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What is CTO


The role became prominent with the ascent of the information technology (IT) industry, but has since become prevalent in technology-based industries of all types—including computer based technologies (e.g. game developer, e-commerce, social networking service, etc.) and other/non-computer-focused technology (e.g. biotech/pharma, defense, automotive, etc.). In non-technical organizations as a corporate officer position, the CTO typically reports directly to the chief information officer (CIO) and is primarily concerned with long-term and "big picture" issues (while still having deep technical knowledge of the relevant field). In technology focused organizations CIO and CTO can be the same level positions with CIO focused on the information technology and the CTO focused on the core company and other supporting technologies.

Depending on company structure and hierarchy, there may also be positions such as director of R&D and vice president of engineering whom the CTO interacts with or oversees. The CTO also needs a working familiarity with regulatory (e.g. U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationEnvironmental Protection AgencyConsumer Product Safety Commission, as applicable) and intellectual property (IP) issues (e.g. patentstrade secrets, license contracts), and an ability to interface with legal counsel to incorporate those considerations into strategic planning and inter-company negotiations.

In many older industries (whose existence may predate IT automation) such as manufacturing, shipping or banking, an executive role of the CTO would often arise out of the process of automating existing activities; in these cases, any CTO-like role would only emerge if and when efforts would be made to develop truly novel technologies (either for facilitating internal operations or for enhancing products/services being provided), perhaps through "intrapreneuring."

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Article details
Article ID: 11
Category: Knowledgebase
Date added: 2015-09-16 14:45:18
Views: 449
Rating (Votes): Article rated 3.3/5.0 (7)

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