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4 Things to Keep in Mind While Appointing a CTO Though every business demands unique qualities from its CTOs, here are some tips that will help you appoint the right fit for your company

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Today, every second company is looking to go digital or is keen to be called a tech-driven organization. And this vision can only be achieved through a good Chief Technology Officer aka the CTO of your company.

A CTO is a multi-tasker as they just don't manage the technical side of your business, but the package comes in with a strong leadership and team management capabilities.

Though every business demands unique qualities from its CTOs, here are some tips that will help you appoint the right fit for your company:

Strong Disciplines + Team Player:

Apart from managing people, a good CTO should be able to apply practical knowledge to build better software or a product. Lack of technical discipline may end up authorizing decisions that lead to a lot of technical debt, which is harmful or incorrect code which will need to be recreated.

Raman Kumar, Founder, Chairman & Chief Evangelist, CASHe feels CTOs should have the experience in managing people and guiding technical strategy.

"Technical discipline comes from seeing projects through and learning from its successes and failures. They should also have the experience in managing people as well as the process," he shares with Entrepreneur India.

Additionally, CTO should be a true team player who puts his or her ego aside when necessary. Part of a CTO's job is to ensure that technical strategy matches overall business strategy. Sometimes, compromises must be made.

Leadership

For Adhil Shetty, Co-founder and CEO, BankBazaar.com hiring a CTO is not a here-and-now thing. It is a decision that has the potential to affect all other future decisions. So, while it is essential to find someone who blends in with the organization, it is more important that the person is in tune with the vision of the company.

"As a leader, the most critical skills for a CTO is the ability to create and communicate a product vision that inspires people. So, being able to talk in profit and loss terms combined with an ability to get people on board with the product vision are the two most important skills," he adds.

Communication Skills

While Kumar on other hand, believes a CTO should have a good network which will easily fill the gaps in his knowledge. A good CTO's network can include trusted development firms, engineers and consultants who can answer niche questions.

"A CTO must be able to translate between technical and non-technical people. He must be able to communicate with stakeholders on how technical choices affect business goals, and he must also be able to communicate to his team of engineers how business goals should drive technical choices," he points out.

Strategic Thinking

Apart from looking at technical and leadership side, CTOs also should have a strategic role in the overall direction of the product and the technology that's coming out.

Just like Kumar and Shetty, Bhavik Vasa – Chief Growth Officer, EbixCash also look into the CTOs quality to grasp technology and management, but his business acumen is also equally important for the company.

"Business acumen i.e. his understanding of the business and its consumers will actually classify him as a good CTO or a Great CTO," he added.

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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