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What Is a CTO?

What Is a CTO

Chief technology officers are responsible for more than just IT management. Find out what the CTO does for businesses.

  • The CTO is the company’s chief technologist. They keep up to date with tech trends and implement software that will help the company grow.
  • A CTO is an IT professional who works in tandem with an executive. They need complementary skills in both IT and business.
  • It is essential to have the right technical skills, education background, and network in order to become a CTO.
  • This article was written for small business owners who are considering hiring a CTO or aspiring CTO to manage their IT department.– Technology is now intertwined in business. The primary function of the chief technology officer (CTO), is to ensure that a company’s tech strategy aligns with its overall goals. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a CTO is responsible for overseeing the IT department and help desks. They combine knowledge of both existing and emerging technology to offer businesses the best possible solutions for the future.

Matt Mead (CTO) of Chicago-based digital consulting firm SPR said that the CTO role is crucial to company cohesion.

He said, “I believe the CTO could be the glue between product strategy and technology implementation. It can kind of make things really come to life and look great in an organization.”

While not every company requires a CTO for their business, it is a good idea to have one if your startup is a small and agile venture or you are dealing with technology and reliable information. Mead stated that some companies are not traditional technology companies but “data hubs” for an industry. They may need a CTO in order to make sure the technology they’re establishing is consistent with their business goals, and isn’t being set up in a chaotic way.

What are the responsibilities of a CTO?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are approximately 482,000 information and computer systems managers within the U.S. A CTO is an IT manager’s equivalent. However, they play a different role than the chief executive.

CTOs must be:

  • Manage current technology solutions for the company.
  • Assist in the outward appearance of the company.
  • Keep up to date with new technologies
  • Collaborate with other executives to create a budget that will allow you to implement new solutions or solve problems.
  • Take into account the company’s overall direction and goals, as well as how technology influences key business decisions.
  • Technology development and oversight for clients
  • Pay attention to your competitors and make sure that any programs meet or exceed customer expectations.

It is important to remember that not all CTOs are IT managers. Some CTOs manage help desk personnel and make decisions regarding the technology tools used by companies, but many businesses prefer to have a chief information officer (CIO). The CIO is a chief information officer (CIO) who focuses on IT and makes sure that company goals are met.

Mead stated that although the CIO role has been evolving, Mead believes it is still more about infrastructure. He also said that the CIO’s role is to keep the lights on and create efficiencies from an IT operations and implementation perspective.

According to Mead, a CTO is focused on product and strategy while a CIO might be more focused on dayto-to-day operations. The CTO’s attention is not on the day-to-day issues of tech, but the larger picture.

How to become CTO

It takes time to become a CTO. People who are passionate about IT will probably already have the skills necessary to get a job at a company. It’s important to learn as much as you can, start small and then work your way up to a managerial position.


The CTO role has one of the most distinctive distinctions. It is focused on the future. Mead stated that he plans at least three to six months in advance. This gives the company direction and also allows the CTO to be constantly aware of any technological changes. Mead stated that this can be difficult with software such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure constantly changing and updating.

He said, “If I had the opportunity to reduce my role to one sentence it would be to keep SPR relevant.” “That means we must be looking out at the horizon and keep an eye on what’s coming, tools and technologies in particular.

This means that the CTO must be knowledgeable about emerging tech trends in order to help a client or business succeed. It is a huge task to manage a physical data centre. There will eventually be no room for new data centers. However, the demand for data storage will continue to grow. How will CTOs manage such shifts in data management.

Mead stated that they have an annual plan and break it down into the areas they want to focus on. “I feel like a true professional who understands what we are trying to accomplish organizationally. The strategies I have put in place fit in and align with our priorities.”

The CTO can help the CEO by providing direction and vision. This will ensure that the company is moving toward its ultimate goals. According to Mead, this means that the CTO should play on the same level playing field as other chief executives. This allows the company leadership to work together on financial decisions as well as company direction.

Companies looking to hire a CTO need candidates who have at least a bachelor’s in IT management. It is not easy to land a job at a top company. You can never stop learning even after your education is over. It is important to stay current with the latest trends in order to gain valuable time at work.


The CTO has another important role. This involves attending conferences to learn about the latest technology news and to present the company’s technology initiatives in a particular market. Mead stated that he attends seminars and conferences, and speaks to media to promote SPR’s technology goals and business goals.

Learn as much as you can from a mentor. Meet business leaders to discover their most pressing IT needs. Learn from them to improve your resume.

Learn about technology management and improve your people skills. You can join a speaking group, Dale Carnegie courses, or a hobby group for IT enthusiasts. Spending time learning new skills will improve your ability to solve problems quickly.

How a CTO can help your business use technology more effectively

The role of CTO is vital for any executive. It helps to develop long-term tech goals, stay abreast industry trends and work with other executives to determine a company’s direction. Although not all companies need a CTO this role can help to align a company’s technology strategy with a product’s strategy.

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