The Evolving Landscape of the Role of a CTO

Nov 12, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that business and technological strategies are inextricably linked. The firms which have digitally matured, or are on the brink, are vigorously incorporating cutting-edge technologies post-pandemic. The CTO has become the forefront of transformation, there is now a renewed focus on the larger corporate environment and the CTO role has evolved dramatically in the last year. 

Future Transformation of CTO 

While the function of CTO is a staple of the executive team at many large corporations, it differs depending on where you look. Even in its most frequent form, Chief Technology Officer, the title, can have a wide range of functions and responsibilities depending on the workplace. And, regardless of how the job description is stated, the role’s major priorities appear to constantly evolve. 

Tech acting more than an enabler, the CTO is dually playing the internal as well as an external role; owning the technology aspects of the company’s customer-facing products and services (especially more in tech-centric firms but also other industries). Today’s CTOs don the hat of a chief strategy officer as practically every organisation aspires to achieve digital transformation and create tech-driven consumer experiences. 

The ability to harness advanced technologies (AI, big data, and machine learning, for example) to establish a strategic course for a business may be more crucial to the function than in-depth technical knowledge of hardware and code. The tech visionaries are expecting that CTOs may originate from sectors other than traditional IT, like R&D, data science, or sales, as the job description grows. Eventually, versatility and flexibility will be crucial intangible traits because the function of CTO progresses at the same rate as technology. 

What will be most relevant to a CTO in future?

As a leader, CTOs must actively manage their team and find a system to communicate anything tech-related to the board of directors or other key stakeholders. Nowadays, CTOs are expected to be as knowledgeable about business as they are about technology.

Create a community and support system. Being a CTO is a very collaborative profession, rather than an individual contributor role. In the future, a CTO will be defined based on the network they are having. Hence, developing a community is mandatory to handle the role effectively. 

Learn how to concentrate on and absorb crucial information about upcoming technology. A couple of years ago it was cloud; now it’s digital and someday it’ll be quantum. Keeping updated and working to stay relevant is another major key for all the CTOs to achieve success. 

Improving “softer” abilities should be a priority for the CTOs. Patience and the ability to accept change, live with ambiguity, and operate under pressure are among them. 

Bottom Line

The role of CTO, unlike certain other roles, never stays the same. It’s continually evolving as per the time and the scale of tech innovations. Since technology is increasingly becoming the prime mover for a company’s success, the CTO’s function will become diversified. A Chief Technology Officer’s future appears bright, they will continue to play a critical role in maintaining business agility and continuity as we manoeuvre through the pandemic taking stock of the situation and rebuilding for better and more efficient processes.

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