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What is a Chief Technology Officer?

A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is an executive-level position within a company. They oversee an organisation’s technical systems, resources and team whilst also managing recruiting, hiring, and training.

Education
Bachelor’s Degree Minimum

Salary
£50k - £200k - (98k Average as of Dec 2022)

Experience
5-7 Years

 

Why does a business need a CTO?

A business hires a new Chief Technology Officer when major changes need to be made to a company. Their role is to implement new systems, hire new staff, and suggest new technical strategy to transform the business’ operations.

 

What responsibilities should a CTO have?

A Chief Technology Officer’s role changes depending on the size of the company they join. Smaller operations will need more from a CTO, whereas a larger company will have existing managers for the CTO to delegate responsibility to and monitor from a higher position.

Here are the main responsibilities of a CTO:

  • Overseeing technical systems
  • Managing resources
  • Managing personnel
  • Building and maintaining partnerships with and alongside senior level stakeholders
  • Engaging in both executive and technical conversation to create roadmaps and business strategies
  • Develop relations with external partners and investors

Depending on the size of the operation, the Chief Technology Officer may also be involved in:

  • Recruiting and hiring new personnel
  • Integrating new technical systems and infrastructure
  • Taking action to improve productivity and workflow

When planning on hiring a CTO for your business, you need to know exactly what you need from them, and clearly list those responsibilities on job posts.

The role may change over time, as the new CTO becomes more familiar with operations, and be given more responsibility.

This position can vary from very hands-on with the technical team, or work through a chain of command while focusing more on communication with other executives, stakeholders, and other industry higher-ups. A successful CTO is adaptable and can adjust when working with different groups, so experience in technical roles as well as a leadership position is required.

An effective CTO will update your business’ systems to improve workflow and increase productivity. Without a CTO to make these changes, your company may become stale while your competitors thrive.

 

What to look for in a CTO

Experience

The most important thing to look for in a Chief Technology Officer is experience. They need to be knowledgeable about the technology, software and systems that need improving and have previous experience leading a team.

It is an executive role, so you need to choose someone who will represent your business well, and will integrate changes that other managers, stakeholders and staff will approve of.

Education

You may naturally gravitate towards a candidate with a Business & Leadership degree but choosing someone with a technical education will often be better.  

A candidate with Bachelor’s or Graduate Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, IT, or IT Security who has worked their way up to a management role is ideal. With this experience they will have worked from the ground up in roles that they will manage and will be better suited to work with your technical team(s).

Personality

As mentioned earlier, you need a CTO who will represent your business. No matter what industry you work in, they should be confident and willing to make big changes whenever necessary.

An effective CTO will create new business and technical strategies that they will outline to personnel and stakeholders. They need to inspire confidence whilst also showing they have thought out the strategies in detail to ensure success.

Overhauling the inner workings of a business isn’t an easy task. You should hire someone with an amiable nature who seems to have the business’ best interests at heart. Staff will be resistant to change, but with confidence and reassurance these changes can be made smoothly, and the results should speak for themselves.

 

Get in touch with us today if you'd like any advice on recruiting a CTO for your business.

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