Whilst the nature of the role often varies greatly from company to company, four broad categories of CTO have been identified by Access Alto.
1. Infrastructure commander
• Charged with overseeing the data, security, maintenance and network for a company.
• Implements the business’s technical strategy, but doesn’t set it.
• Manages the overall technology roadmap of the business.
• Likely to be recruited into an established company, rather than part of a startup.
2. Technology visionary
• Conceptualises how technology is to be used in the company.
• Sets the technical strategy for the company to enable it to achieve its goals.
• Seeks out the current and future technology that will drive the company’s success.
• Likely to have been with the company since its inception.
3. Customer champion
• Operates as the conduit between customers and the business itself.
• Responsible for customer relations, understanding the target market and influencing the delivery of IT projects accordingly.
• Drives technology to deliver customer excellence in UI and UX.
• The customer champion is common within tech companies with a software focus.
4. Big thinker
• Stretches the boundaries of how technology is used within the business and is encouraged to operate ambitiously.
• Plays a leading part in setting the corporate strategy and driving overall technological infrastructure.