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What is a CTO?

A chief technology officer – or CTO – oversees the existing technology, systems and software used within an organisation. They have a strategic role within the company.

A senior role in a company, a CTO is required to communicate business information to technical teams and technical information to key business stakeholders.

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What are the key responsibilities of a CTO?

While the specifics of a CTO’s role will depend on the individual company, the chief technology officer has the overall responsibility for planning and developing business policies and procedures using technology to enhance the products and services offered to external customers.

Typical requirements of the role of a CTO include:

  1. Responsibility for the management of the organisation’s development
  2. Responsibility for creating new policies and frameworks
  3. Identifying potential risks
  4. Management of R&D
  5. Ensuring the company adheres to compliance regulations such as corporate governance
  6. Communicating the company’s technology strategy to stakeholders, employees and investors  
  7. Maintaining up to date information regarding business standards and compliance regulations

A CTO will also often monitor trends that may impact the company’s future performance.

What skills and qualifications does a CTO require?

Experience in the IT industry is essential in order to become a chief technology officer – you must work your way up in order to reach CTO level. Often, CTOs begin their career in coding or other technical roles such as systems engineering.

A chief technology officer must have the necessary business knowledge to ensure all technology and systems based decisions are fully aligned with the company’s overall goals and objectives.

A CTO must have:

  1. Excellent communication skills – both verbal and written
  2. Strong technological understanding
  3. The ability and aptitude to implement change based on ever changing technology
  4. Adaptability