A chief technology officer (CTO) is an IT executive who manages an organization’s technological requirements and direction, and associated matters such as R&D (research and development). A professional in this role is expected to have the business knowledge necessary to make technology-associated decisions that harmonize with the firm’s objectives. Based on the needs of the firm (short and long-term), the CTO makes use of capital for investments meant to assist the organization in achieving its objectives. Frequently, this executive offers technical oversight and review within a company on up-and-coming technologies and technical and system engineering techniques.

The chief technology officer typically reports to the organization’s chief executive officer (CEO). CTOs are becoming increasingly essential because of the increasing number of businesses that are growing in range and global coverage as well as the growth in IT itself.

A CTO’s job specifics differ with different organizations. Having said that, some of the items that are usually found on a chief technology officer’s job description are:

  • Maintenance of up-to-date information pertaining to technology standards and compliance regulations
  • Involvement in management decisions pertaining to corporate governance
  • Spot business opportunities and risks
  • Close watch on social and technology trends with potential to impact the economy
  • Put the company’s technology strategy across to management, partners, investors and employees

Though the role of chief technology officer is often connected to the IT industry, there do exist CTOs in various other industries ranging from technology startups to even the U.S government.