What is a Chief Technical Officer CTO? What is the Role and Responsibilities of a CTO?

Develop a strategy to oversee the use of new technology in the organization. CTOs play an important role in the C-suite along with other types of executives. Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer are two important executive roles in an organization. IT Infrastructure may or may not be a part of CTO role, depending on the company. Large corporations often has a CIO who is responsible for IT infrastructure but CTO often is the part of the team.

chief technology officer roles

They will need to take charge and lead research and development, innovation labs, and their team of product engineers. This role type is commonly found in organisations where technology underpins the business model and where technology must be highly responsive to the business. It relies on a deep understanding of technology and technology trends, combined with insight into how competitors are leveraging these technologies to innovate.

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Chief Technology Officer

However, they may report directly to a company’s CEO, especially if there is no CIO position. Timothy Li is a consultant, accountant, and finance manager with an MBA from USC and over 15 years of corporate finance experience. Timothy has helped provide CEOs and CFOs with deep-dive analytics, providing beautiful stories behind the numbers, graphs, and financial models. —and found that the more of these essentials a company has mastered, the better its performance . Average annual compensation for these two roles varies depending on the source.

  • A CTO should have the business knowledge necessary to align technology-related decisions with the organization’s goals.
  • In our experience, as the role was originally conceived, the CTO provided a single “buck stops here” point of view on the technology trends, policies, and procedures critical to developing or enhancing a company’s products and services.
  • Helpful courses exist that can help you become a better leader, however.
  • That someone should be the CTO (see sidebar, “The evolving definition of the CTO).
  • Again this role will often report directly to the CIO, which frees the CIO up to be more of a business strategist.

When an organization has both a CIO and CTO, the CTO usually has more technical know-how and expertise, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics . The CTO typically reports directly to the CIO and is responsible for designing and recommending the appropriate technology solutions to support the CIO’s policies and directives, the bureau says. CTOs also work with various departments to implement the organization’s technology plans.

The role of a CTO requires constant research for high-tech solutions to improve the company’s product/services. They manage engineers and developers who design the products/services and evaluate the appeal and functionality of the final product/service versions. The chief technology officer’s position is supposed to ensure that all technical aspects of the product meet or exceed customer expectations in terms of quality, performance, efficiency, dependability, and lifespan. The goal is for all of the company’s technological and commercial plans to be in sync with one another. In the present times, when technology is growing, CTO holds a prominent position in the company and has some primary responsibilities to deal with.

The CIO hired a CTO who took responsibility for transforming the company’s enterprise architecture and infrastructure operations, which were essential “capability investments” to bring to life the business strategy. Chief technology officers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in a computer science or technical field, although an advanced degree is an advantage. They should have in-depth expertise in planning and leading technical programs, and supervising technical teams. These roles require strong project management capabilities and excellent leadership skills. As opposed to other executive roles, this one suggests active participation in technical decision-making and the management of the business’s technological aspects and production resources. The CTO position requires a technical expert who can work through complex engineering issues on their own.

What is the average salary for a CTO?

For example, while both roles require making essential contributions to strategy development and execution, the CIO is more of a systems thinker, looking across the enterprise for technology opportunities that will impact broader business processes. The CTO is more focused on using technology to innovate, evolve and enhance customer experience. Sharma sees the CTO job as also very tech-focused — but in a different way from the CIO’s. Because of their mandate to use tech to improve customer services and products, CTOs think about how to solve customers’ problems and about assembling the resources needed to do that. Savvy about business, they think about building core technology platforms that provide a competitive advantage.

chief technology officer roles

To be more specific, they are a cloud service designed for traditional enterprise systems anchored in the data center. They make it possible to migrate, natively run, and modernize these systems in the cloud, helping businesses achieve their cloud strategies. Once in the cloud, their customers accelerate application innovation, simplify management, and unlock new cloud-based HA and DR opportunities for applications where that was previously impossible. Besides making critical decisions alongside other company leaders, a CTO must develop policies regarding technology so that organizations run smoothly. A well-versed CTO is knowledgeable in roadmapping & development, innovation, leadership, strategic planning, AI, machine learning, cloud, DevOps, and budgeting, amongst other skills and technologies. Originally a chief information officer previously performed dual roles as CIO and chief technology officer .

What is a CTO?

Sharma said that CIOs are typically more business-focused than CTOs and act as the financial watchdogs of the IT organization. They figure out how to do more with less and are challenged to work within the business constraints of the company. They are typically concerned with IT budgets, productivity, business roadmaps and IT objectives. While some companies choose CIOs from the business ranks, this trend has faded in recent years.

chief technology officer roles

A Chief Information Officer is responsible for entire IT department of the company and CTO focuses on R&D, development, and adoption of technology. Most of the software development, technology choice and adoption, and building new products usually falls under a CTO. CIO and CTO are both chief technology officer roles and responsibilities executive-level roles in organizations, however, they operate in different functions, with other daily responsibilities and goals. The chief technology officer is the senior executive who focuses on the technological requirements, opportunities, and challenges within an organization.

Requirements and skills

After several years, they typically enter a management or leadership role, where they get the necessary leadership skills. Since CTOs need knowledge of every department role, experience in several different technology positions is valuable. In this article, we do not take a position on how these two roles should be distinguished from each other.

chief technology officer roles

Research, outline and recommend the most effective content management systems. A leader who can lead a team of people and make them believe in his or her vision. A CTO should be a people person when needed and also be a ruthless executioner when it comes to executing his or her plans. As any technologist, a CTO should be able to come up with solutions that are not only efficient but also be able to met time and cost criteria. Some companies have a Chief Innovation Officer who works direct for or with CTO and CIO. The following diagram represents the executives in a large corporation, where a CTO reports to a CIO.

What skills and backgrounds do Chief Technology Officers have?

Aspects such as core operations systems, process automation, data, end-user computing. The CIO ensures the internal users get the best technology to run the business. They will own the procurement of both technologies and technology services and manage large-vendor relationships. They often lead efforts to plan and manage a data centre consolidation, cut IT costs, implement platforming solutions, or support business process optimisation.

The CTO needs to communicate technical goals to non-technical employees and make them enthusiastic about the possibilities it offers. Depending on company structure and hierarchy, there may also be positions such as R&D manager, director of R&D and vice president of engineering whom the CTO interacts with or oversees. Information management technology is the distribution, organization, and control of the technology and data of a business.

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CTOs need to evangelise technology in order to inspire people inside and outside the company and drive change where necessary. They will have to design a pragmatic operating model, working out how to structure their teams for maximum effectiveness, knowing what to outsource and what to insource in to get the best return on their technology investment. In simple terms, the Chief Technology Officer is the executive responsible for managing and driving value from technology within an organisation. As a result, CEOs and boards often don’t understand or confuse the CTO’s role when they are looking to hire one. Yet, given that a lot of the business’s competitive advantage rests on whoever is hired, they should know what to expect from CTO’s. Organizations must think innovatively to compete in a highly skilled market.

Clarifying the CTO’s role

The role of a CSO in comparison to a CTO would be to protect the network from being penetrated which could lead to privacy and legal issues for the company. All executive positions relating to technology must collaborate within companies to have the best working infrastructure and will report to the CEO. We are looking for a Chief Technology Officer to provide sound technical leadership in all aspects of our business. You will communicate with employees, stakeholders and customers to ensure our company’s technologies are used appropriately. Knowing everything about technology will not help very much if you cannot communicate effectively when talking to stakeholders. Conversely, being a great public speaker will not save you if you need to explain heavy tech knowledge to a team of IT specialists.

With this experience, they may enter a leadership role, executive role or some other executive position where they can gain leadership experience. In addition to fixing IT-related issues, the CTO is responsible for developing, implementing, managing and evaluating the company’s technology resources. The goal of a CTO is to examine short- and long-term needs while using capital to make investments that aid the organization in reaching its goals. A CTO creates a strategy and planning to execute with a vision and provides business leadership an efficient solution and get the approval of budget to hire resources. Strategy planning is one of the biggest job of a CTO that includes creating new products, adopting new technologies, their costs and resources, and putting this all together with a team and even hiring a team. R&D teams are involved in learning new technologies, build POCs, and try to build solutions that can help a business to be more productive and effective.

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Mercury was built on innovation when George Joseph – who founded Mercury more than 60 years ago – transformed the industry with the introduction of segmented pricing for different risk groups. With that entrepreneurial spirit serving as the foundation for the company, Mercury is poised to take a giant step into the digital future with the appointment of Mr. Pang as the company’s CTO. Organizations looking to hire a CTO should seek someone who is ambitious and bold, “someone who can shake the status quo, stay resilient, and turn technology into something useful for the organization,” Aksakal says.

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