What Is a Chief Technology Officer CTO? How to Become One, Salary, Skills

In technology-focused organizations, the CIO and CTO positions can be at the same level, with the CIO focused on the information technology and the CTO focused on the core company and other supporting technologies. The chief technology officer (CTO) is the executive responsible for managing technology within an organisation; that can include everything from creating a technology strategy though to cybersecurity and onto product development. They need to understand broad technology trends and be able to align innovation with business goals. After completing their education, many aspiring chief technology officers begin their careers as IT specialists, software developers and other entry-level IT professionals. Those who excel in these positions can earn promotions to managerial roles and establish themselves as attractive candidates for CTO positions.

What is a CTO

A wealth of knowledge in technology will increase your probability of one day leading the technology department in an organization. Depending on the industry to which your company belongs, it might be best to focus on technology that influences your industry. In that case, it is essential to be knowledgeable in technology such as AI and IoT, as those are fundamental elements in the future of automobiles.

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Meanwhile, CTO’s with more than two decades of experience in the position received an average wage of around £124,000. Nearly half of CIOs also identified the CTO as a role of increasing importance in the C-suite – behind the CFO and COO – while four in every ten of 3,000 CEOs recognised  the role of CTO as strategically important. According to IBM’s The CTO Revelation report, which polled 2,500 CTOs and 2,500 CIOs, 61% of CTOs saw themselves as the executive that will play the most crucial role, beyond the CEO, over the next three years.

  • This persona is focused on leveraging innovative technologies to transform the business model, products, and services.
  • Nearly all CTOs start their professional journeys by earning a bachelor’s degree in a computer science-related field.
  • Which style best suits a given company bears some relation to the kind of industry the company is in.
  • Three-quarters of the CTOs surveyed by IBM said that dedicated innovation teams had supported them in gaining the insight and data needed for discovery and accelerating their technology strategy.
  • We also aim to spotlight various federal government employees and interview key government executives whose impact resonates beyond their agency.
  • CTOs do not manage the day-to-day technical operations of a company, nor do they oversee the internal technological infrastructure of the company.

While research and development have been a component of businesses for many years, the rise of information technology (IT) and computers has increased the importance of the chief technology officer. Companies focusing on scientific and electronic products employ CTOs who are responsible for the oversight of intellectual property and have backgrounds in the industry. Chief technology officers are executive leaders who design and oversee technology strategies, procedures and practices. They ensure an organization has the technological resources to deliver top-performing products and services and meet business goals. In midsize to large companies with higher executive budgets, the C-level may include a CIO and a CTO.

Responsibilities of a CTO

Harvey Nash reports that 60% of digital leaders say good pay is the most important factor when looking for a new job. PayScale says an early career CTO with up to four years’ experience can expect an average salary of £82,723. Experienced CTOs (10 years and above) can expect to earn more than six figures. “Access to new customers via technology is so important, so a strong technologist is going to be absolutely critical to the business,” she says. “You might stay as the CTO but you should expect to have a seat on the executive team if you’re successful.”

What is a CTO

Generally, a CIO is responsible for technologies that run the company’s internal operations and business procedures. The CTO is responsible for technologies that grow the business externally, implementing services and products that serve clients and customers. While not every company needs a CTO, at the very least this role can provide an alignment between a product or service’s strategy and a company’s technology strategy. After a bit of research, you’ll learn a lot of modern CTOs were former developers and project managers themselves. The foundation of any aspiring CTO’s education should be a bachelor’s degree in computer science or another closely related field such as software engineering or information technology. This undergraduate degree equips students with core programming skills, an understanding of algorithms, data structures, and other critical concepts necessary for success in the world of technology.

How much are CTOs paid?

Intel is also collaborating with leading software vendors Red Hat, Canonical, and SUSE to provide Intel-optimized distributions of their enterprise software releases. This collaboration ensures optimized performance for the latest Intel architectures. Furthermore, Intel continues to contribute to AI and machine-learning tools and frameworks such as PyTorch and TensorFlow. Lavender said Intel recognizes the limitations cto role and responsibilities businesses face when implementing AI solutions, such as a lack of expertise, resource constraints, and costly proprietary platforms. To address these challenges, he said Intel is committed to driving an open ecosystem that allows for easy deployment across multiple architectures. In the private sector, Jacobs was a security systems analyst at Northrop Grumman and tactical communications engineer at CACI International.

Technology, applications, and cybersecurity are in a constant state of flux, and successful CTOs know they need to be adaptable to change and proactive in their strategy. Companies often hire candidates with a master’s in cybersecurity or similar IT degree to ensure they have the proper education and background for the position. Increasingly CTOs are moving beyond the realm of traditional business technology and into product development, innovation, R&D, and enabling the future success of companies. Most companies hiring a CTO want candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree and tons of IT management experience. Not every company needs a CTO, but if you’re running a nimble startup or a business that deals technology and reliable data, a CTO can help provide guidance.

CTO as Digital Business Leader

ExecutiveGov, published by Executive Mosaic, is a site dedicated to the news and headlines in the federal government. ExecutiveGov serves as a news source for the hot topics and issues facing federal government departments and agencies such as Gov 2.0, cybersecurity policy, health IT, green IT and national security. We also aim to spotlight various federal government employees and interview key government executives whose impact resonates beyond their agency. Prior to OPM, he spent five years at the General Services Administration, where he served as director of cloud adoption and cybersecurity and cybersecurity coordinator. Lynn Hemans, VP of consumer intelligence and analytics, told CGT at the time that it was including deep-dive quantitative efforts to identify whitespace and ensure qualitative co-creation with consumers.

As with any executive position, it takes a great deal of time and work experience to become a CTO. In Cybersecurity and Information Assurance to prepare for the business responsibilities that come with the role. While a bachelor’s in IT covers the basics (such as math, software design, and programming basics). Most CTOs have a master’s degree, so if you want to prepare for this position, it’s best to obtain as much education as possible.

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A CTO’s technical skills require expertise in IT infrastructure, security, asset management, help desk support, and research and development. Everything from hardware to the company website falls under the CTO’s purview. This may include managing access to certain technologies and applications on the company network, responding to outages and cyber hacks, and backing up key data. The BLS estimates that an aspiring CTO may need to have over 10 to 15 years of work experience in various IT roles before qualifying for the job. In addition to a bachelor’s and master’s degree, in order to become a chief technology officer, you need to acquire many years of real-world work experience. CTOs must have a solid foundation of high-level technical, financial, organizational, and leadership experience.

The list of statistics to back the tech industry as a leader in the job market is evident. Further, the chief technology officer (CTO) position is a demanding role that many companies value to establish https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ themselves as leaders in their industries. Despite the titles, the CTO has more of an outward-looking, strategic planning role, while the CIO has more of a technology-focused, operational role.

Begin Your Journey to Becoming a CTO

Although a four-year or advanced degree will lay the foundation for the CTO role, future CTOs will have to work their way up the IT ranks. Individuals may need five to 10 years of experience in IT, according to Indeed. With this experience, they may enter a leadership role, executive role or some other executive position where they can gain leadership experience. Although there is overlap between the two positions, since both deal with IT, CTOs generally look outward, using technology to improve the company’s customer experience—the use of the goods and services. CIOs generally look inward, developing and using technology to improve the company’s procedures and operations.

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