The chief technology officer in your company needs to be able to play multiple roles in order to be successful. While possessing technical expertise, the CTO’s responsibilities reach far beyond coding or engineering. He or she must collaborate with organizations throughout the company as well as work in the public arena. While this diverse role involves a very complex set of tasks, they can be organized into five basic responsibilities, which are described as follows.
Here are the top Chief Technology Officer responsibilities:
- Technical vision: Before doing anything else, the CTO must work with the CEO and other executives to develop a technical strategy for the company. This involves goal-setting, discussing options, and analyzing risks. Your technical strategy must align with your company’s overall business objectives, so the CTO will need both technical skill and good business sense to successfully fulfill this responsibility.
- Production: Working with engineering and production VPs, the CTO aids recruitment and retention efforts, streamlines production operations, and advocates for innovative ideas, high production, and individuals on the team. The CTO maximizes the efficiency of production efforts by coordinating the various teams and operations involved in the process and ensuring there is no overlap.
- Business development: The CTO has a responsibility to your business partners, and he or she fulfills that by aiding acquisition efforts, building the company’s presence and voice, and keeping up on competitive trends, both in the market and among partners. The CTO keeps an eye out for new technological developments that can help the company improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.
- End-user responsibility: The CTO provides market expertise to the sales organization in the company while helping build relationships with potential customers. He or she builds confidence in the company’s vision, participates in customer meetings, and works diligently to meet end-user needs.
- Marketing: For the public, the CTO provides a face for your company’s technical vision. This is done by engaging in speaking opportunities, conferences, media activities, etc. Also, the CTO utilizes social media and online marketing strategies to build a strong online presence. Within the company, the chief technology officer works with the marketing team to develop strategies and plan community-related efforts.
The chief technology officer’s responsibilities move along all levels of the company, from C-level collaboration down to production, and then outward to sales and marketing. The exact shape these roles take depend on the size of your company and the precise area you fill in the industry, but each responsibility is as important for a startup high-growth company as it is for a large, established corporation.