While the title CTO may evoke images of geeks and hackers, it is a critical role within a company. While the duties of the CTO are varied and may differ from those of a CEO or another C-level executive, they all have the same general purpose: to lead the company's technical and operational efforts. A Chief Technical Officer (CTO) often reports to the CEO. In order to be successful, the CTO must be able to grasp the latest technological trends and implement them.
One way to differentiate a CTO is to look at the job description. The position is highly visible and involves a high degree of leadership. The CTO is responsible for creating the company's digital business technology strategy and leading the architecture of its digital platforms. As the chief technology officer, you will work closely with the CEO and other top executives to shape the company's digital platform. Often, the CTO will be in a disruptive industry, such as retail or media. Regardless of the industry, you'll be responsible for ensuring that your technology is responsive and useful to your clients and employees.
A CTO will also need to have strong leadership skills. They need to be a good team player, a leader who respects and values the talents of his or her employees. For instance, an engineer should have strong ties to the security structure and be focused on engineering. The same goes for the VP of engineering position, and a CTO must have a good understanding of the business strategy to be able to lead and support the technology department.