The success of a web based business depends highly on the quality and efficiency of its underlying technical platform. As a Venture Capitalist funding such technical ventures, it is necessary to ensure that the portfolio CEO not only has sound technical competence for the design of the platform, but also has reliable and competitive developers for implementation and delivery as per its scope and schedule.
In such a situation, if the entrepreneur is considering outsourcing the platform’s development; perhaps to save costs; then he/she must hire and employ an ‘offshore CTO’ to safe guard themselves from all shortcoming of the offshoring process.
An offshore ‘Chief Technology Officer’ (CTO) is a highly niche service that provides tremendous value addition.
A CTO is a 3rd party individual, who sources and guides a high-performance, local offshore development team to ensure delivery of self-designed, robust, scalable software on an on-time and on-budget basis. The CTO works closely and collaboratively with the client as their dedicated point of contact and manages the entire implementation process.
The CTO ensures:
• A final product the fully meets all strategic goals –> implements the business vision as per expectations
• Cutting-Edge software that can scale to millions of users
• A fully managed and monitored dev process –> and delivery on-time,on-budget, as per scope and schedule
The services provided by the offshore CTO are as follows:
- Program Management – The Business –> IT Translator
- Technical Advising – In sync with latest developments and trends in IT
- Execution Strategy & Roadmap – Mock individual features, finalize order of implementation
- Software Design Engineering
- Selection of technology, programming language, tools, API’s and integrations.
- Overall Architecture Design –Select algorithms and data structures, make data flow diagrams, software design
- Advice on Coding guidelines – Code refactoring, Hierarchy design
- Cloud server architecture – Server Farm Design
- Project Management
- Project Lifecycle Management – bug tracking, ticketing
- Resource and Delivery management
- Communication – Demos, report submissions, sync ups, meetings
- Client feedback and iterations
- The CTO provides the extra Engineering Eye for Detail often ignored by development teams
- Testing – Model, functional and integration test cases – App QA and Regression
- Performance Optimization – Conduct client and server side latency tests
- Load balancing and Scalability Testing
The Offshore CTO also has the following credentials and qualifications:
• Understands Web 2.0, Understands large-scale, distributed web development
• Passion for designing Heavy traffic, low latency web architectures
• Seasoned Computer scientist and software engineer
• Well-versed with latest trends and development in technology
• Quickly and comprehensively understands the client’s requirements
The CTO can also help shortlist and select an offshore development team in situations where clients don’t already have one selected. The CTO can frame an optimized quotation from the vendor on behalf of the client. The CTO ensures that the vendor is charging for the number of hours that are actually needed to write the code as designed by the CTO themselves.
Advantages of such a service:
- Software written by outsource teams is usually of low quality – It works as expected but it is not secure, not scalable, not well tested, not performance friendly and not maintainable.
Non-technical savvy entrepreneurs are also unable to judge the stability, scalability and performance of the site. In the end what they get is a beta platform that drives users away, kills all its initial investment and has no room for future growth and/or funding.
The CTO can prevent this by acting as a central point of contact for all technical what’s/when’s/how’s/where’s. They understand distributed web design; they can perform code reviews and can supervise the development of well-rounded code.
- Offshore Software Development also gets very time-consuming for the entrepreneur – It becomes impossible to manage scope creeps, time delays, resource switches, provide on-time feedback, and conduct continuous tests/QA. The CTO resolves technical deadlocks, handles all communication with the development team, manages on-time delivery, conducts all meetings, and advices entrepreneurs on what features/integrations/tests to add or delete.
The extra costs of hiring such a service prove to be inconsequential in the long term. The CTO prevents the entrepreneur from wasting more money on the re-haul and re-design of a poorly designed product.
- Here are a few case studies of projects that suffered horribly in the lack of such a service. Business Elite had to shut down operations as it jumped from one bad off development team to another – all in the absence of sound technical guidance and project management.
- Here are a few case studies of projects that benefited hugely from having an offshore CTO. Kuhono – a complex IT startup platform designed and built in Rails within three months with more than expected functionality, and delivered on time without much supervision of the entrepreneurs themselves.
At Atlogys, we provide offshore CTO services to entrepreneurs for web platform design and development. Please contact us at email@example.com