Technology is one of the fastest growing job segments in the U.S. ranking 6th among 22 job categories since 2010. With this growth, it will come as no surprise that IT leaders are well-compensated. According to, a CTO’s average base salary in the U.S. is $277,000 and jumps to $353,000 when you add annual cash incentives. If you’re thinking about your own path to the CTO spot, it’s probably a good idea to see where you stand at your job today and how you might progress.

However, before rushing in, it’s important to note that there are many misconceptions about what a CTO actually does and when and why your startup would need one. Perhaps you’ve built the first version or MVP of an application or platform with a sweat equity team or via outsourced developers and things are going well. When it comes to technology startups, there are three types of CTO. All City of Seattle employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

chief technology officer roles and responsibilities

It’s even more difficult to hire a CTO because the best applicants are usually employed and not looking for work. That isn’t to say you won’t find someone who likes your AgriTech solution, wants a wider variety of responsibilities and is interested in putting their unparalleled skillset into a community good. Ability to function in a collaborative environment with ability to develop broad-based support for change.

Startups hire CTOs to handle technology challenges during the software development life cycle. A chief technology officer job and goal is to foster the alignment between business goals with technology solutions. Candidates for this position must be highly motivated, able to make data-driven decisions, and have strong management and interpersonal skills. The CTO position often overlaps with other jobs, in particular, that of the chief information officer or chief science officer.

Cto Chief Technology Officer Job Description Template

In the example of digital transformation, a CTO may develop the overall plan for upgrading a company’s technology in a way that will help the company adapt to the future. A CIO may handle the details on the ground-level, overseeing the implementation of specific technology. For the success of both technology startups and global stable software companies, the role of a Chief Technology Officer is rather essential. The CTO leads all tech-related issues and controls all related processes aimed to solve the company’s software product challenges. Indeed, the CIO should view the CDO as an ally, not a threat, wrote Anil Cheriyan, formerly SunTrust’s CIO and currently director/deputy commissioner, technology transformation services for the U.S.

chief technology officer roles and responsibilities

However, with the right combination of skills and credentials, it lies within your reach. Take advantage of the digital space to create a network to draw upon and connect with other professionals. Here’s a closer look at what education a professional requires to be considered for the CTO role. Consider things like social media presence, civic involvement, digital brand, and other features that can reflect well or poorly. Allocating resources and overseeing funding for technology investments. According to McKinsey, every company needs one if it wants to adapt, innovate, and thrive.

What Does A Cto Do In A Startup?

They should be actively involved in feedback and retention of team members. A dedicated Quality Assurance team is a rare sight in startups, especially at early stages. Testing is usually dispersed between team members, and it’s a CTO who needs to come up with the testing system. Besides, the CTO is probably the only person who knows an architecture well enough to test it meticulously. This distinguishes the startup CTO from their corporate counterparts, who aren’t involved in purely programming tasks.

If a CTO position is your dream job, get started on the path to IT business leadership with the Master of Science Information Technology Management at Grand Canyon University today. Top 5 chief data officer interview questions with detailed tips for both hiring managers and candidates. Creating timelines for the development and deployment of all technological services. You will work directly under the CEO and will act as both a technology and business expert, making decisions that will impact the current and future operations of the company. This versatility provides opportunities for CTOs to advance to the highest levels of organizations.

chief technology officer roles and responsibilities

We may consider that these CTOs with technical leadership are the leaders of the programmers’ team who check the development process and implement coding themselves as well. The CIO is responsible for managing and ensuring ongoing operations, mission critical systems, and overall security, from help desks and enterprise systems to service delivery and program management. The explicit impact of a CIO can be determined with a variety of metrics, though improving the company’s bottom line is a must. In addition to internal leadership, a CTO must be an evangelist for the company. They form relationships with outside vendors and community stakeholders.

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Nicolas Poggi is the head of mobile research at Prey, Inc., provider of the open source Prey Anti-Theft software protecting eight million mobile devices. Nic’s work explores technology chief technology officer roles and responsibilities innovations within the mobile marketplace, and their impact upon security. Nic also serves as Prey’s communications manager, overseeing the company’s brand and content creation.

The CIO’s main goal is using their managerial skills to hone how effective the company is, whereas the CTO takes the role of improving efficiency for a large group of engineers or IT specialists. In this sense, the CTO is not usually an officer but more of a manager with an internal support role for the systems and architecture of a large company. In short, a Chief Technical Officer connects the technical details of a product to the rigors of corporate decision-making.

  • Understanding of future of technology for government agencies including utilities, public safety agencies, and general government.
  • After Yahoo! acquired Ludicorp in 2005, Henderson became the web giant’s Director of Engineering before co-founding Tiny Speck, the precursor to Slack.
  • “As companies push to effectively drive technology transformation, we believe there is a very strong push to find technology leaders bring experience and capabilities from hands-on leadership and stewardship of such activities,” Stephenson says.
  • 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.
  • Experience designing, implementing and supporting shared services initiatives in an enterprise- wide environment preferred.
  • For example, organizations bring a CTO on board during or immediately following digital transformation.

The title of this high position means that this person constantly cares about technology aspects within the company. This will definitely depend on the size of your company, team structure, industry, and other factors. In this post, we share common characteristics of CTOs and define what their jobs consist of.

As we may define, CTO is a critical executive in software development companies. An expert CTO can handle the team and work management process, offer the required tools and technologies in order to complete the product deployment process in time with the best possible result. Indeed lists a number of tasks a CTO might be expected to carry out. In midsize to large companies with higher executive budgets, the C-level may include a CIO and a CTO.

Technologies Within Business: A Ctos Areas Of Focus

Experience designing, implementing and supporting shared services initiatives in an enterprise- wide environment preferred. Experience with internal and external IT data centers and a complex 24/7 operation required. Demonstrated experience directing and managing within a challenging environment and working inclusively through people to achieve shared objectives.

That’s why, in many cases, Chief Technology Officers are responsible for the engineer and developer team performance who focus on development and research to constantly update and innovate the company’s offerings. As the business grows, the CTO’s role will focus on the external, customer-facing side, while a Chief Information Officer , for example, will run the internal business systems such as HR, finance, marketing, security, and the help desk. This focus means the CTO will drive the company’s innovation of its products in the market.

“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. Since CTOs need to possess knowledge of every department role, experience in several different technology positions is valuable. In organizations that have both a CIO and CTO, the CTO is typically the role with more technical knowledge and expertise and that reports to the CIO, while the CIO is responsible for designing and recommending the appropriate technology.

Cto Requirements:

For example, Jenny Peng told us about her transition from CIO to CTO at Aptean. « Like the CIO, the CHRO is also stepping into a more strategic role, and as a result, the CIO and CHRO are partnering more to make the employee experience as great as the customer experience, » Bedi says. However as the business continues to grow, you get bogged down with too many administrative tasks or trying to keep up to date with the latest technology, leaving little time to focus on the big picture and the future development of the business.

What Types Of Cto Can Be Found In Startups?

They should know how to inspire and retail the best technical talent because great companies are created by teamwork in the direction of a great leader. Their main goal is to create a technology vision for the company that aligns with its overall aims and objectives. They are responsible for utilizing technology to fulfill the goals of the company and create a tech-based culture where innovation can thrive. The CTO is also responsible for creating the technological team in the company and integrating tech in such a way that other employees can also understand and appreciate it. Technology is becoming more and more important for all companies, no matter what sector they are in. In today’s times, when companies need software for daily use and cybersecurity for protecting their information, then by default it pushes a focus on technology whether that’s the company’s primary job or not.

What Does A Cio Earn? Cio Salary

CIOs may also go on to other C-suite roles, such as COO, and in some cases, CEO. Let’s explore how to prepare – and look ahead at the future of the CIO role. According to the Robert Half Technology 2020 salary guide, which rates top IT jobs by salary for big data engineer checks in at number one, at $163,250. Although the functions described above are needed in most companies, they don’t necessarily have to be fulfilled by a CTO in the traditional sense. Bearing in mind that the average annual salary of a CTO – a C-suite position – in the United States is around $260,090 – appointing a CTO at the wrong moment could be a costly mistake.

Unfortunately, when judged by the bottom-line monitoring CIO, these activities can appear reckless, costly, and as wastes of time. CIOs mediate between internal IT teams and other departments, and CTOs develop relationships outside the company. CTOs need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, or a related field, according to Indeed. In some cases, a degree in business administration or management is valuable. Many CTOs have at least a master’s degree, and some even have PhDs in IT or business administration fields. CTOs also need to have a number of soft skills as well, including strong communications and collaboration.

Indeed, CIOs who have shown early results with digital transformation efforts will continue to be heavily recruited. CIOs who have shown early results with digital transformation efforts will continue to be heavily recruited. « As C-suite roles have increased in strategic importance, organizations have looked to more diverse pools of talent to fill them, » Swift writes. Many times, pundits have predicted the fall of the CIO role – for example, as CMOs gained influence and budget, and then more recently with the rise of chief digital officers . « Gen. Stan McChrystal once said that the temptation to lead as a chess master, controlling each move of the organization, must give way to an approach as a gardener, enabling rather than directing, » Marcante notes. James took his first effective CIO job back in 2006 at Servigistics, a provider of service lifecycle management software that was acquired by PTC.