What’s the Difference between a CIO and CTO?

With all of the acronyms in the business world, it is often difficult to keep up with everyone’s job titles. From CIO to CEO to CFO to CTO, what are the differences? In an article for CIO UK, Chloe Dobinson explores what defines the Chief Information Officer (CIO) versus the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Information and Technology

Both CIO and CTO deal with technology in the business, but the CIO earns a substantially higher salary than its CTO counterpart. Additionally, CIOs now have a seat on the executive board and have strategic influence over the business, which has opened the door for the CTO to help drive IT products. So where does the divide lie between the two roles?

In truth, in most organizations the two roles have blurred responsibilities, and it comes down to the CEO taking the initiative to define both roles in the business context. A CIO should be an influential team player in the business. This means that the CIO has greater responsibilities demanded of them, because the CIO not only has IT knowledge, but also knowledge regarding operational efficiencies. A huge aspect of the CIO’s role is ensuring that the company’s digital strategy aligns with the business strategy. The CTO on the other hand is the “external face of the IT platform, with their primary focus being delivering the latest tech to customers, both internal and external.”

According to CIO of First Utility Bill Wilkens, “A CIO delivers a scalable, reliable platform which runs and supports the business model. A CTO role is about product innovation delivering a digital product to customers.” Although each role should have responsibilities defined by the CEO, it is the collaborative effort of both that really transforms the business. They need to work together to align the business and technology strategies and find the best technology vendor for the business.

The modern CIO needs to have a myriad of skills because the role is no longer solely about the technology. They need to be a leader and a strategic thinker for the business, along with being able to build relationships. According to Dobinson, “These skills and responsibilities have enabled the CIO to be creative and influential with the products and services they provide.” A CTO needs technical knowledge and leadership skills. They need to be able to motivate their team to deliver the products the customer desires.

The CIO role has gone through a great amount of changes in recent years, and because of this it may be time for the organization to assess if it could also use a CTO.

You can read the original article here:

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