The Customer Champion is common within tech companies with a software focus. The CTO is always staying alert to new trends in technology and remains the lead product architect and system administrator. As the role of a CTO changes according to the stage of that company’s life-cycle, we’ll briefly detail how a CTOs responsibilities may change. Strategy – An effective CTO can usually draw on experience and foresee a path to success through devising a digital strategy.

cto roles and responsibilities

When a business idea takes hold, the CTO role and responsibilities of a functional professional are necessary to prove the organization plan’s viability. During this period, the chief technical officer is frequently a co-founder in charge of creating the digital product architecture without the assistance of third parties. In addition, the CTO’s responsibilities include data security, quality assurance, and deployment difficulties. In pre-seed companies and startups, it’s not uncommon for the chief technology officer to personally build and implement the digital product architecture. They may also be responsible for data security, deployment issues, and QA management.

Keeping on top of technology trends and working out where to place big bets is a time consuming process. The OCTO provides additional leverage to the CTO, allowing them important time to think and formulate strategy. For example, an innovation-focused CTO might be measured on their product innovation, whereas an operation-focused CTO might be measured on defects or P1 incidents. Regardless of the size, type, or maturity of the organisation, the CTO should be the most senior technology role in the business. They should hold a senior executive role, and report directly to the CEO.

The evolving CIO role: From IT operator to business strategist

To make this technical vision a reality, chief technologists should always keep abreast of evolving trends and oversee the chunking of a product’s functional elements. And even if a company can afford a full-scale team, the CTO should become the backup for any roles that cannot be filled immediately. Thus, security issues, testing, and app architecture may also end up in the hands of CTOs.

cto roles and responsibilities

In the end, businesses that are successful in their modernization ventures understand that it is not a matter of one or the other when it comes to CMOs and CTOs — but, rather, a balancing of the two. While CTOs bring exciting and innovative techniques and tools to the table, CMOs bring the rationality and necessity required for projects to succeed. CTOs also partner with the sales team to close customer accounts effectively. They also assist the sales organization and build strong bonds with colleagues at the strategic customer accounts department.


Their involvement in customer meetings is also vital to ensure everyone adheres to the long-term technology roadmap. A great CTO always ensures that his/her firm’s technology assets are in line with the larger/long-term business plan. « Today, CIOs are expected to be very technology savvy given the heavy focus on digital transformation, » he said.

  • Infrastructure manager CTO roles also implement their organization’s technical strategy and technological road maps.
  • When a business idea takes hold, the CTO role and responsibilities of a functional professional are necessary to prove the organization plan’s viability.
  • 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.
  • Because the role is dynamic and responsibilities can vary depending on the type and size of the organization, industry, and other factors, there isn’t really such thing as typical day for a CTO.
  • They develop procedures and policies for a company and use advanced technology to reinforce the products and services that focus on buyers.

Their CTO will help recruit new team members, expand their partnerships with Microsoft and IBM, and help win their most strategic customer opportunities. A CTO should always be looking for new strategies to implement in order to improve product quality and internal processes. In startup companies, CTOs need skills in the design and architecture of products. Technical domain knowledge – In the tech realm, previous experience and strong knowledge of the industry is vital. Sometimes a CTO can learn along the way, in tech, it’s a little more complicated. A CTO that is constantly staying on top of the latest trends is a good bet.

What are the responsibilities and roles of a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)?

As technology focuses more on integrating applications, processes, and the Internet of Things, CTOs must keep abreast of big data, streaming analytics, and cloud technology to remain innovative and stay competitive. Depending on the company, a CTO may play one of several roles, including cto roles and responsibilities strategic planner, customer relations liaison, and overseer of infrastructure. 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.

In large organisations it’s common for the CTO to have little experience in, and new to working in a technical position. 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. This persona is focused on leveraging innovative technologies to transform the business model, products, and services. In business, the area of product development is encouraging innovation, while building new and developing technology products for customers.

CTOs are more concerned with developing new technology to improve revenue and sales opportunities and extending the company brand than day-to-day operations. A simple distinction is that the CIO typically looks inward, aiming to improve processes within the company, while the CTO looks outward, using technology to improve or innovate products that serve the customers. By comparison, the CTO role in a huge listed company is more about evangelism, choosing the right technology trends, and being the face of technology for the customers.

Business Enabler

Business Intelligence tools might also be used to help them make the best selection. This is not mentioned in the job description chief technology officer should match, but it’s also necessary for the company’s success. From the start of a business, the CTO role and responsibility include employee recruiting, onboarding, training, and management.

« There is no one standard for the roles of CIO and CTO, » said Dan Priest, managing partner at PwC. « While there are common themes related to technology management, there are important differences across companies and industries. » « Over the years, the CIO role has been elevated from an IT infrastructure-based role to something much more strategic and more complex, » said Carroll, who leads Axiom’s data science center of excellence. « Meanwhile, the scope of technology-based initiatives has grown so significantly in the last 10 years that it has necessitated the creation of two roles at many companies. » Sharma said that CIOs are typically more business-focused than CTOs and act as the financial watchdogs of the IT organization.

Why is Innovation Important in Leadership?

They are the face of the tech-department in the public sphere and represent the company at conferences and other professional events. At a company’s inception, the CTO is heavily involved with talent acquisition and its onboarding, training, and management. Their expertise in the field is crucial to identify talent at this juncture without an experienced HR department. Data security and compliance – Will your CTO be required to optimize and manage organizational data? In other industries, security and compliance usually take a much higher priority.

Both positions focus on the engineering, implementation, development and management of technology. However, the key difference is that the CIO role typically involves internal operations, while the CTO role focuses on external processes. A chief technology officer’s position requires a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field with expertise in IT management, product management, business modelling, and finance. As a leader of any workplace, A chief technology officer should prove their extensive business understanding while developing strategic plans.

Companies also give priority to candidates with ascertained knowledge of customer relations, business management, and marketing. As a result, employment is predicted to increase by 10% between 2019 and 2029. It makes technology management one of the fastest-growing job markets, compared to the overall job growth rate of 4%. CTOs are vital C-level executives who share many similarities with other leadership roles. Researching and evaluating existing and emerging technologies, products and services. Communicate the company’s technology strategy to partners, management, investors and employees.

Having a Great Technical Vision

He makes sure his company has good vendor relations for exceptional service expectations to be delivered. Moreover, he has to move beyond innovation to develop company products. The responsibilities of a chief technology officer may evolve depending upon the company’s requirements.

Software development specialists will explain to you what are the roles and responsibilities of a CTO in a startup company and provide IT consulting services. Then you may employ senior engineers or a chief technology officer to complete the CTO responsibilities and duties without distracting the product team. The CTO position represents Mercury’s emphasis on the importance of technological innovation by building high-quality software and systems using modern development methodologies. CIO and CTO are both executive-level roles in organizations, however, they operate in different functions, with other daily responsibilities and goals.

They are, in fact, senior developers that can solve problems faster and find the best solutions. That’s why CTOs may use new technology to alter an organization’s business model, products, and services. It will assist them in staying on top of the latest technological advancements so that they may potentially use digital innovations inside businesses. Now, CIO duties focus on internal operations and business procedures, including the implementation, management, and usability of technologies.

CTO as Business Enabler

This position is about ensuring that the product functions properly and stays relevant to the current market trends. In this case, a CTO manages a product engineering team and is responsible for operational technology. A position in the C-suite of a company overseeing several business and technology departments.