CTO challenges – Interview notes

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We were lucky enough to interview the CTO of a B2B SaaS company we work with. We touched on a few sensitive subjects, and the company testifying agreed to share the content of our conversation but insisted on remaining anonymous … 🤫

Introduction

💬 Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little more about your role within the company?

Hello, thank you for having me, I’m delighted to share my experience!

As CTO, my role is very diversified, contrary to what you might expect from such a technically-focused position. I’m in charge of overseeing the technical side of our platform, of course. But also to manage our team, to evangelize tech to other COMEX members, to keep an eye on things, and eventually to surround myself with quality service providers too.

CTO challenges

💬 What are the main challenges you face as a CTO in a VSE/SME?

I’d say one of the main challenges is to maintain a high level of technical competence while being able to communicate effectively with non-technical people. It’s essential to be able to present my team’s issues to management committees, so that the voice of tech is heard in strategic decisions. Especially when it’s the heart of the product!

A “rich man’s” problem, I’d say, is anticipating scalability issues. In a growing company, it’s essential to plan a solid architecture that can evolve with the company’s needs, and effective management of Cloud (or non-cloud!) resources.

Overall, as CTO, I have to make sure that our application is always accessible to our customers. And that we maintain a high level of security to protect sensitive data, of course!

Knowing how to surround yourself as CTO

💬 You said you sometimes had to surround yourself with service providers, why is that necessary? Why not recruit?

Being responsible for the company’s technical direction means making complex strategic decisions. It’s not always easy to find people within the company who share the same expertise and in-depth understanding of these issues.

What’s more, the responsibilities of a CTO are very broad, covering a wide range of areas. We talked about architecture, DevOps, security … It’s virtually impossible for a single person to have in-depth expertise in all these areas.

In my team, there are people who are very expert in their field, but who don’t have this strategic perspective, and whose priorities are often focused on the availability of our product and the roadmap.

I realized that it was essential to surround myself with partners specialized in specific subjects.

A little research and I discovered Log’in Line, to whom I initially entrusted the management of our clusters. Then, little by little, I learned to delegate certain technical aspects for which recruitment was not appropriate.

In the end, I realized that collaborating with outside firms allowed me to offload certain tasks that were worrying my teams. Today, internally, we’re really focused on product evolution. I call on partners to take charge of supervising our infra, or when I need support to meet technical challenges.

💬 How has Log’in Line helped you in your role as CTO and in meeting these challenges?

Log’in Line has been an invaluable partner along the way. They have helped our team to increase their skills and better anticipate the impact of product developments. We have put in place more efficient processes to manage run and delivery.

At full scale, they have enabled us to maintain our performance despite the growing workload associated with our expansion.

What had the biggest impact on me was the role Log’in Line played in the strategic decision-making process. Their understanding of our technical issues and their ability to present expert arguments helped to make tech’s voice heard. The long-term strategy was co-constructed with their support and involving all stakeholders.

Above all, I’ve been able to free up more and more time! I’ve been able to focus on developing my team, and I’ve set myself half a day a week of standby. 🙌

CMO & Co-fondateur @ Log'in Line

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