CTO is an important role in technology based industries like Information Technology, Biotechnology, new sciences etc. No organization wants to be in a position where they learn about a new technology from the changes competitor has already made in their products. Given the need of having Technology advantage over competitors; an executive level person who understands technology and is capable of driving new product development becomes necessary.
Each company has a different requirement / expectations from its CTO. Also, CTOs role changes significantly based on the company i.e. CTO of a product company will have completely different responsibility from CTO of a consulting company. Some of the responsibilities include
For a product company, CTOs role would include being in touch with new technologies and ensure product is upgraded to latest technology and does not become outdated with changing times. CTO contributes in the strategic decision making when it comes to adding new products to the portfolio.
For an IT consulting company, CTO is expected evaluate and investigate new developments and find business opportunities in the changing landscape. CTO is expected to help the organization tweak their services offering according to changing industry.
Most important role CTOs play in the organization is developing new products using latest technology. They should have the insight and understand the how the technology landscape is evolving. They are expected to drive innovation from being the first company to launch an ‘android based’ tablet to enhancing your company’s product to work on tablet PCs even before tablets become popular.
In Services Company they are expected to drive processes and training to ensure workforce does not have outdated skills.
As a technology company it is important to get media coverage for your product capabilities, new launches etc. CTOs are expected to speak as a thought leader in technology conferences, tech forums etc.
CTOs play a very active role in sales and marketing activities. Sales team sometimes need help from top executives to convincing the customers about product delivery schedules or capability or in case of IT consulting companies, about the capability of the organization to work in a particular technology.
Many people see an overlap between these two roles and are unable to see difference in responsibilities of CTO from CIO. While CIO is responsible to drive new technology change internally within the organization, CTO is responsible for development of new technologies that the organization can commercialize.
Click here to post your resume for top IT jobs..