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  • Writer's pictureHenry Beasley

Tech Talk, No Walk: The Perils of Software Companies Ignoring CTOs and UX



We can't all be Apple, but we should understand why Apple compounded success so quickly and why it has sustained value. They mastered Henry Ford's vision of giving a user something they didn't ask for. But they didn't ignore the user. Far from it, they became the user and invested everything into the user.


Can you still walk into a room full of people who are building a digital product and find no research or design resource? Not only can you find teams of people, you can find whole functions and even whole corporations with no strategic technology mandate and no one accountable to deliver product value to the business.


Talk about wasting everyones time, even worse - why not take your shareholders down with you? I guess it's not your money so what have you got to lose? The days are over for a corporation who can't keep up and who's products don't meet the needs of the average user in 2023. We are in an age where denial is temporary and will only be met with failure, this goes for both business and personal health. If a corporation isn't capable of securing investment to transform it's products you can guarantee a start up will, and why is that - a mixture of culture, attitude and outlook.


Measuring value creation from technology will become clearer as the digital landscape matures, give it another few years before a open source web tool can evaluate and calculate the value of a competitors products. This is why it should be mandatory for a tech corporation to employ a CIO or CTO to sit at the board, accountable for the value derived from it's product portfolio. Business leaders need to understand the value of this role, without it you are heading in one direction and it's not a positive one.


The problem is solvable for failing product corporations but you need to re-engineer your attitude and outlook to create a new culture, it's okay to be arrogant but be arrogant about growth and underpin it with belief in your products being the best digital products not only for their application but for a typical product UX in 2023. You need to make big decisions quickly to invest in the right roles that can deliver this, don't waste time finding someone who talks about technology, find someone who can show you the value and can support it with metrics. Don't waste time, get comfortable not knowing what you are looking for and employ an expert as a broker who knows where to find the right people.


I've added 2 practical plans to help you close the gap;

(1) How to hire a CTO & what they need to do


A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is an executive who oversees the technology strategy of a company and ensures that it aligns with the overall business goals. If you are a business leader who wants to employ a CTO to turn around your product business, here is a process to follow.


To hire a CTO to lead your technology strategy and team, you need to conduct a thorough analysis of your current technology strategy and team, define the role and responsibilities of the CTO, determine the necessary skill set for the CTO, conduct a search for potential candidates, screen and interview candidates, check references and conduct a background check, and develop key performance indicators (KPIs) for the CTO.


To begin the process, consider engaging an external consultant with expertise in technology strategy to conduct an assessment and provide recommendations for improvement. The consultant can review your current technology strategy and assess its alignment with business objectives, identify the current strengths and weaknesses of your technology team, and determine whether you need to hire a CTO.


Once you've decided to hire a CTO, you need to define the specific responsibilities and KPIs that the CTO will be responsible for, and develop a job description that clearly outlines the required skills, expertise, and experience. You should also consider whether the CTO will be responsible for product development, technology operations, or both.


Next, you need to determine the necessary skill set for the CTO, such as software development, cloud computing, and data analytics, as well as the level of business acumen the CTO will need to have in order to align the technology strategy with business objectives. Cultural fit with your organization is also important to consider.


To find potential candidates, leverage your network and industry connections, post the job on relevant job boards and social media platforms, and consider using a search firm or recruitment agency to assist in the hiring process. Once you have a list of candidates, screen and interview them to assess their skills, experience, and cultural fit.


Finally, you need to develop KPIs for the CTO that align with the business objectives and the CTO's specific responsibilities. Metrics could include product development cycle time, customer satisfaction, system uptime, and technology ROI. Consider engaging an external consultant with expertise in CTO hiring to provide advice on the search process, candidate assessment, and compensation negotiation.


By following this process and engaging external expertise where necessary, you can find and onboard a CTO with the skills and experience necessary to lead your technology strategy and team to success.


(2) How to employ user experience design in your projects or product development.

Incorporating user experience (UX) into every project is essential in today's world. With an ever-increasing number of products and services available to users, it's important to provide a positive and memorable experience to stand out from the competition. In this blog, we'll discuss how to incorporate user experience into every project.


  1. Conduct user research: The first step in incorporating UX into every project is to conduct user research. This involves gathering data about the needs and preferences of your target audience. Conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups to learn about their pain points and what they would like to see in your product or service.

  2. Define user personas: Once you have collected user data, you can define user personas. User personas are fictional characters that represent the characteristics of your target audience. They help you understand your users' needs, behaviors, and preferences, and ensure that your product or service is designed to meet those needs.

  3. Create a user journey map: A user journey map is a visual representation of a user's experience with your product or service. It shows how the user interacts with your product or service at each touchpoint, from initial awareness to post-purchase. This map can help you identify pain points and opportunities to improve the user experience.

  4. Use a design thinking approach: Design thinking is a problem-solving approach that focuses on understanding the user's needs and designing solutions to meet those needs. It involves a five-step process: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. By following this approach, you can ensure that your product or service is designed with the user in mind.

  5. Involve users in the design process: Involve users in the design process by conducting usability tests and gathering feedback. This will help you identify any issues and make improvements before launching your product or service. You can also use user testing to validate design decisions and ensure that your product or service is intuitive and easy to use.

  6. Continuously iterate and improve: User experience is not a one-time thing. It's an ongoing process that requires continuous iteration and improvement. Gather feedback, analyse data, and make changes to improve the user experience. This will ensure that your product or service remains relevant and useful to your users.


In conclusion, incorporating user experience into every project is essential for creating a positive and memorable experience for your users. By conducting user research, defining user personas, creating a user journey map, using a design thinking approach, involving users in the design process, and continuously iterating and improving, you can ensure that your product or service is designed with the user in mind.

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