A Chief Technology Officer (CTO), sometimes known as a chief technologist, is an executive-level position in a company or other legal entity whose activities focus on scientific and technological issues within the organization. 

The CTO is very similar to the Chief Information Officer (CIO). CTOs will make broad technological infrastructure decisions that are directly related to the organization's goals. While CIOs will work with the organization's IT personnel to handle day-to-day operations. 

Therefore, the CTO must be aware of new and existing technologies to guide the company's future efforts. The attributes of the roles that a CTO holds vary from one company to another, mostly depending on their organizational structure. 

What is the primary role of the CTO in the company? 

The primary responsibility of the CTO is to help the company achieve its financial and marketing goals using an innovative technological approach. By this is meant, the CTO will combine knowledge of existing and new technologies to provide the business with the best possible solutions for the future. 

Whether the company is newly established or has been around for decades, keep in mind that there is no one standard for the roles and responsibilities of a CTO. They can be hired for two main purposes:

  • Maintain internal business processes 
  • Develop innovative products 

The chief information technology officer (CIO) used to have dual roles: CIO and chief technology officer (CTO). However, as technology evolves, there is a growing need to separate the CIO's work into two roles to ensure the success of the company. 

The CTO is in charge of strategic planning, whereas the CIO oversees technology. The CTO is the company's chief technology executive, in charge of the technical or technical department. They create rules and processes, as well as employs technology, to enhance products and services aimed at external consumers. 

The CTO also creates revenue-boosting tactics and does profitability and ROI assessments. Therefore, large companies with large budgets have a CTO, an IT director, or both. Many large companies need both a CTO and an IT director, while smaller companies need one or the other. Thus, the choice depends on the company's vision, budget, and size. 

Types of CTO 

According to a global cloud services company, there are four different types of CTOs. It's worth understanding the difference between the individuals and whether your need is technical or operational. 

Infrastructure commander 

In many companies, CTOs are tasked with managing the IT infrastructure in their organization. The role here includes:

  • Overseeing data 
  • Security
  • Maintenance
  • Networking for the company 

Implementing the technical strategy of the business and managing the overall technology roadmap of the business. 

Technology visionary 

Many technology firms, particularly startups, employ the CTO function to understand how technology should be used in the organization. Here are some of the responsibilities:

  • Developing the company's technological strategy in order to fulfill its objectives. 
  • Identifying present and future technology will help the organization succeed. 

This individual has most likely been with the firm from its start. 

Customer Champion 

There are companies in which the CTO serves as the liaison between customers and the business itself. Here, the role includes: 

  • Responsibility for customer relationships 
  • Understanding the target market 
  • Influencing IT projects accordingly 

Developing technology to deliver a high-quality customer experience in UI and UX Customer advocates are commonplace in technology companies that specialize in software. 

Big Thinker 

A CTO, who is a big thinker, is one who strives to push the boundaries of how technology is employed in the business. They are frequently ambitious and daring. The position here entails: 

  • Establishing a business strategy 
  • Determining how technology is employed
  • Managing the whole technological infrastructure 

Creating business models that enable the development of new technologies while evaluating target markets. In this position, the Big Thinker is free to think as big as he or she wants.

Image source: logocompany