In Cybersecurity and Information Assurance to prepare for the business responsibilities that come with the role. While a bachelor’s in IT covers the basics (such as math, software design, and programming basics). Most CTOs have a master’s degree, so if you want to prepare for this position, it’s best to obtain as much education as possible. A chief technology officer (CTO) is an executive-level position that oversees all of the technology that an organization uses.
There is a gulf in understanding that CTOs must learn to speak multiple “languages”—business, sales, people management and even marketing. To get the business of business done, the CTO must be the consummate operator, managing expectations and requirements from multiple parties. The inborn talent of the CTO is their in-depth understanding of infrastructure and emerging technologies. On the surface, being a CTO in an era where technology is more advanced and crucial to business seems to make sense as a career move.
What makes a great Chief Technology Officer?
Now, her firm sees many types of CTOs, with some running big software development teams that manage a company’s digital platforms. CTOs may also handle customer experience, support, engagement and front-end content delivery. CTOs are more concerned with developing new technology to improve revenue and sales opportunities and extending the company brand than day-to-day operations. These executives, in many cases working in collaboration with CIOs, are oftentimes at the forefront of innovative technology products and services. And they can help steer their organizations toward greater efficiencies and better performance by adopting these tools.
- There is a gulf in understanding that CTOs must learn to speak multiple “languages”—business, sales, people management and even marketing.
- Zangardi expressed his excitement for Teschke to join the Redhorse leadership team and highlighted the “critical role” he will play in conducting the company’s technology roadmap and supervising the technical team.
- A CIO (Chief Information Officer) oversees a company’s IT operations, aiming to enhance internal efficiency.
- Technology is the improvement of our methods and solutions to problems.
- Woulfe says the Systecon North America team has been zeroing in on understanding and fulfilling the Department of Defense’s needs when it comes to digital transformation, digital engineering and digital sustainment practices.
- The underlying role of technology in modern business means Harvey Nash is seeing more requests for COOs with a technical background.
If they don’t, they could find their strategy being outpaced and they could be forced to play catch-up. They need to also find the right balance between business and technology strategies, absorbing information and breaking it down into simple, important, trends that highlight where an organisation needs to go next. Depending on the organizational structure, CTOs can report to various other C-level executives. CTOs also need to have a number of soft skills as well, including strong communications and collaboration. These executives work with many people across various functions, and the ability to collaborate well is essential.
Should a company have both a CIO and CTO?
However, in large organizations, the CIO is generally responsible for the day-to-day operations, while the CTO’s job is involved with vendor relationships and strategic planning. Salary research specialist PayScale says popular skills for CTOs include expertise in software architecture, leadership, IT management, product development, and project management. However, CTOs are increasingly prized for their knowledge of pioneering areas of technology, such as digital products, technical vision and research and development (R&D).
Companies often hire candidates with a master’s in cybersecurity or similar IT degree to ensure they have the proper education and background for the position. When determining how to become a CTO, the first step is always education. Both CIO and CTO roles are important, especially for big companies with distinct C-suite positions.
CTO role and key responsibilities
Chief technology officers oversee technology or engineering departments and often report to the CEO. As high-ranking tech executives, they collaborate with executive leaders in various departments to ensure teams across the company are following technology strategies and standards. They collaborate closely with other C-Suite executives, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), and are no longer cto responsibilities isolated in their technical fields. Aligning technology initiatives with the larger business vision requires effective communication and multidisciplinary leadership. How successfully your organization can maintain a competitive advantage in a world where technological discoveries and development are accelerating will depend on the caliber of your technology resources. Usually, at the center of “technology leadership” is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
A CIO (Chief Information Officer) oversees a company’s IT operations, aiming to enhance internal efficiency. In contrast, a CTO (Chief Technology Officer) focuses on developing technological products/services to meet customer needs, driving external innovation and product design. An advanced degree in business can provide a competitive edge when pursuing the CTO position. Besides strong technical skills and deep industry knowledge, a CTO must demonstrate the ability to bridge the technical and business worlds.
Gain On-the-Job Experience
While some CTOs manage help desk professionals and make decisions about the tech tools companies use, many businesses are opting to let a chief information officer (CIO) handle these things. The CIO focuses distinctly on IT and ensures those issues are in line with company goals. In midsize to large companies with higher executive budgets, the C-level may include a CIO and a CTO. Both positions focus on the engineering, implementation, development and management of technology.
The CTO is a fairly solitary role and as we have discussed a CTO has to wear many hats. Therefore, it is important to create an Office of the CTO (OCTO) so they can delegate some of their strategic thinking to enable greater bandwidth. Gone are the days when a new CTO spends the first six months getting to know the business. They now need to hit the ground running and deliver value quickly in a fast-moving business environment. The CTO has some of the most diverse and wide-ranging success KPIs of any C-Suite role. The size, type, and maturity of a company can have a huge influence on the role of the CTO.
What is a CIO?
Management and leadership roles are the best steppingstones to obtaining the CTO role in an organization. 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. This kind of CTO will help set up the corporate strategy and fuel technological infrastructure, will analyze target markets, and create business models. Additionally, the CTO will have a close relationship with the CEO and other members of the company’s senior management. This type of CTO may envision how technology will be used within the company while setting the technical strategy for the company.
Today, networking is a key factor in obtaining a better position in most industries. Meeting new professionals and maintaining professional relationships with industry leaders can influence your career. As long as you have the education and experience under your belt, nurturing professional relationships can lead you to achieve the position you have always wanted.
CIO vs. CTO: A head-to-head comparison
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. In this article, you will learn about Chief Technology Officer (CTO) roles and responsibilities, what a CTO does and how to become a CTO. Find out how different WGU is about personalizing and supporting your education. Like our CTO said, developing business acumen sooner rather than later can give you a major leg up in your career.