While management consultants, marketing agencies and executive staffing have been around for decades, the notion of “hiring” just the amount of executive talent you need is something relatively new. It wasn’t until 1993 that John and Doug Tatum founded the firm that became synonymous with fractional CFOs. Their part-time executives join companies that can’t justify a full-time chief financial officer. Over time, Tatum grew to offer CIOs, COOs, and other “Os”. Jim McBride, senior managing member of Blue Sage Capital here in Austin, TX, once said to me, “if one of our companies needs a CFO, I know I can pick up the phone, call Tatum, and it’s done.”
Clearly, our firm Chief Outsiders is fashioned after this model. We see a growing demand for part-time or interim chief marketing officers. We’re even running ads now that say, “Why Hire a CMO?…When You Can Rent One, Fast.”
So what’s all this about? Is this new model for executive staffing here to stay? We certainly think so. In some ways, it was inevitable. It’s even similar to shifts in other markets, including how people access technology services.
Businesses of all sizes are embracing technology applications delivered as Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS. This model of having applications and data live safely in “the cloud” provides a number of benefits:
Recently Sara Spivey, CMO of Convio – a leading SaaS provider of CRM for non-profit organizations – commented that the Chief Outsiders model for securing top marketing executives for mid-market CEOs is really a PaaS, or People-as-a-Service. I love it. Then I thought we could be more specific, so perhaps we’re in the EaaS business, or Executives-as-a-Service. And hey, it looks like there are parallels in SaaS and EaaS value propositions too:
As agile and savvy CEOs are looking for ways to save money while they address strategic growth opportunities in our continuing tough economy, we’re finding more and more interest in the EaaS model. Its time has come, and businesses everywhere are finding the advantages to be quite compelling.
- Pete Hayes, Principal & CMO 512-923-6512 firstname.lastname@example.org