Got a new Business Idea?

Where does a business go when it has a new idea that it wants to realise.  This could be outside its current expertise.  Or it could be that the existing team is simply not skilled in this new domain.   Or it could be that the rate of change in the world of technology means a fear of missing out needs to be addressed.   So….

Do you have these questions at all?

I have got a great idea to disrupt my industry.  But I just need to find the right partner digital to make it happen.  Who can I use?
Who do I go to get an honest answer on new tech trends? Which ones are relevant to my business?  What comes first?
I have a great idea but just do not know who to go to get this idea turned into something real.  What ingredients do I need and how much will that cost me?
I need a trusted advisor to pick my way through fog of digital noise I constantly hear.  Who can help me?

If your business is asking any of these questions, an answer is to ask KnowNow Information to help you.   KnowNow is really well-placed to be your trusted advisor.  With a track record of successfully designing, developing, and deploying new digital services.  Both for ourselves and our customers.

How to realise your ideas via the KnowNow way

We offer budding entrepreneurs or experienced hands access to our on-demand CTO-as-a-Service (or CTOaaS) as a way of tapping our expertise on an affordable ad-hoc basis.

This approach frees up resources as the business/idea owner will now have a validated IT solution design along with a prescribed set of instructions to bring that design to life (aka ‘The Build Plan’).   The answers KnowNow provides reduce risk and inform the owner of the likely investment required.

Using KnowNow to design and then manage your new idea into reality will mean less stress, a greater likelihood of meeting budgetary expectations, and confidence that the solution will handle an unknown future.

Introducing the CTO-as-a-Service from KnowNow

Our approach is used by our customers today to create new innovations.   It is used by a mixture of different organisations.  From a successful business wanting to minimise pain but maximise the benefit of a pending change in their existing IT landscape.   Or it is used by early start-ups with an MVP wanting to scale up without breaking the bank.   Plus, it is used by KnowNow itself to bring our own digital services to market.

The CTO-as-a-service offering is a mix of pragmatism, with a constant eye on quality.  Technology agnostic, yet focused on business value.   The reason our approach works is we focus on scope and requirements.  Then challenge whether that design element has to be in that release.

The approach is broken down into four distinct phases which are described in more detail below.   These stages are:

  1. Getting your idea from paper to a plan
  2. Creating the minimum viable product (MVP)
  3. MVP to Production Ready
  4. Handling Impending Change

Solving a skills gap

Another reason for tapping KnowNow is to fill a skills gap.   Why would your business employ a strategist and forward thinker full-time?  Use KnowNow to be your digital visionary instead.  But as we know your business inside out, it will be great advice.  It will resonate and as we have been on the same journey a healthy dose of empathy is applied as well.

This means that innovators, disruptors, and entrepreneurs by using KnowNow’s skills and knowledge, turn their brilliant ideas into that fantastic new digital service.   In this case, use stages one through three to introduce the idea to the market with less risk and more confidence.  

Or, the success has been booked, the business is growing yet change is inevitable.  So what better way to understand the impact on their existing digital service by this impending forced change?     The new CTO-as-a-service will fill this knowledge gap.  Use stage four to plan the change without crippling the existing setup.  

The KnowNow approach

KnowNow never works in isolation.  Always working in conjunction with other professional service suppliers  (e.g. legal, accounting, and marketing teams).  Always keeping the customer’s desired outcome as the objective.    

The KnowNow approach comes in four distinct stages.   Each stage moves the business idea further along a roadmap.   This approach takes a business from the first concept of an idea through to ensuring the latest customer release is fit for purpose.   But not all ideas are new and some ideas will be more mature than others.  So the approach is pragmatic in that each stage is standalone.  

Each stage is based on a workshop, a write-up, and some follow-up.  An organisation can consume the whole process sequentially and we would be happy to quote on a retainer model as well as engage on an ad-hoc as-needed basis.

Case Study

Check out the interview with Sally Thompson from Launch International.   Sally has been through the KnowNow approach and has come out with a successful new AI Find Engine.

The Phases in the CTO-as-a-Service Engagement

The intention is that at the end of each workshop, the output is self-contained and good for that phase of activity.   At no point is the assumption that the design will be delivered by KnowNow.  Great if it is, but we can work with your chosen development partner to realise your design.  Or, perhaps the answer was not the one expected.  This means the idea requires more investment or further customer validation before a commitment is made.   Whatever is best for a sustainable outcome is our guiding principle.   

“A house is not built without an architects blueprint.  An IT solution requires the same level of discipline.   KnowNow provide that blueprint.  This gives the investor confidence that what is going to be built will be a success”

Phases Explained

So as to give an indication of the format for the different stages, such as the expected workshop output in that stage;  including the expected tasks, deliverables, and the interplay expected with other professional services, see the descriptions below. 

Stage one:  Getting your idea from paper into a viable build plan…


What are the nuts and bolts required and when do you need them?

Format: Half-day workshop via a 1-2-1 with client stakeholders/innovators

Output:   Whiteboard that includes:  

  1. Key building blocks, tasks, and skills identified.
  2. Timeline plotted
  3. The order of build outlined
  4. Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) costings estimated


Whiteboard pictures can be transcribed to a presentation or document (this could be used for securing investment/grants)

Interplay with others:


  • Employment contracts (Legal)


  • Access to grants, loans, investor
  • Business plan development


  • Business plan
  • Business model canvas

Stage Two: Creating the Minimum Viable Product (or a pilot).


Creates a low-cost widget with a high impact.   Allows the business to gauge customer feedback and make an informed decision to invest further.

Format: Hands-on session with innovator.  

Take the output from part one and create a more detailed build plan.   End result will be a working MVP that can be used by innovators to test the market.

Output:  is a detailed build plan that can be used to commission the MVP/Pilot

The plan includes details of what components are required. As well as the integration of each component. interaction and interface with others in the end-to-end solution.


1) Write a narrative of the work breakdown structure via document.

2) Apply for a grant.

Interplay with Others:


  • Contracts
  • Intellectual property advice


  • Grant applications
  • R&D tax credits
  • SEIS advice


  • Business model canvas
  • Route to market

Stage Three: MVP to production ready.


Taking the MVP to be ready for the world.  Answers these questions: What does it look like, what do you need and when do you need it?

Format: A half-day session that will generate a detailed build plan.  


  1. lessons learned from early client feedback;
  2. applying business case-driven non-functional requirements.
  3. Industry best practice standards (security, resilience, performance, application management)

Output:  New build plan for each component that will be made production-ready for the next release.  Includes a ROM cost for this upgrade.

The build plan and task work breakdown structure are captured in a spreadsheet.


  • Document in a narrative form the work required.
  • Create a component architecture
  • Transaction flows documented

Interplay with Others:


  • Contracts
  • IP
  • Employment


  • Grant applications
  • R&D tax credits
  • SEIS advice


  • Purchase and provision of technical resources to scale up


  • Route to Market

Stage Four:  How to Handle Impending Change


Review evidence of the current gap to fix.   Requirements of potential fixes taken into consideration.

Format: A full-day workshop.  Capture the ‘day-in-the-life’ of the existing app.

Output: Create an impact assessment matrix of options to fix with a scorecard.  Create a suggested implementation plan to deliver new change.

Interplay with Others:


  • Contracts
  • Employment


  • Funding


  • Purchase and provision of new technical resources


  • Customer engagement

Next Steps

To start the conversation and discuss which stage your business could take advantage of, please get in touch with KnowNow via our website or send an email to  or call 023 92 160 640

CTO-as-a-Service is provided by KnowNow Information Ltd. Registered as a company in England and Wales, number 8781104.  Registered Office: Innovation Space, Halpern House, 1-2 Hampshire Terrace, Portsmouth, PO1 2QF.