The CTO roles and responsibilities explained

CTO stands for chief technology officer. A chief technology officer is an executive of a company who is responsible for its management of technological needs, research, and investments. It is a top position that typically reports only to the CIO or CEO of a firm. Many people refer to the position as being in the “C-suite” for this reason. 

CTO is the highest tech position within a company and they are responsible for making important decisions regarding a company’s actions and strategies. To get into such a role, a person will have typically been working in the tech industry for at least 10-15 years, to acquire the experience and expertise needed for such a role. 

In this blog, we are going to explore the CTO in more detail, looking and what the role is and what typical responsibilities are included therein.

What does a CTO do?

The main job responsibilities associated with a chief technology officer include:


  • Developing strategy for their company’s technological resources


  • Evaluating a company’s current working model and then making a plan to implement new infrastructure


  • Conducting field-specific technological research and planning relevant development in response to technological trends


  • Ensuring a company’s technological approach is efficient and profitable


  • Liaising with stakeholders and taking their feedback


  • Sharing strategy with external investors and internal partners
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  • Developing and meeting certain business objectives


  • Building technical teams within a software development company 


  • Creating the tech culture within a company 


  • Technology governance and portfolio management 


  • Budget and finance management 


The role of CTO can be varied, however, its general modus operandi is using technological insight to improve a business. A CTO will use their skills, experience, and research to come up with the best possible strategic plans and business objectives. Then, they will work on meeting these plans and objectives in various ways, including building appropriate tech teams, ensuring the right tools are acquired and implemented, and meeting with partners, investors, and shareholders.

Chief technology officer is a top role and it comes with big responsibilities. Overall they are responsible for whether technology is working for or against a company, and it is their job to fix any problems.


What skills does a CTO need? 

As the role of chief technology officer is so valuable and important, there are quite a few skills that someone needs to have in order to be in a CTO role. These can include…


Technical knowledge and expertise: As a CTO manages a company’s technological roadmap, oversees technological strategy and helps to build infrastructure, the role requires a high level of technical knowledge and expertise. To be considered for a CTO role, a person needs many years of eclectic experience in the world of software and tech, preferably experience that covers a lot of different bases including development, cyber security, business analysis, and strategy. 

People skills: As well as the technical side of things, a CTO needs to be proficient in their people skills. The CTO is often a company’s liaison between their business and their customers and/or shareholders. They must be in frequent communication with others about the businesses’ technology and technological processes. If they don’t have good people skills, these essential relationships won’t be developed and maintained as they should be.

Long-term vision: A CTO needs to be a “big picture” thinker. They need to plan technology teams’ work based on long-term strategic goals and plans. Everything that happens within a company’s tech team will be informed by the CTO’s decisions and so it is imperative that those decisions are the right ones. 

Why is the role of CTO important for software companies?

The work of a CTO has a direct impact on the revenue, growth and sales of a company. Their technological role can bring the right kind of business to a company and then help them appropriately conduct and respond to that business. 

Engaging customers, forming alliances with shareholders, and securing investment, are all part of the CTO role. A good CTO can take a company from strength to strength as they appropriately navigate these relationships and connect the company in an entirely new way.

Product and service innovation from a CTO can take a company into the modern age successfully and efficiently. With the right kind of technological guidance, a company can make sure they stay on the cutting edge of technological advancement and never get left behind. 

A CTO can help a company manage their budget and finances in the most cost-effective way possible. They can secure money flowing in and carefully plan any money going out so that it has the highest ROI possible. 

Finally, a CTO can ensure the strength and security of a company’s tech stack. Cyber-security is a critical issue in our modern times and it seems to only become more complex as time proceeds. A chief technology officer can ensure that a company stays safe and secure both now and in the future. 

Overall, it is an essential role with both great power and responsibility.

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