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10 CTO Tools Every Tech Leader Should Be Using

Discover some of the best CTO tools you can use right now to ease and optimize your work as an engineering leader for your company.

Is your current cloud cost tool giving you the cost intelligence you need?  Most tools are manual, clunky, and inexact. Discover how CloudZero takes a new  approach to organizing your cloud spend.Click here to learn more.

Managing technology isn't your only responsibility as a CTO. You could be the CIO, Digital Enabler, Data Officer, and Engineering Leader all rolled up into one, whether you work at a startup, scaleup, or enterprise. Your role as a C-suite executive for engineering requires you to research and implement the newest, most efficient technologies. 

As CTO, you’re responsible for:

  • Leading developers and engineers to build cost-effective software
  • Aligning features with business objectives and market demands
  • Communicating with finance and the rest of C-suite about important costs metrics like unit cost and COGS
  • Understanding and implementing emerging and legacy technologies that minimize risks and tradeoffs
  • Preparing budget forecasts, allocating funds, and reporting on how you spent your engineering budget

The list goes on and on. That's why you, of all people, need the right tools to manage your vital role in the digital world. In this article, we’ll cover some of the best CTO tools you can use right now to ease and optimize your work.

1. Cloud Cost Intelligence: CloudZero

CloudZero

CloudZero is the first code-driven approach to organizing cloud spend — allowing organizations to understand their costs without weeks and months worth of painful tagging exercise. CloudZero is able to organize cloud spend even if you don’t have perfect tagging.

Using CloudZero, you can see precisely how costs connect to business outcomes — versus simply seeing how much you spend each month on your AWS bill.

For example, you can understand and measure important unit cost metrics like cost per feature, per product, per customer, per environment, per team, and more. You can even view how much a deployment costs:

CloudZero Deployment Cost

Looking at the image above, you can tell when and by how much costs increased because of a particular deployment (the black vertical lines). You can then use this insight to benchmark future deployments or forecast and plan them to be as efficient as possible — or even understand why costs may have spiked and identify a plan to address any code issues.

Having this type of cost intelligence, allows engineers to see the cost impact of their work and make informed engineering and architecture decisions with cost in mind. CloudZero even enables CTOs to better report on costs to finance — enabling leaders to answer any questions they may have around cloud costs

Request a demo today to learn more.

Pricing: Upon request

2. CTO Dashboard: Datapine 

Datapine

Datapine provides CTOs with analytics, visuals, and reports for optimizing engineering workflows. You can zoom in and out of the CTO dashboard for different levels of analysis using deep data gathered from multiple sources. 

Additionally, it provides highly customizable interactive dashboards that you can adapt to any industry or department. A customer support dashboard looks like this, for example:

Pricing: Free trial, paid upon request  

3. Issue And Agile Project Tracking: Jira 

jira

Atlassian created JIRA for developers and their leaders. You log all projects into a primary database. With JIRA’s visual workflows, you can control each project’s status, and view progress through a customizable dashboard (including Kanban and Scrum boards). It supports multiple deployment options, live release tracking, and full agile reporting support. 

With JIRA, your engineers can start tracking issues sooner rather than later, preventing lengthy backtracking and regression problems just when your customers expect a stable release.   

GitHub Issues, Bugzilla, BaseCamp, Version One, and Axosoft are top JIRA alternatives for CTOs.

Pricing: Free for up to 10 users, Standard - $7, Premium - $14, Enterprise - Contact JIRA sales.  

4. Agile Project Management: Asana

asana

The work you do to optimize business processes ranges from procuring the right technology stack to developing a product roadmap for effective agile sprints. 

You also estimate projects’ scope and break them down into manageable Scrum sprints, facilitate ongoing customer feedback, foster collaboration between in-house and distributed teams, and more. 

With Asana, you can organize, track, and manage Agile and Scrum projects in real-time using beautiful visuals (boards, timelines, and lists). 

Asana pricing: Feature-based, per user per month, and billed annually (Free, Premium - $10.99, Business - $24.99) 

5. Engineering Collaboration And Communication: Slack

slack

Keeping your team informed and engaged requires a great deal of time. You probably have teams that work remotely — and even though distributed teams enable you to tap into global talent, they can be challenging to manage.

Slack is one of the best communication and collaboration tools available to CTOs. There is one feature that stands out in particular. Many tools integrate with and use Slack to send notifications, communicate instantly, and keep track of all communication — instead of paper and email.

CloudZero, for example, offers a cloud cost anomaly detection and alarm system that automatically sends real-time alerts to your Slack, an engineer's, or another person's channel for alerting. Then, you can launch parallel investigations in one place to obtain answers quickly. 

Unexpected cost fluctuations can cost your company thousands of dollars if  left unchecked or unspotted. To prevent expensive cost overruns, CloudZero uses  machine learning to identify cost anomalies when they happen and immediately  alert the teams who need to know via Slack.Click here to learn more.

The alert reaches the right person, who can then take action to prevent going over budget.

Pricing: Per active user, per month, paid annually (Free, Pro - $6.67, Business+ - $12.5, Enterprise Grid - Contact sales)

6. Engineering Engagement And Performance Management: CultureAmp

cultureamp

In trying to establish DevOps in your organization, don't miss out on full team buy-in. Despite this, an array of key players, from developers to QA, might not get their voices heard. 

Using CultureAmp, you can listen to your employees directly by assessing work, engagement, or skills gaps that impede progress. You can share this insight with HR so they can provide personalized development opportunities for the engineers. 

Pricing: Upon request       

7. Gauging Leadership Effectiveness: Glint

glint

CultureAmp collects feedback on employee engagement to inform employee development. Glint helps you collect ongoing feedback that will enhance your self-awareness, leadership effectiveness, and knowledge of how to best work with your team. 

Pricing: Upon request  

8. Product Design: InVision

invision

When you are the technical customer experience lead for your tech-driven organization, you want to ensure your product's design is intuitive, vibrant, and rich for your target users. 

InVision enables you to brainstorm product design in real-time and build interactive prototypes. Then, you can collect feedback across multiple devices to see if it is suitable for your target users, or if you need to iterate. InVision also integrates with CTO products such as JIRA, Asana, Slack, and Sketch during the entire product development process.

Pricing: Per user per month - billed annually (Free for individuals and small teams, Pro $7.95, Enterprise - Upon request)         

9. User Experience Monitoring: Screenster

screenster

Maybe you don't code anymore. Maybe you do. By ensuring engineering develops app features users will want to use, you can maintain their loyalty as customers. 

Screenster shows you how your app's users interact with features. This is a no-code, assertion, element ID, plugin, installation, or check process. You can automate UI testing on-premises or in the cloud with it as well.  

Screenster alternatives include BrowserStack (which owns Percy now) and Selenium (which some feel is a tool more suited to developers than CTOs).

Pricing: Featured based (Free, Basic - $25, Standard - $45, Premium - $75)   

10. Cloud Security Visibility: Lacework

lacework

The buck stops with you to secure your organization’s technology stack, customer data, and technology secrets. 

Lacework lets you gather rich data about cloud environments from millions of incoming data points. You can get an overview of your cloud environment's health. You can also have your engineers correlate the data into insightful behavior that helps pinpoint security threats. Lacework then identifies the most critical security risks, so you can prioritize fixing them.

Pricing: Upon request 

Cost-Aware Engineering Teams For The Win

You do not have to be the CTO who frets over cloud cost management daily. We’ve made it so architectural decisions you made years ago won't come back to erode your gross margins. Our cost intelligence platform monitors costs continuously. 

CloudZero helps you empower engineers to see the cost impact of their work and make cost-aware decisions, gives you the ability to measure unit cost and COGS, and helps you better monitor, predict, and report on cloud spend to finance. Request a demo today to see CloudZero in action.

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