The chief technology officer (CTO) of an organization is an executive who manages and oversees the technology within a business. Typically, this involves creating a technology strategy, managing the technology infrastructure, sourcing new products, finding solutions for cybersecurity and assisting with product development.
But today, the role of the CTO is also moving beyond creating and managing the strategy and infrastructure. Now, the CTO is also involved in driving technological innovation and leading product development projects. With these many benefits, increasingly more businesses are looking to hire a remote CTO as part of their team.
For CTOs to complete their tasks successfully, they need to have a good understanding of technology trends and implement innovation to meet business goals.
The Professional Skills a CTO Should Have
CTOs are one of the highest-ranking IT positions. This means that all candidates should have certain skills to ensure they can complete tasks successfully.
Some of the most important skills include:
- Business sense: A CTO requires a sound understanding of how business functions, the challenges it faces, and the solutions needed to overcome them.
- Leadership skills: CTOs typically work with teams. To ensure a high level of productivity, a CTO should be able to motivate employees. To do this, a CTO has to delegate tasks, while offering guidance and mentoring when needed.
- Effective communication: A CTO should be able to communicate with all stakeholders effectively. This includes communicating ideas, technical information and solutions to problems. This involves a thorough understanding of the business and projects the CTO is working with.
- Decision-making skills: One of the biggest responsibilities of a CTO is to make important decisions regarding teams, resources, tasks and deadlines. The CTO can work on a strategy that includes all these points or work alongside the technical co-founder and other stakeholders to assist with advice when decisions need to be made.
- Ability to conduct research: When new projects are launched, the CTO needs to be able to do thorough research around the business’ needs and which solutions are best suited. The CTO should also be able to identify any possible challenges and find resolutions for them.
- Strategic thinking skills: A CTO needs to think strategically to focus on the bigger picture of a business or project’s goals. It is the responsibility of the CTO to lead a team of project managers, developers and designers, while they focus on the details.
- Time management skills: The responsibilities of the CTO can be so demanding, that it is very important to have excellent time management skills. This includes being able to set up tasks, follow timelines and meet deadlines.
- Ability to employ tech talent: A CTO should have the skills to source and employ, or at least, assess, new candidates. The CTO has the experience and knowledge to understand which candidates are right for certain positions and what type of skills they should have.