The Evolving Role of the CTO

Published: 2021-06-27 20:55:04
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Introduction This case study will identify and address the evolving role of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) over the past several years. This research paper will be organized under the following headings: main ideas/points stated clearly and logically, main ideas/points supported by examples, implications for management, suitable recommendations to issues identified and a conclusion.
The term terms of this research paper which should be defined to clarify the research are technology and Chief Technological Officer CTO: According to the Free Online Dictionary technology is “the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry. ” According to Investopedia. com a CTO is “An executive who is responsible for the management of an organization’s research and development (R&D) and technological needs.
It further stated that a chief technology officer (CTO) examines the short- and long-term needs of an organization, and utilizes capital to make investments designed to help the organization reach its objectives. “ The role of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) came about because of new organisational demands on technology leaders in the 1980s. The major role of technology in strategic business decisions has fashioned the need for business executives who understand technology and recognize its profitable applications to products, services, and processes.
Organizations have addressed this necessity through the selection of a Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Main Ideas The main ideas as identified by the researchers with regards to the evolving role of the CTO over the past several years are: •R. Smith in a paper entitled “ The Role of the CTO Officer In Strategic Innovation, Project Evolution and Mentoring” In the 1950s and 1960s the role of then experts now called CTOs was centered around recruiting the best scientists equipped with the intelligence to execute high quality research in environmental issues relevant to business operations.
Additionally, experts then were charged with the responsibility of developing potent research ideas and publish relevant research papers. However, given the limited and isolate nature of experts then they were not charged with the authority to make corporate strategic decisions. •By1980s companies began to appoint R&D laboratory directors as CTOs. Technology was becoming such a prevalent part of company products and services that senior management needed an operational executive who could understand it and provide reliable advice on its application.
•The CTO is principally focused on ; quality of products, client satisfaction and advocacy, technology & business analysis, systems & infrastructure, software engineering, product engineering, administration and management. •According to Tom Berray and Raj Sampath in an article entitled “The Roles of CTO: the Four Models for Success” the evolving roles of a CTO for organizational needs revolve around the following four models: Infrastructure management, Big thinker, Visionary and operations manager and External-facing technologists.
•Writers Bohlin, Vantrappen and Wechsler in an article entitled “The Chief Technology Officer as an Agent of Change” stated that the CTO’s mission and role typically evolved through five stages: ensuring alignment, managing the strategic asset, managing technology processes, developing measurement and driving change. Examples to support main ideas: •The role of a district’s technology leader, known by a variety of titles including “chief technology officer” (CTO), “chief information officer” (CIO), “director of technology” and others, is changing rapidly in school systems around the country.
(Alan Dessoff: “SPECIAL TECHNOLOGY REPORT: The Changing Role the CTO”)”Technology leaders used to be the wires-and-boxes people,” says Alice E. Owen, executive director of technology in the Irving (Texas) Independent School District. “They handled the technical side of the house,” she says. Today, driven by economic and accountability pressures as well as changing technology trends, more districts are recognizing that there needs to be a greater role for their CTO.
•Large companies such as General Electric, Allied-Signal and Alcoa created the position of CTO in the late 1980s; the position has also played an important role in computer and Internet companies in the late 1990s; Many of these provide products and services that are pire technology. Consequently, the CTO can play a prominent role in directing and shaping their entire business, ( Smith2003). Implications for management: •CEO’s leadership style can improve or restrict the influence of the CTO’s decisions hence they would have a significant influence on the change in the role of the CTO.
Consequently, management should consider promoting the position of a CTO to top executive levels as it is of great importance as it relates to technology an its advancements and with integrating these technology-based activities into the corporate strategy requires that the CTO foster effective relationships with key people throughout the company such as the CEO, members of the Executive Committee, and chief scientists. •Considering that Chief Technology Officer’s (CTO) primary bases for power and influence are in technical expertise and position power.
This new view implies that CTOs who seek to have significant influence in their organizations should build their power bases on broad knowledge of the firm and its environment, a network of personal relationships inside and outside the firm (intranet and extranet), ownership position in the firm, and intuitive understanding of the business. The new knowledge-based economy in which managers operate, demands that managers understand the necessity of same, as contnued improvement and upgrading of technologiads aids y are nowadays seen as essential attributes of successful organizations.
Recommendations: Based on the findings and the growing importance of CTOs in the global sphere the following recommendations are been made: •In my readings it was observable that mostly international companies have appointed CTO, as such I recommend that:Companies in Jamaica should implement more CTO positions. This will ensure that they are kept abreast of new technologies in the global environment. •I also recommend that a junior CTO should be created in companies as young university graduates are also up to date with technologies and can effectively communicate with person.
Conclusion: The role of a CTO today is quite complex as oppose to the 50’s and 60’s where the CTOs were not involve in the day to day activity of the firm or participants in decisions regarding the firm’s strategy. At present the need of a CTO is very adamant. Organizations have embraced this notion and are utilizing the roles of the CTO in order to compete effectively. Without doubt the importance of a CTO’s and their roles will continue to evolve as companies and individuals are realizing and relying heavily on technology within their day to day operations. Bibliography:
Berray,. T & Sampath. , R. (2002). The Role of the CTO: Four Models for Success Bohlin, H. , Herman J Vantrappen Wechsle E : The Chief Technology Officer as an Agent of Change. Retrieved from http://www. adlittle. com/uploads/tx_extprism/1994_q4_33-37. pdf Dessoff. , D. (2011). Special Technology Report: The Changing Role of the Retrieved 20. 01. 2014,Retrieved from http://www. districtadministration. com/article/special-technology-report-changing-role-cto Smith. , Roger. (2002) The Role of the Chief Technology officer in Strategic Innovation, Project Execution, and Mentoring.

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