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What Companies Must Look For While Hiring a CTO Today In many cases, a technology visionary can be a CTO. But recruitment businesses have to understand the changing industry patterns to tailor CTO's roles to accomplish organisation's goals.

By Deepak Singh Ahlawat

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Industry 4.0 is the next industrial revolution fueled by the emergence of digital technologies. It is dramatically altering a CTO's role in response to accelerating demands of digital business. Industry today requires more businesses to focus strongly on innovation to become tech-driven. To achieve this, organisations need a tech visionary who knows how technologies can redefine their business model. In many cases, a technology visionary can be a CTO. But recruitment businesses have to understand the changing industry patterns to tailor CTO's roles to accomplish organisation's goals.

The Need For Evolution

According to a Gartner report, digital transformation has never been as high on priority list for businesses as it is today. 31 per cent of the businesses surveyed reported that technology is number one on their agenda. That apart, 56 per cent of the CEOs acknowledged that digital interventions have led to improved bottom lines. With data substantiating the importance of technology, companies are grappling to give out their best while embracing emerging technologies to lead the race. With one eye on new-age IT technologies and the other on bridging business and innovation, the CTOs of today are drivers of digital transformation, thereby directly contributing to profits and business growth.

Agility And Collaboration – The Two Pillars For Today's CTO

The future belongs to agile organisations; ones where teams operate in rapid learning and decision-making cycles. A study by HBR says agility leads to 60 per cent higher revenue and profit growth for organisations. The road to agility requires four key elements to come together – structure, people, technology, and processes. Here, the CTO becomes the hub of the wheel of agility.

For any CTO today, the task is to break down barriers between technology and people & processes. Successful agile organisations need aligned leadership. Which is where collaboration becomes a crucial agenda on any CTOs list. With time, CTOs have managed to break down certain walls for leaders to have seen the direct impact of technology on P&L statements, and the need of the hour is to continue the process to operate in complete transparency.

The Evolved Role Of a CTO

CTOs align brand strategy with IT tactics, implying their research and logic to influence business strategies. They are well-versed to anticipate new threats, predict reliable technologies and embrace the maturity of secular trends.

Everything technology

To ensure accelerated speed-to-market and company's overall growth, the CTOs of today need to adopt different roles during different points of time. A typical CTO's role involves digital transformation, IT innovation, foreseeing and capturing the next big thing in technology, and impacting business strategy using their foresight and knowledge of customers and / or consumers. CTOs create value for their organisations by - building a roadmap for a brand to succeed; addressing challenges say when to implement new technologies; investing in disruptive technologies such as AI or IoT to enhance ROI; creating core differentiating abilities and coming up with innovative revenue resources.

Customer representation

Does your tech investment policy emphasize only on saving cost? Or it focuses on creating customer value?

An intelligent business ensures the utmost customer experience. CTOs put customers on priority to keep business relevant and profitable. They analyse customers, diagnose lacunae in go-to-market, and propose inimitable value propositions around the customer.

Data security

An effective IT security strategy is the only thing that separates a business from perilous cyber threats. This first line of defence falls solely into the hands of CTO. The cost of data breaches is expected to reach $2 trillion and by this year, 25 per cent of attacks on businesses will include internet-connected devices, says Gartner. To cope with such issues the role of CTO will expand to include cybersecurity experts, responsible for preventive policies and crisis management.

The Changing Business Landscape

Catalysed by technology, the changing corporate landscape is transforming industries and roles. What seemed like a problem six months ago is unlikely to be a problem today. In this ever-evolving, dynamic landscape, the CTOs need to be visionaries & collaborators, the infrastructure commanders, the customer champions, and the big thinkers – all combined into one. And that is not an easy find!

Deepak Singh Ahlawat

Founder & CEO, Purple Quarter

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