CIO vs. CTO: Similar Jobs, Crucial Differences
December 18, 2016
In IT leadership, the roles of chief information officer (CIO) and chief technology officer (CTO) at first appear to be quite similar. However, there are key distinctions between the two that affect how they function within organizations of all sizes. Not only do CIOs and CTOs have different job responsibilities, they may also have different goals and areas of expertise.
A recent report from Harvey Nash reveals that the relationship between the two roles is changing with the rapid pace of technology innovation:
“57 percent of CIOs now sit on the executive board within their organization, with 67 percent expecting their strategic influence to increase…But while the CIO is busy influencing overall business strategy, the digital landscape has created new roles in the IT team, creating space for a CTO to help drive IT projects,”
CIO reports. This means that, though there has traditionally been some overlap between the two roles, many organizations now rely on both IT leaders to “drive success in the enterprise.
In general, most professionals in the CIO role have a background in IT operations but now manage the IT infrastructure, rather than carrying out more technical work. The role has become less focused on traditional IT skill sets and more about understanding the role that technology has on overall business strategy.