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.
Which style best suits a given company bears some relation to the kind of industry the company is in. Enablers are more managerial, tasked with driving efficiencies in multi-business-unit organizations with a high degree of overlap in technologies and projects among the business units. We believe that a major reason for this lack of preparation is that many companies today have no one on the executive team who owns the responsibility for navigating these shifts. The chief technology officer has emerged as a key player in the C-suite, as digital transformations become high strategic priorities for so many organizations. 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.
Does the size and type of company impact the role of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO)?
Chief technology officers are executive leaders who design and oversee technology strategies, procedures and practices. They ensure an organization has the technological resources to deliver top-performing products and services and meet business goals. Originally a chief information officer (CIO) previously performed dual roles as CIO and chief technology officer (CTO).
The list of statistics to back the tech industry as a leader in the job market is evident. Further, the chief technology officer (CTO) position is a demanding role that many companies value to establish themselves as leaders in their industries. In the end, tech leaders will be prepared for the fresh challenges of their role not by being outstanding at the technical demands of their function. True, these capabilities matter, and are often at the heart of a great technology team, whether they are app development, cloud management, cybersecurity, data monetization, AI, blockchain, or some other critical tech portfolio.
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Strategy – An effective CTO can usually draw on experience and foresee a path to success through devising a digital strategy. They may be hired for two main purposes — to take care of internal business operation processes or to develop innovative products. Whether that company is newly established, or an established corporate entity is an important factor in what a CTO is responsible for. Keep in mind there’s no uniform standard for a CTOs role and responsibilities. While that’s a perfectly sound definition let’s delve a bit deeper into the world of CTO roles and responsibilities.
Erika is a researcher and editor focused on uncovering what’s new and next in tech. As part of Deloitte’s CIO program, she coleads key thought leadership initiatives, including the firm’s Global Technology Leadership Study, and provides clients with actionable insights to build better teams and better businesses. She previously spent nine years at Forbes creating data-driven content for today’s biggest brands. It seems the CTO title first gained popularity in the late 1990s, around the time the internet was exploding and the world began to grasp how technology was about to fundamentally alter our existence. Many companies designated a CTO to serve as the technology czar inside IT, charged with ensuring the organization was taking advantage of the latest developments in infrastructure, data centers and network technologies. The CTO often reported to the chief information officer (CIO), which created confusion in IT circles about who did what, exactly.
These models should also evolve over time to adapt to new ways of working and business performance results. But with this ever-growing list of mandates and expectations comes opportunity. The five competencies detailed above and personified by a diverse team of leaders should be integrated and coordinated. When successful, this approach could create an engine for value—with the possibility of creating multiple career pathways for talented leaders as well as a long-term legacy. With more than 20 years of cross-sector operating, entrepreneurial, and consulting experience, Lou DiLorenzo excels in bringing key stakeholders together to help lead change, develop capabilities, and deliver positive financial results. Previously, DiLorenzo served as COO of Bright Health and as Global CIO for the Food Ingredients & Bio Industrial division at Cargill.
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. As a member of the C-suite, the CTO needs to possess natural leadership skills, including the ability to delegate tasks and inspire staff in their work. When a company doesn’t have a CIO, the CTO determines the overall technology strategy and presents it to top executives, according to the BLS. Some CTOs are also responsible for managing research and development initiatives and overseeing intellectual property at their organizations. The IT leadership role is a C-suite position in an almost-constant state of flux.
They usually start in entry-level roles in technical support, development and programming, database and network administration or engineering. 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. Chief technology officers usually hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, information systems or a related field. Many candidates also possess a master’s degree in computer science or a related discipline, and some go on to complete a PhD. Upon graduation, professionals may work between 10 to 15 years in IT-related roles, with five years spent in a manager position.
Knowing how technology works is crucial, but it’s also important to be able to explain the business value of a particular technology to C-level colleagues who might not be technically inclined. It’s also vital to be able to see how technology fits with strategic business goals. The increased prevalence of technology is good news for those who hold the position. Haake says her anecdotal evidence suggests that CTOs are starting to move more towards reporting into non-technologists, such as the chief executive or the chief operating officer (COO). As the importance of technology within the business has risen, so has the demand for knowledgeable technologists. So much so, in fact, that some businesses – including established enterprises – have opted to rely more on a CTO than a CIO.
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In technology-focused organizations, the CIO and CTO positions can be at the same level, with the CIO focused on the information technology and the CTO focused on the core company and other supporting technologies. Anjali Shaikh is a senior manager and the experience director for the CIO Program, part of Deloitte’s Executive Accelerators. In this role, Shaikh shapes customized experiences that enable technology executives to solve complex business challenges, shape the tech agenda, build and lead effective teams, and excel in their careers. Chief Technology Officer is responsible for the long-range direction of an organization’s technology function.
- They will need to take charge and lead research and development, innovation labs, and their team of product engineers.
- Tim is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and serves as the US leader for Monitor Deloitte’s Technology Strategy & Business Transformation practice.
- In this article, we do not take a position on how these two roles should be distinguished from each other.
- But often the CTO is the most senior role and reports directly to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer).
- Keeping on top of technology trends and working out where to place big bets is a time consuming process.
- Gartner says the CTO has overall responsibility for managing the physical and personnel technology infrastructure, including deployment, integration, systems management, and the development of technical operations personnel.
The journey to learning a department in an organization varies from professional to professional. There are, however, similar characteristics needed to achieve success as a CTO.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO): Definition, How to Become One, Average Salary
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. However, a lot of businesses fail to understand the CTO role, and it is often the least defined role in the C-Suite. Learn about Deloitte’s offerings, people, and culture as a global provider of audit, assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax, and related services. They include patience and the ability to embrace change, live with ambiguity and work under pressure. They should be experienced with handling large or multiple departments and investigating and implementing cutting-edge technology.
CTO (Chief Technology Officer) job description: Job duties and responsibilities
CIO remains the most commonly used title for the executive who runs technology, but the IT leadership position is in an almost-constant state of flux. As Ian Cohen, chief product and information officer at ICS Group, suggests, there is still no good definition of what constitutes an IT leader – and we’ve been struggling chief technology officer roles to find a definition for more than 30 years. The chief technology officer (CTO) is the individual within an organization who oversees the current technology and creates relevant policy. A CTO should have the business knowledge necessary to align technology-related decisions with the organization’s goals.
You will communicate with employees, stakeholders and customers to ensure our company’s technologies are used appropriately. CTOs must have technical acumen — but they must have strong business acumen and be able to show how technology helps achieve business objectives. They need to be the champion of the technology vision and be able to execute it well. If their role involved innovation they need to have strong engagement and influence with other senior executives.