time technical lead is a must for start-ups and companies at the scaling stage. Senior executives or founders with technical background may better lead the support team on the early stages of developing and manage the technological scope of a project wisely. As the business begins to grow, the company needs a professionally trained ctoaas manager to advise and guide the organization, providing the best technology solutions to achieve business goals and ensure digitalization.

When do you need CTO services?

Here are some examples of cases when the help of outsourced CTO solutions can be beneficial for your business:

1)There’s a great product idea, but you don’t understand how to implement it technically;

2)You have developed your first product, feature or a part of the app, but you understand that its architecture does not correspond to the latest stages of your product/service or it is too outdated;

3) Your business needs a professional with years of technical leadership experience who can help build a product, effectively discuss technology aspects with investors, evaluate contractors, and create project technical roadmaps;

4)You do not need a full-time CTO at the current stage of your company’s development, but you need the maximum level of flexibility and cost-effectiveness, allowing you to pay only for the services that your business needs at the moment;

5)You need an unbiased view of various technical issues and an expert to guide your development team on that.

If at least one or more of the above cases is yours, then CTO solutions are something that can help your company strive.

CTO’s Roles and Responsibilities

What does a technical director do? The key responsibility of the CTO is to help the company achieve its financial and marketing goals using an innovative technological approach. This means that the CTO will combine knowledge of existing and new technologies to provide the business with the best possible solutions in the future. Keep in mind that there is no single standard for a CTO’s key roles and responsibilities. The two main purposes are to maintain internal business processes or to help develop innovative products.

It is important to note that, despite the technological nature of the role (the word “technical” is even included in the title), for the CTO position, soft skills may be more important and significant even than hard skills. Mind that.

Technical Skills

Of course, every CTO may have different skills. Sometimes a lack of experience in this role also happens. However, the best skills to look for in a CTO will be:

Technical Knowledge

In the technical field, previous experience and in-depth industry knowledge is vital. Sometimes a technical director can learn along the way, in technical matters, it is a little more complicated. A CTO who is constantly up to date with the latest trends is a good bet.


The CTO must have some deep technical experience. In some companies, the technical aspect plays a big role. Over time, this can decrease and sometimes a CTO is not required for programming at all. But developed communication skills (in this role, communication with business, selling your ideas, as well as defending strategies / projects will take up most of the working time) may come to forefront.

Safety and Compliance

Will your CTO be required to optimize and manage the organization’s data? In other industries, safety and compliance usually have a much higher priority than tech stack itself. Understanding corporate risk and standards can be painful, but extremely valuable knowledge.

Other skills

The most interesting thing is working with people, building strong effective teams with comfortable working conditions. New ideas, the implementation of which no one was engaged in, and the creative process of finding solutions to complex problems may also be up to CTO. Products, technologies and approaches that can deliver value quickly are the point. There are not very interesting, but sometimes necessary things in this position to deal with too, like bureaucracy and routine, somewhere more of them, somewhere less.


An effective CTO can usually rely on experience and foresee the path to success through digital strategy development. Depending on the goals of a particular company, CTO can lead IT departments or point to certain dropouts (CTO may report to CIO), etc. In reality, the CTO is responsible for developing new products, optimizing and introducing new products into the production structure of the company’s activities.

Product management

In high tech, technology and product often go back to back. The CTO must understand the product life cycle and how to create and maintain new products. All this is acieved in order to successfully achieve the company’s business goals through the launch of new products and the implementation of a technology strategy. This may also be called the main task of the technical director.

Negotiation and mentoring

In order for their departments to operate effectively, the CTO needs to know the strengths and weaknesses of their employees and know how to get the most out of them. The ability to inspire people and convince them of their vision has its benefits. A good technical director should be someone worthy attention. From personal qualities, high EQ helps a lot.

In addition to a general technical background and education, we believe that outlook and curiosity are important for CTOs. The more information a CTO has, the more informed decisions they makes. Information must be obtained from training, books, articles and real experience – in the process of working on tasks with people.

How to Find the Right External CTO?

If your business needs a reliable technical consultant to create an effective tech strategy, manage a development team and communicate with your investors and customers, or you also need support to advance your business with cutting-edge technology in line with your strategic priorities, then you need to find a CTO of your dream and the outsource companies will help.

Outsource Companies

Any type of cooperation, part-time, full time or any other, are available with the top outsourced digital companies on flexible terms. The team at companies like that has many years of practical experience in programming, system architecture, and software design, as well as in technical consulting. For startups, small and medium-sized companies, it may become not just a development contractor, a technology consultant, and a reliable business partner.

How to Evaluate Candidates?

The dilemma is that CTO is a position that fits somewhere between technical execution, operational management, and executive representation. The best CTO has some experience with all of this.

Depending on the industry, the size of the organization, and the age of the business, companies’ needs typically boil down to two CTO roles: technical and operational management mostly. To faster consider their skills

  • Reflect on their experience.
  • Assess their education.
  • Compare salary expectations.
  • And check on the cultural fit.

Remember that to find the right candidate easily you need to apply fast, unbiased, and affordable testing.

Now the market welcomes a mix of higher technical education and additional education (for example, MBA) in the field of finance and / or strategic management of a company and / or digital. This combination gives the representatives of the profession a broad outlook and a good understanding of business. But it is worth noting that, first of all, employers look at previous experience, completed projects and the size of the business or teams that the candidate managed.

CTO Services Cost

CTOs generally work more than 40 hours per week like top officials. They may be paid higher in comparison with the other technical personnel. The USA range typically falls between $243,609 and $303,229. Costs may vary based on if you’re hiring a freelance fractional CTO or an external agency to act as your CTO, etc. Some CTOs work independently, while others are a part of certain organization. Thus, a virtual CTO as an independent contractor might charge you $50-$200+/hour or they might request equity instead.

Fireart as your CTO Services Partner

For the success of both tech start-ups and globally established software companies, the role of the Chief Technology Officer is essential. The CTO leads all technical issues and oversees all related processes to solve problems related to the company’s software products.

Technical business savvy, CTO with a sense of business is always an advantage in helping to meet the needs of end users. For many companies, this may include the role of CTO implementing CRM and ERP and supporting international teams with technical issues and so much more. They possess hands-on experience in what they manage. Good CTOs grow out of team leads, delivery managers. The experience of organizing the work of teams is important, so product and project management are no less in demand. Soft skills are in high demand – persuasion skills, competent communication, and the ability to negotiate, etc.

The technical lead is an experienced professional with deep experience in programming, cloud configuration, design and other related disciplines. They write the code themselves and check the code written by other developers. Such a CTO is usually associated with technology start-ups. In case you need someone responsible for similar things, feel free to find our digital product agency as your partner in providing an experienced CTO for your business on flexible and mutually winning terms.

Got a project in mind?

Reach out to us at Fireart, and we'll help you bring it to life

Your name

Our Clients

Over 200 brands have built their products with us at Fireart. Yours might be next!

Just Eat
Back Office