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4 benefits of a Fractional CTO vs In-house CTO

What is a Fractional CTO?

A Fractional CTO or Interim CTO, is an executive technology position (typically the highest in the company), that provides policies, procedures and leadership to a company's technology function. Often, CTOs are hired contractually, in a transitional period of time or to help sort out a specific problem. Often CTOs focus on external customers and the services aimed at them.

At Foresight, our Fractional CTO service will guide you through this technical landscape, providing the technical expertise and leadership you need to create a technology strategy that provides direct value to your business can help lead a major technology initiative with an app build, fill a leadership gap, or provide expertise during a period of rapid growth or change.

What is an in-house CTO?

An in-house CTO does the same job but is a permanent hire by the business. Having an in-house CTO means that you will have constant technical support on hand which can be necessary for some businesses. Due to the long-term nature of an in-house CTO, there is an increased commitment and cost to be considered.

Does my start-up need a CTO?

We recommend every startup has a CTO in some capacity as today's digital landscape is constantly changing and evolving. Keeping your finger on the pulse is a necessity but can be impossible to manage alongside all other functions within a growing business.

What are the differences in-house CTO vs a Fractional CTO?

Risk Management and Mitigation

Our CTOs are experienced and knowledgeable and will be able to quickly spot any of the possible risks associated with app development, such as technical flaws, different industry trends and security precautions. These are all things that an in-house CTO may offer also, but we have the proven experience and outsiders eye that will be beneficial to you and your business.

It's important to mention here that many of these issues can be identified and addressed within a relatively short amount of time - removing the need for the large costs associated with a full-time in-house CTO.


A fractional CTO can be far more flexible for your start-up than committing to a full-time in-house employee. This is super important to consider as hiring a permanent employee at such an early stage has to be the right move. CTOs need to be aligned with you and your business after all.

Unless you are certain of your long-term plans and requirements, then committing to a long-term in-house CTO is probably not the right move. With our Fractional CTO service, you are getting our knowledge and expertise without the necessary commitment that an in-house CTO requires.


Although there are plenty of brilliant in-house CTOs that your startup could hire, how many of them are guaranteed to have a wealth of experience at jumping in and catching on straight away? This is so important when it comes to picking the right CTO for a startup, they need to be able to match the pace of the company and we all know how quickly things move in a startup!

At Foresight, our Fractional CTOs have a wealth of experience in supporting startups in their growth journey, in fact, that's the time in a company's life that our CTOs have dealt with the most. They have the knowledge and experience to get dug in straight off the bat -perfect for startups.

Cost efficiency

Perhaps the biggest difference between hiring a Fractional CTO vs an in-house one is the cost. You can't put a price on a great employee and sometimes it's necessary for companies to pay top dollar for a great member of the team. However, as a startup, finances are going to be something you are conscious of whilst you are building your business. Whilst CTOs aren't permanent members of your team, they are brilliant at what they do and will slot right in!

Key takeaways

Overall, there are pros and cons to both. Neither is better or worse than the other, they're just suited to different situations. We usually find, however, that startups are better off with a Fractional CTO. Businesses often don't hire an in-house CTO until they are years in and established.

Hiring Foresight Mobile as an interim CTO to oversee your mobile app development could be one of the best strategic decisions your startup ever makes. Whether you're looking for strategic oversight, technical expertise or leadership our Fractional CTO service drives value from within your business at a fraction of the cost of a full-time CTO.

If you want the build process to be handled by a team of experts with over a decade of experience, but also be able to optimise your resources and increase your chances of success in a competitive market, then book a FREE discovery call today

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