Outsourcing CTO services for small businesses

So you’re thinking about hiring a CTO, or chief technology officer, for your startup — or dreaming about it, at least. Having someone to focus on IT best practices, disaster recovery planning and the implementation of cloud technology so that you can focus on doing what you love would be an absolute dream — perhaps an unreachable one, you think. The national average salary for a CTO is nearly $165,000, according to Glassdoor. What small business has that kind of money lying around? You’ve perused résumés of independent contractors, but hiring one seems risky. Who says they’ll perform? There is a safe, affordable happy medium, and it comes in the form of an MSP, or managed service provider, that can offer you the CTO services you need in an affordable, à la carte fashion. We here at Frontier IT in Colorado Springs review why small and new businesses need CTOs, why outsourcing this position makes sense for so many start-ups, and how to arrange CTO services for your company.


We’re a relatively small start-up. Our business isn’t tech-focused. Why should we spend money on a CTO?
If your business primarily offers online services — perhaps you’re an ISP, a web developer or a web-based subscription service — we’re guessing you have the expertise necessary to be your own CTO (or have someone on your team who does).

But what if you’re the finest dog groomer this side of the Mississippi? What if you bake the most exquisite omelets in the state, or repair furnaces like nobody’s business? Your business uses technology, but it’s not like technology is crucial to your business … right?


All is well until ransomware locks up your computers. Or your data is hacked. Or you realize the software system you’re using is a dinosaur — too slow to aptly serve your business’ needs and to keep your customers … well, customers.

MSPs can provide your business with a variety of services that an in-house CTO might provide, including:

So, why spend money on CTO services? Think of it as affordable insurance that protects your business’ data in case of technological or natural disaster — insurance that ensures that your business’ tech is top-of-the-line, effective, economical and running smoothly.


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Why should we outsource? Isn’t it better to build talent in-house?
Outsourcing isn’t right for every business. If you have the funds to hire a CTO, more power to you. However, not all businesses that can afford such salaries have solid candidates readily available, even when internal talent is considered. CTOs must be capable of managing an incredibly wide and vast variety of responsibilities. According to blogger Rajiv Pant, former CTO of the New York Times, CTO stands for “culture, technology and operations” just as much as it stands for “chief technology officer.” Areas of responsibility, according to Pant, include:

  • team morale
  • employee satisfaction
  • software architecture
  • software platforms
  • hardware
  • data science
  • research and development
  • project management
  • security
  • budgets
  • and more

A solid MSP will provide your company with a highly capable, reliable, trustworthy CTO consultant who is accountable to his or her employer for your business’ IT success.

Outsourcing CTO services to an MSP might be for us. What’s our next step?

Search for an MSP and give one a call. Do your research first, though. Not all MSPs are created equal. We recommend looking for one that has an excellent reputation, including glowing client testimonials. We also recommend seeking out an MSP with employees who have owned, or worked for, small businesses — the kind of folks who intimately understand where you’re coming from.

If you’re interested in “talking shop” about how outsourcing CTO services can help your business, give us a ring. We’d love to learn more about what it is you do (hey, we come from a small business background ourselves this stuff is interesting!) and how we can come alongside you. Your success = ours.

Like what you read? Looking for additional tips and tricks to help small business owners succeed? Check out more of our blog posts here.