CTO Chief Technology Officer job description Workable

During downtime in their office, they review technology trends within their company’s industry and identify the types of IT systems that competitors use. They use this information to draft proposals for new technologies to implement in company operations. On a typical day, a Chief Technology Officer starts by reviewing their email and voicemail to check for any missed messages from executives, company stakeholders or managers. They meet with executives to discuss the company’s current financial stability, business opportunities and other news. They also meet with operations personnel and IT Managers to strategize ways to implement new technology systems throughout the company.

role of a chief technology officer

Communicate the company’s technology strategy to partners, management, investors and employees. In contrast, the Chief Operating Officer oversees all company operations, including revenue streams, employee retention, customer satisfaction and the organization of departments. It is important to note that Chief Technology Officers and Chief Operating Officers may work closely together to maximize productivity among company employees. We need someone with expertise and passion for building highly available IaaS or PaaS products for enterprise customers.

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“As understanding of technology becomes more and more crucial for every function of a company, the CTO can have a major impact on success of every function of a company — marketing, sales, product, HR, and even the CEO function,” Aksakal says. The job outlook for CTOs should remain strong, particularly since so many organizations are undergoing digital transformations and are looking for the latest, most innovative technologies and someone to lead the charge in deploying these tools. The CTO role naturally requires a strong knowledge of various technologies, and “real technology acumen, especially in the architecture, software, and technology strategy areas to address legacy technology challenges,” Stephenson says. But having certificates on project management, architect, leadership, security, and other latest and relevant technology helps.

  • This program was designed in collaboration with national intelligence organizations and IT industry leaders, ensuring you’ll learn emerging technologies and best practices in security governance.
  • Over time, this can decrease and sometimes the CTO isn’t required to code at all.
  • A CTO that is constantly staying on top of the latest trends is a good bet.
  • The job outlook for CTOs is good, as more companies go through digital transformations.

“A CIO who’s only focused on enterprise systems and transformation might find that they are usurped by an exciting R&D-focused CTO who’s going to really change the game for the company,” he says. The average CTO salary in the United States is $244,907, according to Salary.com. Glassdoor reports that a recently placed CTO snared a £200,000 annual salary, plus a £50,000 annual bonus. The IT leadership role is a C-suite position in an almost-constant state of flux. Some businesses only have one or the other – and in these organisations, the person holding the title, whether CIO or CTO, is the most senior tech chief in the enterprise.

What are the Chief Technology Officer’s key responsibilities?

They support these teams through their guidance and expertise and set standards in multiple aspects of work, be it in tools, overall product delivery, or performance criteria. After World War II, large corporations established research laboratories at locations separate from their headquarters. The corporation’s goals were to hire scientists and offer them facilities to conduct research on behalf of the company without the burdens of day-to-day office work. This is where the idea of a CTO focusing on the overarching technology infrastructures originates.

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They provide leadership to groups that include enterprise architects, innovation managers, expert technology specialists, shared IT services. This CTO is responsible for creating the company’s digital business technology strategies, along with leading the teams that will architect the required digital platforms. Often, CTOs adopt this role in industries that have been heavily disrupted such as retail, technology, media, and banking. However, more recently, the expectations and job description of a CTO have changed; and they have become more externally focused on technology propositions for customers.

Chief Technology Officer FAQs

After a bit of research, you’ll learn a lot of modern CTOs were former developers and project managers themselves. In smaller and more early-stage companies the, CTO has a more hands-on technical and engineering role. Many startup CTOs are the ones chief technology officer roles and responsibilities coding and working with the product owner to get the first product quickly to market. They will wear multiple hats and will require the hands-on experience of a range of skills including development, DevOps, risk, governance, and security.

role of a chief technology officer

The CTO also creates policies and procedures that leverage technology to enhance products and services delivered to external customers. The responsibilities and day-to-day functions of the CTO and CIO might overlap depending on the organization, how it’s structured, its business model, and other factors. In most cases, however, it’s the CTO who is charged with staying on top of emerging technologies that might be of value to the organization. Chief Technology Officer leads the team of engineering and products in a tech company.

ExecutiveGov serves as a news source for the hot topics and issues facing federal government departments and agencies such as Gov 2.0, cybersecurity policy, health IT, green IT and national security. We also aim to spotlight various federal government employees and interview key government executives whose impact resonates beyond their agency. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of top executive positions, including CTO positions, to increase by 8% between 2020 and 2030 which means there will be more than 209,500 projected new jobs with this title over that period.

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Fluency in finance, business modeling, and project management is crucial to the success of CTOs. Since they lead organizations by developing and implementing strategies, they must have a solid understanding of their company’s business needs to support them in these efforts. These might include infrastructure modernization, resiliency, cloud services, extensive interactions with security teams, and continued partnership with the engineering/software teams focused on quality and release management, Stephenson says. That means CTOs are likely spending a lot of time working in collaboration with others. Developing, planning, and overseeing company’s technology strategy is the key role of a CTO.

role of a chief technology officer

The Veterans Affairs business unit helps transform the VA into a modern digital services organization where Veteran outcomes are at the center of every effort. By applying better practices in service design, product management and technology, we enable VA to increase the… The chief technology officer’s job is often to understand the company’s target demographics and set technical projects in motion that best support a positive customer experience. The chief technology officer is the senior executive who focuses on the technological requirements, opportunities, and challenges within an organization. The CTO role has emerged as a key player in the enterprise C-suite, especially with digital transformation being such a high strategic priority for so many organizations. Chief technology officers are company executives who are responsible for overseeing the organization’s technical systems, resources, and personnel.

How senior should the CTO be and who should they report to?

In this article, we learned what a CTO is, what a CTO does, and how to become a CTO. While both of them have different roles, they most often work together to achieve the same goal, support and drive business growth. 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. A solid education in a technology-related field forms the foundation of a CTO’s professional training. Typically, CTOs come from an educational background in Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics. Creating and managing the company’s technological vision and plans so they align with its business goals.

Since CTOs need to possess knowledge of every department role, experience in several different technology positions is valuable. 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. 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.

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What Is a Chief Technology Officer (CTO)?

A CTO should be able to communicate with senior leadership, technical teams, customers, vendors, and other departmental employees and convenience them why they all should believe in his or her vision and help execute it. Moreover, current technological advancements have led to a 10% growth rate projection for the next years regarding the demand for people working in the computer and information systems industry. Therefore, CTO positions are likely to be a step closer for enthusiastic and knowledgeable candidates who may not have the common 15-year mark of experience required for this role.

Once in the shadow of the CIO, CTOs are now transforming into innovation-focused technologists – and the business can’t get enough of them. Most CTOs undergo training throughout their careers in IT departments, and they might also earn certifications in development, programming, database administration, or other related fields. “Technology vision coupled with strategic thinking beyond technology” is important, says Ozgur Aksakal, president of the Global CTO Forum, an independent, global organization for technology professionals.

Most of the software development, technology choice and adoption, and building new products usually falls under a CTO. 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.

They are often very technical and may hold the head of architecture position to guide the architecture of the IT innovations. 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. A modern CTO needs to be well versed in UI/UX design, user research, agile, DevOps, and cloud-based software development methods. 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.