The Chief Technological Officer (CTO) is gaining prominence across multiple industries on account of the increased need for digital transformation. As a high ranking executive in an organization, the CTO is mainly focused on how to leverage technology in creating new opportunities or solving problems.
This can range from developing digital initiatives, product development, infrastructure architecture or cybersecurity. As such a CTO is someone who is well versed in the current digital trends and able to utilize technology for business impact.
The Role of the CTO within the Company
The core objective of a CTO’s role is to align the organization goal with technological solutions. As the individual at the forefront of technological innovation and trends, the CTO would need to understand the risk and opportunities faced by the business and develop complementing strategies.
Apart from being a strategic position, CTOs would also need to ensure existing IT infrastructure and processes are able to run smoothly with minimal business disruption. This includes deployment, integration, system management, and development of the IT team capabilities. All done with the aim of improving overall efficiency.
Responsibilities of a CTO
The hallmark of a great CTO is the commitment to continuously fight for technology without losing sight of its role as a strategic enabler for business and products. Considering that, here are the six significant responsibilities of a CTO.
A CTO needs to build an organization composed of a large management team involved in developing the skills and capabilities of the work teams.
Represents technology in any steering committee of the company or its management area, working with the rest of the executives to support the decisions made, investment policies and alliance strategies with third parties.
Make sure the company can deliver the products or services it manufactures quickly, reliably and competitively. Organizations that continue to rely on redundant legacy systems will eventually lose out in terms of efficiency and productivity.
It is the obligation of the CTO that the company keep up with technological trends and consolidate its position as a market leader in the industry. It is about finding the right technological level so that the company can deliver the product to the market and compete.
Monitor the productive infrastructure to ensure that its capabilities are continuously adapted to the pace set by the business. A CTO must be able to measure the impact that breakdowns or interruptions in the production cycle generate on the income statement and on customers. This measure is critical to be able to require and justify investments in the productive area.
It is important that technicians participate in innovation processes and contribute their knowledge to creating new products or the launch of digital initiatives. The value of innovation is what keeps companies relevant in the fast changing environment today.
Like the CEO, the CTO also needs to Become a spokesperson for the company’s technological capabilities. Represent it in front of suppliers, technical departments of the customers, etc. Create relationships with universities and knowledge ecosystems. As much as possible, the CTO needs to showcase the company as a technological benchmark and improve its brand image towards customers and job seekers alike.
Requirement and Profile of a CTO
To fulfil the abundance task upon the job, a CTO must have these hard and soft skills:
Hard skills of a CTO :
- Knowledge and experience with software development and maintenance
- Knowledge in product design
- Knowledge in digital architecture
- Knowledge in relevant programming languages
- Managerial experience as an Engineering Head
- Proficiency in technology, marketing, sales and finance
Soft skills of a CTO :
- Negotiation skills
- Sense of leadership
- Strategic thinking
- Communication skills
- Decision making
- Time management
What makes a great CTO
At the core of every great CTO is the passion in technology. As technological innovations tend to override each other, CTOs need to keep themselves constantly updated with the latest trends. This can be quite cumbersome for those less interested in technology, but quite refreshing for those that love them.
Technical skills and passion in technology can only get one to a certain level in the organization. Appointed CTOs are expected to already be leaders in their field, but what makes one great will be dependent on more softer skills.
This is because CTOs need to manage multiple stakeholders, from other departments requiring technological solutions to leading one’s engineering team through periods of crunchtime. Being able to maintain high engagement with the business while assuming the role of a capable leader is a key success factor.
The Importance of a CTO within the Organization
Technology is a key competitive factor in the market because of the ever-increasing digitization of businesses. This requires companies to implement technological solutions more frequently to offer products with better quality and lower prices to their customers.
For this reason, the CTO is increasingly in demand. After all, he/she is responsible for validating ideas and enabling the practical implementation of the partners’ suggestions. The CTO is also responsible for overseeing the technology team that will ensure the performance of viable and appropriate technological solutions for the company.
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