Fractional CTO Services for Startups

With 20 years of industry-agnostic expertise, we’re here to help you build scalable, cost-efficient, and secure infrastructure that propels your business forward.

What is a fractional CTO?

Before you can understand what a fractional CTO (Chief Technology Officer) is, you have to understand the role of a CTO in general. The exact scope of the CTO’s role may vary depending on the size, industry, and specific needs of the organization, but generally, the CTO is tasked with aligning technology initiatives with business goals, ensuring that technology investments are strategic and effective and driving technological innovation to maintain a competitive advantage.

A fractional CTO, then, fulfills these duties on a part-time or project basis, providing critical leadership at a lower price point and on a more flexible basis. This is a particularly popular choice for startups and early-stage businesses.

What our clients are saying

“Thanks to Stern Devops Group, we have stability and happy customers.”

“We were able to conduct a full audit of our technical stack, and for the first time in a long time, felt like we had the truth about where things stood, where we were at risk, and options to proceed for the near-term and long-term. Our trust has never eroded and has only grown stronger with time.”

– Mike Murphy, CTO, ProctorFree

How startups benefit from fractional CTO services

While fractional CTO services may be beneficial to companies of any size, startups, in particular, tend to benefit from this type of consulting.

Cost efficiency

Hiring a fractional CTO allows startups to access experienced technology leadership without the expense of hiring a full-time executive. Fractional CTOs typically work on a part-time or project basis, which can be more cost-effective for startups, especially in the early stages when resources may be limited.


A project-based or part-time engagement offers startups more flexibility than a full-time hire, allowing them to scale the level of support based on their current needs and budget, whether it’s part-time strategic guidance or more hands-on involvement in day-to-day operations. This flexibility allows startups to adapt to changing requirements and growth trajectories more easily.

Expertise & resources

Fractional CTOs often have extensive networks within the tech industry, including partnerships and contacts at other startups. They can leverage these networks to connect startups with valuable resources and talent to help them expand their teams as they scale. And because fractional CTOs often work with more than one company at a time, they can provide fresh insights across their client base for maximum impact at a lower investment.

Our fractional CTO services

Stern DevOps Group offers all of the benefits of a fractional CTO coupled with extensive industry experience and a deep understanding of what it takes to scale a startup. While we apply insights from our decades of experience to solving problems for our clients, we also know every business is unique and requires a custom approach. That’s why we work side-by-side with your team to go beyond best practices to build custom solutions that maximize ROI and set your business up to scale.

The impact

Better cost savings

We know startups need effective yet lean solutions to scale their technology and infrastructure. From automation and cloud cost optimization to vendor management, we proactively audit, analyze, and implement cost-saving measures to support sustainable growth and free up resources for other business needs.

Time to market acceleration

As any startup knows, the time it takes to identify, vet, and implement new technologies and solutions can add up quickly, especially when they change year-to-year with fluctuating needs and demand. That’s why we prioritize strategies and solutions that will adapt and grow with your business, so you can spend more time on innovation and getting features out faster.

Reduced risk

Cybersecurity breaches can lead to financial loss, legal liabilities, damage to reputation, and loss of customer trust, making network and data security paramount to any startup’s long-term success. We optimize and design secure solutions your business and your customers can rely on, so you can focus on the quality of your product instead of the security of your systems.

Case study: From managing infrastructure to building new features.

Ollie is on a mission to improve the lives of pets everywhere through better nutrition. But when we first met them, developer time was spent manually deploying to servers and pushing code, rather than on product innovation. We helped launch a fully automated CI/CD pipeline to free up the time for business-driving initiatives rather than manual processes.

Fractional CTO FAQs

Do I need a fractional CTO?
Do you find yourself without a tech strategy roadmap? Is your development team spending more time “checking boxes” or putting out fires than innovating and releasing new features? Are your technology costs a drain on your business’s resources? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you would likely benefit from startup fractional CTO services. Another common sign? You’re experiencing or are anticipating significant growth, and you need to make sure your systems can handle the increased demand.
How much do fractional CTO services cost?
The cost of fractional CTO services depends on the scope of the relationship, but it is typically less expensive than hiring a full-time CTO, particularly when factoring in the cost of employee benefits.
How long do startups typically retain a fractional CTO?
The length of time for which a fractional CTO is retained by a business depends on a variety of factors, including the stage of the startup and the pace of growth. At Stern Devops Group, our goal is to make ourselves obsolete by helping your business grow to the point that you hire a full-time individual or team to take the reigns.