CTO: Roles, Responsibilities, and Who They Are
As technology became a fundamental aspect of many products and services, companies needed an executive to direct and understand the technical nature of the business. CTOs are now more important and integral to the operations of a business than ever.
Today, CTOs manage all technical aspects of a firm and guide employees on developing the right products and technology that support the firm's needs. When it comes to startups, the CTO often manages much more.
In this article, we'll dive into the details of the roles, responsibilities, and skills that CTOs possess, why they are vital in today's large-scale companies, and how their importance is growing substantially in startups.
Are you planning to hire a CTO?
If you are looking to hire a CTO, try one of our top, freelance CTOs. Or see the profiles of available CTOs from EliteBrains platform below:
CTO Main Roles:
While CTOs are versatile, especially in a startup environment, their leading roles across all industries include:
- Team building: Great CTOs know how to find, attract, and inspire good talent.
- Tools: CTOs excel at finding, supplying, and deploying the right tech tools.
- Knowledge: They are always learning and surpass others in technical knowledge. CTO's know-how and which technology best suits the company.
- Timing: CTOs know when to embrace tech, know when their company needs to innovate, and they advocate for change at the right time.
CTO Main Responsibilities:
The CTO is responsible for a wide range of complex tasks that vary depending on the company's type and size. Their primary responsibilities in any field are as follows:
- Building technology-based products and services
- Research innovative solutions
- Manage engineers and developers
CTO in Startups:
CTOs in startups are much more involved in day-to-day operations. They cover much more ground than their corporate counterparts in order to get the ball rolling until the business is off the ground. Startups need a CTO that has experience in:
- Building the MVP (minimum viable product)
- Hiring Programmers, IT professionals, data scientists
- Security policies, rules, and training
- Application architecture
- Quality Assurance
- DevOps: deploying, setting up, and scaling servers that run consistently
- Team growth and retention
Hiring a freelance CTO is the best investment for startups and small organizations. A freelance CTO comes with many benefits, including the ability to find an appropriate specialist in your industry and hiring temporarily at lower rates.
A freelance CTO can further support a firm by:
- Analyzing technology trends
- Establishing a company strategy and pathway forward
- Optimizing internal company processes
- Sharing knowledge and experience
- Identifying tech stack and picking the best technology for development
A freelance CTO wears many hats and is an asset to bring more value to a growing company. They take responsibility for the technical aspects and find the best solutions and practices to support the business.
CTO as a service:
CTO as a service can provide a startup with a temporary assistant to focus on technology operations that bring a business to its goals. They are easy and fast to hire and can further:
- Assist with forming the company vision
- Develop technical blueprints
- Research ways to innovate and grow the company
- Evaluate technical capabilities
- Protect the firm's intellectual property
- Plan processes, such as development, support, and maintenance
- Research and supply the best tech tools to meet the company's needs
- Consult on budgeting and development costs
CTO as a service comes with reduced cost, lowered risk, increased growth, and heightened value. They support the technology issues facing a company and find better solutions for the software development phase.
Whether corporate, startup, freelance or CTO as a service, all should possess the following skills to be the most beneficial addition to a company:
CTOs must embrace a constant learning mindset. They should be ahead of the game when it comes to new technology. This mindset will allow them to stay on top of innovation and better direct their company to the best practices and products.
The CTO needs good leadership qualities to motivate, inspire, and retain good talent.
CTOs must ensure that any audience can understand technical knowledge. They should master the art of accurately describing technical information in layman's terms so that engineers and stakeholders alike can be on the same page.
C#, Java, and SQL are among the top programming languages that corporations expect their CTOs to fully comprehend and implement.
Design and Architecture:
In startup companies, CTOs need skills in the design and architecture of products.
Strategy drives value and increases a business's competitive edge. A CTO should always be looking for new strategies to implement in order to improve product quality and internal processes.
Innovation is essential in today's fast-paced market. Customers expect efficient and leading-edge technology. A CTO must acquire an innovative mindset to find new ways to create products, processes, cost structures, operating models, and application development.
A CTO needs to be able to work and connect with all areas of the business. From marketing, finance, human resources, and operations, the CTO is expected to bring technological experience that works towards a common goal shared by everyone in the company.
The CTO manages technology in a corporation while also hiring and managing teams, finding and implementing innovative solutions, and imparting technical knowledge to the company. The CTO serves as the technical guide in an increasingly technology-based world. For more information, check our comprehensive guide on CTO hiring options.
In startups, CTOs take on a more direct role. They work closely with the development of a product concept and turn it into reality.
EliteBrains offers top-line freelance and CTO-as-a-service solutions to scale and grow a startup or small company. We provide on-demand experts matched to your industry and specialty. We make it easy, cost-effective, and risk-free to find the best talent for your software projects.