Chief Technology Officer CTO job description template

And before they buy into the vision, workers need to be able to buy into the leader. CTOs shouldn’t forget that the whole team is looking at them and the standards and best practices they set will be followed. It should go without saying that CTOs also need to be good listeners and they have to lead with empathy to ensure all employees are engaged. Effective communication and being a strong advocate for change are key to helping CTOs secure buy-in and bring them on the journey.

The ability to inspire people and persuade them that your vision is realistic both have their advantages. An experienced CTO is often the oracle of technology within their organization. They bring progressive ideas to the company and find advanced tech solutions. “Everyone knows CTOs need technical skills, but the development of technology is a process involving people,” she says. While it’s wise not to obsess over the latest trends, new technology is arriving on the scene all the time and CTOs need to keep their finger on the pulse. If they don’t, they could find their strategy being outpaced and they could be forced to play catch-up.

CTO in Startups:

Some executive-level roles are difficult to define from an outsider’s perspective. Two of the most challenging c-suite positions to distinguish are that of CTO and CIO since they are only one letter different and both deal with the IT side of an organization. Since cto job responsibilities CTOs need to possess knowledge of every department role, experience in several different technology positions is valuable. The CTO also creates policies and procedures that leverage technology to enhance products and services delivered to external customers.

  • CTOs shouldn’t forget that the whole team is looking at them and the standards and best practices they set will be followed.
  • A CTO must acquire an innovative mindset to find new ways to create products, processes, cost structures, operating models, and application development.
  • Technical domain knowledge – In the tech realm, previous experience and strong knowledge of the industry is vital.
  • “Typically, candidates need seven or more years of engineering and IT-related experience.
  • There are typically four different kinds of CTOs, whose main duties may differ.

The 12-month program is an all-encompassing, 360° certificate program that supplies you with the necessary tools to accelerate your career. An essential part of the CTO position – overseeing the flow of work, design stable processes using best practices and methodologies. CTOs are able to rattle the status quo, take leadership, and see beyond traditional approaches.

Tips for Starting a Career in IT

Find out how different WGU is about personalizing and supporting your education. Established companies often look for this branch of CTO, very seldom startups. If a small startup CTO works well, the company may grow quickly and the role of CTO will change significantly.

This includes developing marketable technology, suggesting new technologies to implement, interacting with external buyers and budgeting. As a technology visionary, this type focuses on leading the architects, innovation managers, and general IT specialists. As usual, this person is an executive, serving as a central point of IT innovations within an organization and often the right hand of a CIO.

CTO salary

The CTO manages technology in a corporation while also hiring and managing teams, finding and implementing innovative solutions, and imparting technical knowledge to the company. The CTO serves as the technical guide in an increasingly technology-based world. On a typical day, a Chief Technology Officer starts by reviewing their email and voicemail to check for any missed messages from executives, company stakeholders or managers.

When you read a job description for a CTO, it’s not uncommon for it to mention these different skills and competencies. This program was designed in collaboration with national intelligence organizations and IT industry leaders, ensuring you’ll learn emerging technologies and best practices in security governance. While they don’t have to concern themselves with coding tasks (with the exception of start-ups and smaller companies), CTOs must have a solid background in development and knowledge of software architecture. They are also expected to be skilled in security and privacy management, as they must work to prevent data leaks and breaches within the company.

Who is CTO: Roles, Responsibilities, and Personas

This critical role reports to the Chief Operating Officer and is a key member of the Operations leadership team. Those who want to secure a position as a CTO must embrace challenge and change, be willing to put in the work, and have the will and stamina to climb the IT leadership ladder. If your goal is to become a chief technology officer, WGU can provide the relevant knowledge, skills, and IT degrees you’ll need to prepare. They need to ensure that all instruments – in this case, applications, software and services – are in harmony.

cto job responsibilities

Many CTOs have at least a master’s degree, and some even have PhDs in IT or business administration fields. That means CTOs are likely spending a lot of time working in collaboration with others. As a C-level position, a good Chief Technology Officer must primarily be someone who is always eager and willing to learn and keep up with new technologies and developments. Moreover, their job responsibilities call for a range of skills they must possess and hone over time. A solid education in a technology-related field forms the foundation of a CTO’s professional training. Typically, CTOs come from an educational background in Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics.


Digital transformation was on the lips of every organisation long before the pandemic, but it’s now one of the most important strategies for future-proofing the business. So it is understandable that CTOs find the work more critical than ever, with higher reach and a greater demand placed on them for success. While there are no specific certifications geared to CTOs, individuals seeking a CTO role should also pursue certifications in areas such as project management, development, programming or database administration. This role is critically important for delivering a competitive advantage by choosing the right technology that will engage customers. This makes sense because technologies are constantly evolving, so the CTO must excel at finding new and better solutions and see how the company will evolve in the long run.

cto job responsibilities

For a lot of companies, this can encapsulate the role of a CTO — CRM and ERP implementation and supporting international teams with tech issues. Technical domain knowledge – In the tech realm, previous experience and strong knowledge of the industry is vital. Sometimes a CTO can learn along the way, in tech, it’s a little more complicated. 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. Through continuous learning and arming themselves with technical knowledge, CTOs can build an effective technology strategy.

Business Enabler

Moreover, current technological advancements have led to a 10% growth rate projection for the next years regarding the demand for people working in the computer and information systems industry. Therefore, CTO positions are likely to be a step closer for enthusiastic and knowledgeable candidates who may not have the common 15-year mark of experience required for this role. This executive will improve a business’ products and services that focus on external customers by making the most of technology and developing a number of procedures and policies. Today, leaders at companies of all sizes and in all industries understand the necessity of taking a big-picture view of technology’s impact on their businesses now and in the future.

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