Why Should I Hire a CTO for My Company

William R Marchand
April 12, 2023

Want to start a firm? If you have a dream of building a start-up someday, now is the time. And, you simply cannot do without a CTO (Chief Technology Officer) in this age and era of digitalization.

Even established businesses need CTOs who contribute to the overall business growth. The role of a CTO is a challenging one. It involves all-around qualities, including managing the technicalities and operations of a business.

Do you know that businesses in the US and Europe are increasing their IT budgets every year? Investment in technology requires good leadership along with proper budgeting.

There are complicated business decisions to be made. For instance, hiring a technical workforce, choosing the most accurate CMS, upgrading to a better cybersecurity system, etc. Such complicated decisions are best taken by someone who knows the business and technology to the core. It is why a good technology leader is necessary for any company.

When Should You Hire a CTO for Your Business?

Certain factors can influence your decision about hiring a CTO for your business. A CTO can put in place some time-saving technologies for your business. They can also take care of the technology innovations specific to your business workflow. But is there a right time to hire a CTO for your company? Let’s find out:

  1. When Your Technical Requirements Are on the Higher Side

Not everyone is adept at understanding the different technologies. But you cannot run a business without technology either. So, when you do not have the necessary expertise to take care of your company's technical requirements, you should think about hiring a CTO.

  1. If You Are Looking Towards a Technical Upgrade for Your Business

It can be a daunting task to upgrade the technology for your business. A CTO can help you upgrade your company's technical systems and design the long-term framework for it.

  1. You Need a New Technology Leader

When your company needs a new leader in technology, a CTO can help you with business guidance regarding IT and related research. They are the ones to whom your clients will communicate their technical business requirements. They will also prepare your development team to work on the said requirements.

  1. Someone to Push Your Company

A CTO is the best person to lead your business’s IT operations from the front. They will make use of new technologies for your business every day and help you grow.

  1. A CTO Is Also an Entrepreneur at Heart

At the end of the day, a CTO is also an entrepreneur that works hand in hand with you to run your business. They will bring new business, test the quality of your product, and create various editions of it.

If you are considering hiring a CTO for your business, you need to learn what they do and how they can help your business.

What Does a CTO Do?

A CTO is a technical enthusiast, along with being a good leader.  A CTO ideally possesses excellent soft skills along with superb technical skills. Both the qualities go hand in hand when it comes to the role of a CTO in any business.

Of course, the role of the CTO also differs with the size of the business to some extent. For start-ups, the CTOs bring coordination between the customers and the IT team. The CTO acts as a visionary to the employees for mid-sized and larger companies and brings value in terms of revenue.

In both cases, a CTO should identify the risks for your business and plan remedies for those risks and execute those plans as well.

Difference Between a CTO and a Technical Leader of Business

Both CTO and technical leader belong to the company's higher management. But the role that they play in a business is entirely different.

A tech leader will ensure that the business IT operations are running smoothly day-to-day. They will also oversee the team and the daily tasks that they undertake. In other words, a business leader supervises the operations of the business regularly.

The job of the CTO, on the other hand, is to look into the future of the business. They plan and make decisions about the future of the business products. They also track opportunities that the business should take for gaining an edge over its rivals in the long run.

Who Can Be an Ideal CTO for Your Business?

If you are looking for a CTO, you need to understand the skill set that a person should have to become a CTO for your business. That someone should be a forward-thinking person who can foresee the big picture for your business.

According to a report by Gartner, there are four different types of CTO personas. It is a good idea to be aware of all of them. Once you learn about these personas, it will become easier for you to choose a CTO for your company. You will clearly understand what kind of CTO you want for your business and who is the ideal person to take up that role.

Here is a broad look at the various CTO personas:

CTO Persona Type 1 - A Digital Business Leader

A person who is an excellent digital business leader can also make a great CTO for your company. The responsibilities that they should undertake include:

  1. Keep track of the various technology trends and keep up with them. They should also make an effort to upskill the employees with the latest technical skills necessary for the business.
  2. Follow closely what the competitors of your business are up to. They should be able to identify the technology used by their rivals to gain an edge over them in the business market.
  3. Should be able to ideate the technologies you can use to digitize your business and design plans on how that can be done.

CTO Persona 2 - The IT Innovator

An IT innovator can become a CTO for your business when they take up the following responsibilities:

1.      Can guide and lead the IT development team of your business.

2.      Should be able to act as a leader in software that is led by Agile systems.

3.      Should be able to upgrade the business infrastructure to support cloud-based technologies.

CTO Persona 3 - The Business Enabler

The responsibilities of a CTO that also doubles up as a business enabler is as follows:

  1. Should be able to validate whether the technologies used in your business are working well or not. Also, seeing if the technologies are aligned with your business objectives is their responsibility in the long run.
  2. Should also be able to lead the software development team with collaborative efforts from the team members.
  3. Must be able to perform a risk assessment for all the technologies that are used in the business.
  4. Capable of making independent decisions about long-term business investments in technology.

CTO Persona 4 - IT Chief Operating Officer

  1. The person who takes up the chief operating officer of IT role in your business should meet the client delivery timelines. They must be able to collaborate with the software development team members.
  2. They should also be responsible for the purchasing and procurement of IT products. They should be responsible for vendor management as well.
  3. They should ensure that both the internal and the external technical sources are coordinating with each other. These sources must also be performing in tandem with the business objectives.