With this in mind, let’s go over a few things to look for in a startup CTO. Rewarding their team for exceptional performance and contributing to the development of products is a large part of a CTO’s job. CTOs should go out of their way to make sure good work gets recognized. It’s also important for a technical leader to improve the product by listening to ideas from the developers they oversee, advocating for innovative ideas, and finding paths to their implementation.

Had we written this in 2019, for example, we might suggest, among other tips, networking at in-person trade events and university campuses in search of promising talent. Given the ongoing pandemic and the explosion of remote work, however, we have a few suggestions https://globalcloudteam.com/ on where to hire a fractional CTO and how best to do it. Responsibilities vary depending on the stage of the company and the sector they’re in, which we’ll break out. Larger businesses often split the responsibilities between the CTO and VP of Engineering.

responsibility of cto

To be successful in a competitive industry, it’s essential that your team has a highly skilled technology officer at the executive level who can evaluate and supervise suitable technology. You’ll do your business a disservice if you place a non-technical manager in charge of your technology projects. If you don’t have technology experts on your leadership team, a CTO is worth the investment.

Those who have been in this role for one to four years make around $108,000. To demonstrate these points, here are the mission statements for the CTO roles at 5 prominent tech unicorns. They revolve around an entrepreneurial mission to develop a unique product and an invested hope that it will perform well on the market. That said, more than hope is necessary to manifest a creative vision. The process of managing your company’s innovation is easier said than done.It comes down to creating a company-wide culture that promotes innovation for everybody involved. Once talent has been obtained, retaining it is the next thing to worry about.

Becoming a CTO, or chief technology officer, requires a good understanding of machine learning, intelligent software systems and other technologies that are disrupting today’s businesses. In this role, you will drive innovation within the company and beyond. Follow these steps to acquire the skills and competencies needed to succeed as a CTO. Talent management is often one of the biggest challenges for CTOs.

The Career Outlook For Ctos: Necessary And In

They’ll do a lot of the programming themselves and review the code written by other engineers on the team. A CTO can manage the technical aspects of your company’s vision, bring an advantageous skill set, and be prepared to tackle the routine challenges involved in their duties. One common struggle in a startup is acquiring the talent needed to build the company’s vision. In order to craft a strong vision, a CTO needs to have profound technical skills and a thorough understanding of business.

  • A large part of your work will require strong interpersonal and leadership skills, technical know-how and adaptability to different roles.
  • To demonstrate these points, here are the mission statements for the CTO roles at 5 prominent tech unicorns.
  • This extends to hiring, setting goals, and in some cases, firing staff.
  • As a senior executive focused on an organization’s technical requirements and challenges, the CTO’s role can be similar to that of the CIO.
  • Leaders of all kinds need to have a sense of creativity that will aid them in solving complex problems that arrive unexpectedly.
  • Students have the chance to learn how to create organizational frameworks, manage complex projects, lead digital transformation and more.

As a result, your products will be developed more quickly and with greater attention to marketable qualities. Additionally, by hiring a fractional CTO, you’ll relieve some of the responsibilities that other executives have added onto their roles. A fractional CTO may be asked to focus on a specific role or responsibility. For example, a company might hire a fractional CTO to act as a strategic planner. This individual would prioritize finding the most suitable technologies for the company and creating a technical strategy to lay foundations. Another organization might bring on a fractional CTO specifically to manage infrastructure.

The CTO must also develop the software roadmap, keeping track of emerging technology trends and deciding which to implement to continue driving the company forwards. In order to maintain the startup’s competitive advantage, the CTO must have a strong understanding of business processes and competitors. While a chief executive officer may make the high-stakes decisions that have to be made for a company, in a tech-oriented industry chief technology officers largely inform these decisions. If you’re a startup founder with great business know-how, you’ll want to focus on fundraising, creating pitch decks, and building the product, before the competition catches up.

How To Become A Software Architect

According to The 2020 State of IT report by Spiceworks, 44 percent of companies have increased their budget for technology in 2020, compared to just 38 percent in 2019. Sometimes known as a Chief Technical Officer, or Chief Technologist, it’s among the highest-ranking IT positions in business. A CTO keeps pace with technological advances, then uses their executive powers to make decisions and investments that further the objectives of the company to stay competitive in the 21st century. In most cases, that’s the pinnacle of a tech professional’s career and there are a lot of challenges to get there. From identifying what degrees or certifications you need to figuring out what position you should hold next, you’re going to overcome a lot as you aspire to that executive status. If you’re actively growing your organization, and if your business has a technical side that requires management, you need a Chief Technology Officer .

responsibility of cto

This alters the CTO’s responsibilities, as management comes to the fore. The CTO needs to manage the feature development pipeline so the engineers can work productively while ensuring the security and reliability of the product. This will include choosing the tech stack, designing the architecture, setting up scalable infrastructure, and software testing. They’ll require excellent programming skills and preferably relevant experience as they’ll do a lot of coding in the early stages. As the above demonstrates, CTOs at some of the most successful tech companies have mostly management related responsibilities.

Cto Job Description

Understanding the technical requirements of a project is what’s important here. In many cases, even an experienced C-level executive needs an experienced advisor. For a CTO, a trustworthy senior developer might act as the right hand and help with the most complex decisions. Or you might need a second opinion from someone not biased by being a full-time member of the team. In such a case, you might want to have a shadow CTO, acting as an unbiased advisor.

Larger companies have the resources to take more time to make decisions. Startups demand a different approach, where the survival of the company rests on their ability to adapt and roll out new ideas quickly. You’ll learn the roles, responsibilities, and challenges of a startup CTO here. Since CTOs need to possess knowledge of every department role, experience in several different technology positions is valuable. CTOs need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, or a related field, according to Indeed. In some cases, a degree in business administration or management is valuable.

With a fractional CTO, you can address precisely the projects you’re prepared to tackle, and you’re getting a seasoned professional with diverse experience (and a fresh perspective!) at a fraction of the cost. Those who choose this career path typically start out in a programming or software development role. As they gain experience, they move up the ranks into a senior role, such as chief information officer . Those who excel in their roles and continue their education climb the career ladder and may be promoted as CTOs. At larger or later stage businesses, the CTO is primarily an operational manager who’s responsible for running the engineering team.

responsibility of cto

Therefore, you may have to wear multiple hats and know how to communicate with people from different backgrounds. As well as being the development team lead, the CTO also needs to be a competent DevOps engineer. A successful tech startup needs an efficient deployment pipeline to ensure they can make updates safely and regularly. The key mission of a CTO is to ensure the company’s tech fully serves the business’ strategy. Let’s review the stages that a typical startup goes through to better understand how the role of CTO changes. Typically found in early-stage startups, these CTOs are skilled and active engineers with expertise in coding, software architecture, cloud infrastructure configuration etc.

Chief Technology Officer Job Description Sample Template

The CTO leads a large group of developers with an established programming culture and workflow. Their responsibility has now shifted to management, with new features likely requiring oversight of several engineering teams. As a tech startup grows, the focus of the CTO typically switches from technical leadership to operational management.

responsibility of cto

“Technology vision coupled with strategic thinking beyond technology” is important, says Ozgur Aksakal, president of the Global CTO Forum, an independent, global organization for technology professionals. When a company doesn’t have a CIO, the CTO determines the overall technology strategy and presents it to top executives, according to the BLS. The responsibilities and day-to-day responsibility of cto functions of the CTO and CIO might overlap depending on the organization, how it’s structured, its business model, and other factors. In most cases, however, it’s the CTO who is charged with staying on top of emerging technologies that might be of value to the organization. Top 5 chief data officer interview questions with detailed tips for both hiring managers and candidates.

Whether a company will ‘make it or break it’ often boils down to whether something new is being brought to the table. Though hiring remote comes with a unique set of challenges, it also allows for flexibility for how a team can be scaled. Startup leadership has increasingly begun to hire remote workers as a solution. A hurdle that a CTO must overcome is the difficulty of sourcing these types of talented individuals, training them, and getting them up-to-speed on startup projects. Naturally, as technical leaders of an organization, CTOs need to be able to think on their feet and create viable plans for scaling the company. Leaders of all kinds need to have a sense of creativity that will aid them in solving complex problems that arrive unexpectedly.

When an organization has both a CIO and CTO, the CTO usually has more technical know-how and expertise, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics . The CTO typically reports directly to the CIO and is responsible for designing and recommending the appropriate technology solutions to support the CIO’s policies and directives, the bureau says. CTOs also work with various departments to implement the organization’s technology plans.

Chief Data Officer Job Description

Sometimes, Karrer notes, a fractional CTO will be added to a company’s upper management when the organization faces challenges with an existing development team. The CTO also needs to manage the growth of the development team, supervising hiring and setting the engineering culture within the company. They must ensure that engineers follow uniform standards to achieve a high level of productivity.

The CTO role has emerged as a key player in the enterprise C-suite, especially with digital transformation being such a high strategic priority for so many organizations. While for a tech-oriented startup it would be hard to succeed without an experienced technology-oriented leader, if your company is focused on something else, you might not need one at full time. Still, even very traditional businesses more or less rely on technology one way or another. These systems and processes are extremely complex and require in-depth knowledge of the IT landscape. CTOs are responsible for developing and refining the company’s information technology strategy so that it aligns with its short- and long-term objectives. These professionals are part of the executive-level management team.

Cto Salary

Their role has become increasingly important over the past few years due to the advent of new technologies. Even though they often take a backseat in terms of writing code, a CTO should have a thorough understanding of the development process to lead a software development team. As a senior executive focused on an organization’s technical requirements and challenges, the CTO’s role can be similar to that of the CIO. As you can see, the role of a fractional CTO spans departments, managerial levels, and business goals. We’ve found that, regardless of your company’s hiring objectives, the best fractional CTOs ultimately have a blended skill set that includes technical prowess, strong leadership, and a mastery of soft skills. Fractional CTOs typically involve themselves in both the technical aspect (collaborating with developers, overseeing IT maintenance, etc.) and with business development.

One of the simplest ways to find a fractional CTO is by posting your open position to job aggregator sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor. Millions of job seekers use these platforms to find their next role, so you’re sure to encounter plenty of candidates. Keep in mind, however, that with these sites, you’ll receive a high number of applicants – and it’ll take up a considerable amount of internal resources to screen candidates. Hiring a fractional CTO in 2022 comes with its own set of challenges.

A CTO shapes how the technical sides of a project are managed, striving for a well-defined process that brings results. There is a small margin for error, meaning you need to rely on strategic planning for growth and development. Startup CTOs carry the same role, but due to the bootstrap nature of small businesses, a company may emphasize and reposition a CTO’s role. In other words, small businesses often rely on CTOs as bonafide leaders who can offer strategic guidance for the organization at hand.

This profession is relatively new and continues to grow in popularity. The responsibilities of a CTO depend on the industry and vary from one organization to the next – and so do the professional and educational requirements. If you find a job that meets your needs, ask the company’s management how they see this role. Generally, most CTOs start their career in a technology-related field, such as systems design or information security.

Focusing on this, the CTO would be tasked with overseeing data, networks, maintenance, and IT security for the business. Another option would be to hire a fractional CTO to analyze consumer segments, build business models, and act as a liaison between senior management and product developers. Docker Leading technology strategy and helping to scale product development as well as driving continued innovation to both the company’s commercial and open source offerings. Intercom Designing and running Intercom’s scalable architecture, capable of withstanding many millions of requests per month. Run the infrastructure side of the engineering organisation, which keeps Intercom available, secure, and performant. InVision Moving from the legacy monolith to a Kubernetes-back continuous deployment services architecture with many-nines uptime, multiple customer product offerings, and high-velocity agile productivity.

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