Chief Information Officer
We’re seeing the emergence of a different CIO profile, more about process, change and operations and less about the technology itself.
The CTO’s job profile can largely have four variations:
1. In non-technology intensive companies, the CTO is working with the CIO as an infrastructure manager, in charge of data center operations, network operations, applications development and maintenance, security, and other line functions.
2. In companies selling technological products or services, or those that are using the Web to gain a strategic advantage, the CTO is more likely to report directly to the top executive and have cross-organizational authority. The CTO will be a "big thinker," working from a position of influence as opposed to direct control like the line manager.
I was talking recently with Jay Hoti, CTO for NETs in Singapore, who sees his role as implementing change in a manner he describes as "the three Ts" – T1 being the current state, so managing existing performance; T2 where new technology cuts over and is bedding in and T3, where the investment of the new technology delivers the anticipated innovation.
3. The CTO as the "visionary technologist," working out how technology can be used to implement the business strategy.
4. The "externally focused technologist," whose main role is to develop the strategic technology plan for the organization by identifying, tracking, and experimenting with new and potentially disruptive technologies. Nearly every major IT consulting company implements this CTO role. In consulting companies, the CTO is usually an equal peer of the CIO or may be considered a higher-level executive than the CIO (although the CIO does not usually report to the CTO in this case).
Our job in finding these CTOs obviously requires a divergent search strategy! We search across multiple disciplines, sectors and geographies to find those who exhibit best practice and have the required richness of experience.