The Chief Technology Officer’s purpose in a business is to consider scientific and technological issues in order to reach objectives. This is a relatively newer role within organisations as technology has begun to play a more prominent role in the business world over the past few decades. Seeing as directing and achieving a business’ objectives is an important role, it is essential that, as a business, your CTO possesses a certain set of skills and qualities that make them ideal for the role. We will look at what you must consider when looking for a CTO.
A CTO will be responsible for leading the company, as a whole, into the technological future. As a leader, they must be able to motivate and guide their team well and have good knowledge and experience in their field. People skills are essential as they will need to have everyone working together towards a common goal. This, coupled with a strong understanding of the industry, will help create a good working environment.
An understanding of the industry
You want someone who is very up-to-date with the tech industry and the latest inventions. That way, you can see who is genuinely passionate and interested in this (and not only performing just because it is their job to). Listening and believing in someone who is passionate about their interests is not only motivating, but it is also comforting, especially in an industry such as technology where innovations come along so rapidly.
They should be aware of all the latest technology being developed, especially with regards to their competitors. How embarrassing would it be to develop software only to find that it already exists and in a better form? Awareness of relevant tools should mean that the best fit is chosen, improving efficiency and avoiding potential pitfalls in this regard.
As mentioned in the previous point, innovation is a huge characteristic of the tech industry. However, regardless of what industry a business is in, a CTO is expected is to produce creative, unique solutions to problems. From implementing meeting management software in the face of space inefficiencies to generally driving value creation using technology, CTOs should help drive the business forward in this sense.
A broad network
Ideally, a CTO should be well-connected, able to call on a number of contacts to help with any problems the business may encounter. From a leadership perspective, they are not to required to know the ins and outs of everything technical, although this would be extremely helpful. Therefore, any gaps in their knowledge should be filled by their connections.
In summary, a CTO should be a well-rounded person, with not only the necessary technological skills and knowledge. From an executive position, they should also be competent leaders.