A chief technology officer (CTO) is a senior executive who oversees the development and implementation of new technologies. In the research and design of new products and systems, he or she frequently supervises engineers and technical professionals. Furthermore, the chief technology officer is frequently involved in marketing and accounting strategies involving information technology (IT) systems. He or she meets with other executives on a regular basis to discuss the company’s success and find ways to increase profits. A chief technology officer must possess exceptional leadership, communication, and problem-solving abilities in order to carry out his or her responsibilities.
Consumer goods companies, IT companies, and private research organizations all have chief technology officers. Supervising research and development personnel is the responsibility of professionals employed large corporations. Technology officers look over research proposals, give workers instructions, and suggest ways to improve product design.
In addition, the chief technology officer conducts market research and analyzes sales figures to identify areas where technology can help. He or she may decide that creating an interactive Web site and running Internet advertising campaigns, the company can reach a wider audience. Under the direction of the chief technology officer, programmers and Web site developers create informative and appealing computer-based marketing campaigns.
The chief technology officer is also responsible for other aspects of a company. He or she is in charge of purchasing, upgrading, and maintaining office computer systems. The officer frequently meets with IT managers to assess the need for new or improved telecommunications and account management systems. The chief technology officer frequently reviews input directly from customers in order to improve efficiency, provide better service, and ultimately increase profits.
A skilled technology officer may be able to find work in a government agency at the local, state, or federal level. When it comes to the use and availability of telecommunications systems, a professional is involved in making public policy decisions. He or she also assists in the enactment of new laws that improve citizens’ online security and identity protection.
A master’s degree or higher in business administration, engineering, or computer science is required for most chief technology officers. They usually start their careers as entry-level or assistant positions and work their way up to executive positions after gaining several years of experience and demonstrating their leadership abilities. Many successful, experienced technology executives choose to become CEOs or start their own businesses.