What Does a Chief Technology Officer Do?
A chief technology officer is a high-ranking executive that is in charge of the entire information technology department of a company. Workers in this position should have advanced technical skills and extensive knowledge about the industry they work in.
Chief technology officers are primarily responsible for making decisions in the information technology department, including managing a budget, making technological investments, and setting a vision for how technology should be used in the company. They’re also required to create goals for research and development in a way that will most benefit the company.
This career path allows candidates to use their previous experience in business and technology to make important decisions that will impact the current and future operations of the company. Chief technology officers work directly under the CEO and will act as technology director when working with colleagues in the same department.
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National Average Salary
Chief technology officer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Chief Technology Officer is:
Chief Technology Officer Job Descriptions
When it comes to recruiting a chief technology officer, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.
As chief technology officer, you will be overseeing the chief information center and ensuring that it performs efficiently for customers, vendors, clients, employees, and others who have involvement in [Your Company Name]’s business. You will set the technology requirements, work to optimize our technology systems for efficiency and productivity, as well as maintain any cybersecurity requirements. Development of new systems, and changes to existing systems, will be key in order to stay up to date with constant industry changes.
Remaining up to date on current security measures, new software, and the technological changes with peripheral businesses in our network will be a must. There will be a need for constant integration with other technology platforms to keep everything online and up to date. You will also be working with other executives to collaborate on the direction of the company and to align our technology with the goals and aspirations of the company as a whole. Training of these systems will be required to ensure that employees understand the changes and will be able to work with the technological changes accurately.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Operate the departments budget
- Aid in onboarding new employees, recruiting, and training
- Oversee technology, science, and engineering production
- Work alongside the chief information officer
- Direct the company’s strategic development
- Establish the technical vision/architecture
- Maintain technical infrastructure upgrades
Education and experience
- Bachelor’s degree required in a computer science or related field
- Three years of experience in data engineering, security engineering, information security management, network architecture, or any IT industry field
- Master’s degree preferred
Required skills and qualifications
- Good customer engagement
- Ability to work under pressure
- Ability to meet strict deadlines and direct the team to meet them
- Capable of managing large budgets
- Stay up to date with the best information security practices
- Works well with others
- Extensive IT management experience
- Effective leadership skills
- Proficient management skills
- Knowledge of all IT systems within the country
- Hybrid degree in business management or business technology
- Master’s degree in a related field
- 8 to 10 years of experience in IT leadership
What you’ll do as the chief technology officer at ABC Company:
ABC Company is seeking a Chief Technology Officer to oversee our global technology organization, which spans teams across Development, IT Infrastructure and Security, and constitutes the largest part of ABC Company’s workforce. You’ll partner closely with key stakeholders from Trading, Quant Research, and our BizOps groups to understand the firm’s business strategy and set the vision for our cutting-edge technology platforms. This broad scope spans the low-latency, globally distributed trading systems, our hybrid cloud big data platforms, our enterprise computing environment which supports the firm’s rapidly growing organization, and much more. In this role, you will report to ABC Company’s CEO and be a vital member of the global leadership team. We have big growth plans, and we’re excited to find a talented technical leader to help us further realize them. In this role, you will:
- Define and deliver the technical strategy that enables our business vision, roadmap, and growth
- Lead the ongoing design, architecture, and expansion of our global technology platform to improve flexibility and scalability, reduce latency, and maximize ROI
- Drive strategic planning and forecasts of current and future technology needs, based on partnerships with Trading, Quant Research, and other stakeholders
- Provide excellent management and technical oversight to the global technology team. Ensure the team is delivering using modern best practices such as Agile methodologies and DevSecOps, with a focus on automation and Infrastructure-as-Code
- Understand and manage the Technology financial budget and operating costs in alignment with business strategy
- Ensure consistent delivery of projects that are on schedule, on cost, on scope, and within quality goals
- Manage key vendor and third-party relationships to ensure alignment to strategic objectives and ongoing reduction of costs. Build effective partnerships with service providers and hardware/software vendors that are unique to the trading industry
Qualities that make great candidates:
- BS/MS/PhD in technical field – Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, Math, or equivalent
- 10+ years of experience in leading diverse and multi-disciplinary technology teams, with a hands-on background working across various aspects of the domain. Will have planned, scoped, and executed highly complex engineering projects earlier in your technical career
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills needed to collaborate, negotiate, and influence effectively with all stakeholders at the firm
- Proven experience providing shared technology services in a global organization. Demonstrated ability to establish the right amount of process and structure to increase reliability and service levels, while not slowing the pace of delivery and responsiveness
- Results-oriented leader with a proven track record of leading complex initiatives across people, process, and technology
- Experience building & growing teams and developing team members to their full potential. Progressive talent management experience with ability to successfully recruit, hire, develop and retain top talent
- Experience in trading or the FinTech industry is strongly preferred, but not strictly required
- Ability to operate in a fast-moving environment and deal with the complexity of multiple priorities and stakeholders
- Organized and detail oriented
As Chief Technology Officer (CTO), you will be the most senior technology leader within ABC Company, responsible for overall leadership to the entire product, technology and data engineering organization, including all store, eCommerce and internal-facing systems as well as the underlying data infrastructure. The CTO will be responsible for continuing to evolve the strategic technology vision, and planning and implementing ABC Company’s key priorities for existing, as well as innovative, new digital products and technologies. In addition, the new CTO must demonstrate the ability to motivate, grow and drive accountability across teams and successfully contribute to driving revenue, profitability and productivity through exceptional execution, high engagement and commitment to quality.
What you’ll do…
- Develop and gain buy-in for an overall product and technology strategy and associated roadmap that aligns with ABC Company’s business and customer strategy
- Lead an effective technology governance process whereby all key stakeholders are brought into the decision-making process, and all ideas are brought forward for discussion
- Drive the prioritization process by aligning business goals with technology resources, identifying initiatives that are of the highest value to the business, and gaining buy-in for those initiatives
- Build the near and long term technology strategy and plan for the integration, upgrade and alignment of systems to fully optimize the value of the enterprise
- Monitor external technology changes and be a source of continuous innovation, facilitating speed-to-market and competitive advantage. Leverage technology to drive innovation in the business, reducing complexity and improving customer experience across all consumer channels
- Serve as a true partner to other members of the Executive team, capable of contributing to the business strategy and operations of the company at the same level as other business leaders
- Create and deliver a sustainable and efficient architecture, applications strategy and operational plan for ongoing delivery and optimal integration of all systems. Develop and implement appropriate technology policies, processes, systems and technology portfolio/lifecycle management, development standards and methodologies
- Manage the budget process and all deadlines related to technology. This includes the alignment and allocation of people, projects and performance of all technology and related functions of ABC Company, including delivery within established corporate guidelines
- Build effective partnerships and negotiate positive agreements with service providers and hardware/software vendors
- Recruit, develop and retain high-performing technology talent. Develop a team that is capable of executing the technology strategy and delivering value to the company. Build a strong slate of successors within the technology organization
- Foster a proactive, results-focused technology culture that is responsive to the needs of the business. Create an environment that encourages innovation and receptivity to change. Encourage intelligent risk-taking
- 12+ years experience as a technology leader with a proven track-record of leading engineering teams to create compelling consumer/customer driven experiences
- Direct retail or consumer-centric industry experience within complex technology environments, including legacy in-store and innovative digital technologies, is ideal
- Strong Ruby on Rails and custom application development experience
- Data and analytics experience, including the application of advanced approaches, including machine learning and artificial intelligence
- Broad-based functional IT experience, including security, infrastructure and architecture
- A passion for the customer and solving their problems
- A proven ability to create innovative consumer facing products, as well as internal tools and systems that improve the efficiency of the team
- A technical mindset, enabling them to speak fluently and credibly with engineers
- A strong strategic mindset and a desire to dive in and solve business challenges as well as product and more technical challenges
- Strong communication skills and ability to clearly article plans and projects both to senior level executives and more junior team members
- A track-record of coaching and developing individuals and teams to fulfil their potential
- An entrepreneurial spirit and are excited by the challenges that come along with building a disruptive business
- A background in engineering and technology, either through education or work experience
- Value exceptional creativity, initiative and witty banter
- Work hard because we love what we’re doing but also believe in balance
- Will back up our talk with a competitive compensation and benefits package, challenging projects, random acts of team-wide fun, awesome co-workers, and the rare tribal atmosphere that values individuality
- Are excited to hear from you
- Outlined below are the required minimum qualifications for this position. If none are listed, there are no minimum qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and 8 years’ experience in software engineering or related field OR 10 years experience in software
- engineering or related field
- 5 years’ supervisory experience
- Outlined below are the optional preferred qualifications for this position. If none are listed, there are no preferred qualifications
- Master’s degree in Computer Science or related field and 7 years’ experience in software engineering
As a Chief Technology Leader for the Applications, Data & AI practice, you will be providing Technical leadership and direction to C levels to address our clients strategic business and technology imperatives. In addition to providing leadership, strategy and direction to the internal practice teams. You will become the trusted technical adviser to the client and be responsible for bringing global thought leadership, helping solve their challenges and innovation to the client. You will be assisting the practice leader in opportunity identification by developing & articulating proposals and technology direction. You will be responsible for shaping complex, multi-tower deals and the solution strategy, with support from the Solutioning team. We are seeking a high caliber individual to cover the breadth of responsibility outlined below.
- Be a trusted advisor to the client, pro-actively educate and guide discussions to win new clients design & articulate an innovative technical strategy/approach/solution architecture based on your understanding of client’s business and technical needs and development of next gen solutions for the practice
- Maintain a strong PoV on relevant global or local technical trends, industry trends, market landscape on offerings and future growth plays related to application modernization, data and AI
- Work with the practice team to identify key opportunity areas for the client by baselining their existing technical architecture & comparing with industry best practices
- Assist in sales pitches and enable proactive campaigns to bring forth client capabilities and offerings
- Post qualification: Support Solutioning team to develop and design a winning solutioning strategy
- Engage with key client counterparts as technical strategy/solution/subject matter expert
- Develop collateral showcasing key technical capabilities, trends and business need implications for client meeting
Required technical and professional expertise:
- Deep & significant experience in working with / developing solutions in certain technologies (including technical certifications) and services e.g., Cloud native development, Hybrid/ multi-cloud, DevOps processes and tools, Application migration program, Hyperscaler, RH, Data, AI, open technologies etc.
- Demonstrated experience to work across cross-functional teams to deliver complex IT solutions
- Demonstrated experience in identification of key opportunity areas with the client by baselining their existing technical architecture & comparing with industry best practices
- High technical proficiency and ability to learn new tools and capabilities quickly
- Ability to engage in consultative selling and draft effective sales pitches to showcase Client’s offerings and win the client Knowledge of 3-4 industry trends, challenges & dynamics, and a strong perspective on how Client can expand industry eminence; attends & leads industry conferences & associations consistently
- Understanding of what it takes to build strong relationships & drive conversations with senior leadership to generate opportunities; ability to coordinate within a team to drive leads to closure
Preferred technical and professional experience
- Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team to develop a global architecture approach / technology transformation roadmap
- Determined and self-motivated problem solver who can thrive in a dynamic, ambiguous, and customer-facing environment
- Superior written and verbal communication skills, including demonstrated ability to effectively communicate information to C-suite / VP level clients
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Master’s Degree
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Google Developers Certification. This is an online coding course that was developed by engineers from Google. It allows candidates to demonstrate their skills and knowledge of web development.
- ScrumMaster Certification. The CSM certification is made available by the Scrum Alliance, which shows candidates the management techniques and values of scrum. This is an entry-level certification but is important for those who will be working in IT.
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library Certification. This certification is designed to help improve the overall cycle and structure of IT services. It allows candidates to manage IT frameworks in an expert manner.
- PMI Agile Certification. The PMI certification proves that candidates are successful in being strategic, knowledgeable, experienced, and organized in agile methods.
- CompTIA Project+ Certification. This certification is for business professionals who manage smaller spectrum projects and will help them gain the skills required to become successful. For example, some skills include how to manage the life-cycle and stakeholders, establish communication skills, and retain project documentation.
- Associate in Project Management Certification. Having this certification will distinguish candidates from other candidates in the job market as it shows their ability to successfully perform in project management. Candidates who typically manage larger projects will have this certification.
Sample Interview Questions
- How much experience do you have in technology management and leadership?
- What is your experience with the software development life cycle (SDLC) and agile methodologies?
- In a technical environment, how do you make decisions and solve problems?
- Can you tell me about your experience with cloud computing and virtualization?
- Can you describe your experience with architecture and design patterns?
- In what ways do you keep up with the latest technology trends and advancements?
- Would you be able to describe a significant technical challenge you have faced and how you overcame it?
- What are your methods for managing and prioritizing technical projects, budgets, and resources?
- Can you describe your experience with security and data privacy protocols?
- What are some ways that your technical team fosters innovation and encourages new ideas?
- If you were to implement a new technology, how would you approach it?