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Chief technology officer Wikipedia

CTOs are responsible for translating the wishes, visions, and ideas of the company’s upper management into the realm of technology. In other words, a CTO is a go-to guy for the other leaders when they have technical issues like “how can we accomplish this? Depending on the company’s industry, size, and structure, the duties of the CTO might look quite different from one organization to the next (service or product). A CTO is an executive officer supervising the organization’s scientific and technological operations but does not take part in the creation of individual tasks or projects. Whether overseeing infrastructure or developing IT strategy for business enablement, CTOs play a critical role in the success of today’s tech-driven organizations. When you’ve finalized the CTO job description and are ready to officially launch your search for a CTO, find great candidates by posting the job for free on Monster.

responsibilities of cto

A clear objective strengthens the customer’s confidence in the company’s leadership and prospects. It’s also critical for CTOs to present themselves as authorities to the market by proactively interacting and providing relevant advice. However, CTOs should also know when to say “I don’t know” and prevent misinforming the media. CTOs also partner with the sales team to close customer accounts effectively.

CTO as COO of IT

As product builders, they necessarily must take an iterative approach and tend to be comfortable with failure. They use tactics like rapid prototyping and A/B testing to understand the relationship between action and response. By comparison, the CTO role in a huge listed company is more about evangelism, choosing the right responsibilities of cto technology trends, and being the face of technology for the customers. In large organisations it’s common for the CTO to have little experience in, and new to working in a technical position. The most important role a CTO has is to use technology to generate value for a company and help it achieve its business objectives.

In the past, a Chief Information Officer would perform both CIO and CTO roles. As technologies advanced, a growing need to split the job into two positions emerged. «Over the years, the CIO role has been elevated from an IT infrastructure-based role to something much more strategic and more complex,» said Carroll, who leads Axiom’s data science center of excellence. «Meanwhile, the scope of technology-based initiatives has grown so significantly in the last 10 years that it has necessitated the creation of two roles at many companies.»

What are the responsibilities of a CTO?

As businesses look for efficiencies, the role of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and other process digitization has become a core and influential part of business IT. Managing business IT systems such as ERP, finance, and CRM has always been at the core of the  Chief Technology Officer’s role. For decades businesses have depended on enterprise core systems to run and operate their businesses. CTOs need to evangelise technology in order to inspire people inside and outside the company and drive change where necessary. Architecture is a core part of the CTO’s remit, and this, combined with policies and principles, form the foundation for the company’s technology governance.

responsibilities of cto

So one of the CTO tasks and responsibilities is to determine which components of the work can be created and optimized by an in-house team and which would necessitate the engagement of external resources. It is critical to recognize the necessity for outsourcing services as soon as possible. Slack, for example, had a rocky start until enlisting the help of a third party, MetaLab, to overhaul its website, app, and logos.

Hiring skills

It can be time-consuming and expensive to hire a perfect Chief Technology Officer these days. But it’s always possible to find a reliable IT consultancy firm that’d be able to perform the roles and responsibilities of a CTO. CTO of this type may have studied finance, project management, mentoring, and other non-technical skills.

  • In other words, a CTO is a go-to guy for the other leaders when they have technical issues like “how can we accomplish this?
  • They need to be the champion of the technology vision and be able to execute it well.
  • Explore the possibility to hire a dedicated R&D team that helps your company to scale product development.
  • The dizzily increasing speed of technological change makes it critical for companies to stay ahead of technology trends and be able to anticipate disruptions.
  • Average annual compensation for these two roles varies depending on the source.
  • When the life-cycle of a business is consolidating, a CTOs duties can involve overseeing several development teams while evaluating process and progress.

In general, however, the CIO and CTO are distinct roles with different responsibilities. In business, the area of product development is encouraging innovation, while building new and developing technology products for customers. The CTO’s is the public face of the technology team, so should be indicating how this technology can make their customer’s lives better. CTOs generally have at least 15 years of IT job experience under their belts. Along with technical expertise, they must demonstrate leadership, decision-making, management, and business strategy skills. Exceptional management and communication skills could encourage a chief technology officer to understand and solve technical issues.

What’s the difference between a CIO and a CTO?

They will need to take charge and lead research and development, innovation labs, and their team of product engineers. Because a CTO needs to work with the CEO on strategy, and also advise other members of the C-Suite they should have broad business expertise, especially if they want to be credible at all levels of the company. As a result, most CTOs have worked a technical or engineering role at some point in their early careers.

responsibilities of cto

They need to know when to embrace the right technology for their business and when to pass, when to tackle that legacy system and when to transform. And they have a responsibility to their technical teams to ensure that they, in turn, have the right technology and tools to support this. Of course, CTOs need to be up to date with the latest technology trends and able to identify the emerging technologies that could give their company a competitive advantage, but they also need well-developed softer skills. Gone are the days of building a hero culture where people push until they burn out.

The skills a CTO needs

The vast majority of high-profile CTOs have a computer science degree or engineering degree but that is not a prerequisite. The role of the Chief Technology Officer is complicated, and every CTO will have their own unique strengths to bring to the table. But one thing is for sure, they need to have their finger on the “technological pulse,” and remain aware of new trends and technologies that could disrupt their business. This leaves the CIO to concentrate on more internally focused technology and systems.

responsibilities of cto

To make this technical vision a reality, chief technologists should always keep abreast of evolving trends and oversee the chunking of a product’s functional elements. And even if a company can afford a full-scale team, the CTO should become the backup for any roles that cannot be filled immediately. Thus, security issues, testing, and app architecture may also end up in the hands of CTOs. During the ‘egg’ stage of a startup, the main responsibility of the executives is to prove the practical applicability of a business idea and supervise the plan of action.

Skills Needed For a CTO

Use this CTO job description framework to craft a customized tool for finding the best candidates for your organization. There are two leading types of CTO in a software company — operational management and technical leadership. Learning about new or novel technology is a part of all chief technical officer roles and responsibilities. After they’ve analyzed it, they’ll be able to decide whether or not to integrate this or that tool. Data protection became a crucial concern for any company (startups as well) that works in the technology area. Ensuring security rules compliance and managing data safely is a tough job (that’s why high-quality professionals are involved in it) but it must be done.


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