Explained: CTO As a Service
From big companies like Rolls Royce and Bosch to startups like Kartrak and “Ninja Concept”, they’ve worked with clients of all sizes and from different sectors.
Last week, we interviewed Jungsoft’s CEO and founder: Rafael Jung.
You’ll discover in this interview what makes a great CTO, and what skills you have to look for in a CTO.
You’ll also discover how Jungsoft works for its clients. What makes them different, and how they can help you with software development projects.
Have a good read!
Can you tell us a bit more about Jungsoft?
We basically started as a group of freelancers.
Actually, after leaving Rolls Royce, I started working for another company and the idea was basically to modernize their systems.
At the time, we didn’t have any long-term perspective so we only had a software team for that specific project. Then, I had the idea to hire people whom I knew and trusted and this is how Jungsoft was created.
While working on that project, other projects came along and we grew automatically and organically from there.
What is a CTO exactly, and what does he/she actually do?
A CTO is a person that defines the product from a technological perspective. He/she plans how the technological development of the company will be. He also builds the technical team by recruiting and interviewing newcomers, at least in the early stages of the company’s lifetime.
Moreover, he/she define the tools that the company will be using daily, as well as the whole IT and the processes that the technical team should follow and make sure the expected quality of the processes is met.
So being a CTO means seeing the company from a technical perspective, but also focusing on the business value.
It’s not only developing and creating software, it’s also focusing on what we are creating and how it can generate value for the company.
In a nutshell, a CTO is a person that connects the technical side to the business aspect.
How do you recognize a good CTO?
A good CTO is not only a person that has thorough technical knowledge, although he should have it to be able to decide which technology and tools to use, it’s also a person who can connect those technical skills to the business side by understanding the value brought up by each feature, each development, and each new project
A good CTO should be a great manager and an excellent team leader. He should be able to communicate effectively with his team, demonstrate leadership, decision-making abilities, management skills, and business strategy expertise.
What does "CTO as a service" mean?
It means assuming the complete ownership and responsibility for one or multiple products, a job that normally a full-time CTO would take, helping with things like:
- Vision and Roadmapping.
- Architecture Design.
- Innovation Products.
- Hiring/building a team.
- Processes and Optimisation.
- Other aspects of innovative digital transformation.
The way we work allows us to optimize expensive CTO hours and use them efficiently, by having multiple co-CTOs working on their area of expertise, with great minds thinking together about complex problems.
Our end goal is to focus on building our client's products and generate the highest value possible for our clients. Even hiring our replacement if the time comes.
How is Jungsoft different from other software companies?
Most software companies are agencies. So you have a project you go to them, they quote you, you pay, they deliver and that’s pretty much it.
At Jungsoft our approach is quite different. We’re a long-term partner for our clients. On the initial call, we ask our client about the long-term outcome of the project so we can decide if we’ll be a good fit or not. If there is no long-term vision then it’s not worth it for us.
Our approach is also very pragmatic. We focus on delivering value not just selling development hours, in fact, it’s the least interesting part for us.
As far as pricing goes, we have different pricing models and they are quite different from what others are doing. We define our margins cooperatively with the client, which is quite different from what others do. Because given the fact that we’ll have a long-term relationship, we’re partners so we define the margins together based and how long term the project is, also how the payment will be - pre-paid or post-paid.
We also offer full transparency with the project tracking. We have a dashboard where our client can see where the money is spent, which tools we’re spending money on, and which features are being developed. Generally, this kind of tracking ability is not even present in a client’s internal teams
For which potential clients Jungsoft could be a good solution?
We’ve had clients from both sides of the spectrum. From startups to Fortune 500 companies.
Early-stage startups and scale-up startups tend to have a developer in the role of CTO instead of a full-time CTO. So we take over the whole development team and make sure the company is going in the right direction.
Some startups, typically those where one of the co-founders is the CTO, don’t need to hire us full-time, so we work part-time with them.
For mid-sized companies, we can offer consulting services because it’s not only me working as CTO we have other team members, and each person has a different area of expertise.
For bigger companies, we work on a specific project inside that company so our focus is on that one specific product instead of the whole company. And that’s interesting for the client because it’s faster to deliver a project externally because of bureaucracy and internal conflicts. And We’re able to do that by taking all over the project, thanks to our squad of developers.
Sometimes, big companies have an internal CTO that might need help on some aspects of a given project, so we could help him with this as well.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
We’ve been in Jungsoft for 2 years, and I’ve been in the industry for 10 years, and the one thing that I’ve noticed is that people want to skip the planning phase where all the assessing, designing, and testing happens, and this might be the biggest mistake people make.
So my advice would be to spend the necessary amount of time and money in that initial phase because it’s the foundation for everything you’ll do later on.
I’d also say that you should be very careful about technical debt, which is the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing shortcuts and easy solutions instead of planning and building a solid structure.