The Importance of the Partnership Between CEOs, CIOs and CTOs

The pandemic accelerated a shift in CEOs, CIOs and CTOs' roles and responsibilities.

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By Steve Taplin

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The software development and information technology world has undergone disruptive changes that impact employees' traditional roles and responsibilities. Most fundamental aspects of the economy will no longer remain the same as before, with technology taking center stage of most business operations. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the changing business landscape and with it the CEOs, CIOs and CTOs' roles and responsibilities.

Deloitte's recent study on the role of technology in driving business strategies shows that 93% of the interviewed CEOs and 82% of the CIOs agree with their CEOs that technology remains pivotal in service innovation and product development. The world could not be any better for CEOs who wish to leverage the benefits of a strategic partnership with CIOs and CTOs ready to bring change and give the company a competitive advantage in the ever-changing technological world.

Why CEOs should treat CTOs and CIOs as partners

These C-level executives' roles often overlap in certain areas, prompting collaboration. Here is why CEOs should maintain their power and respect while influencing a true partnership with the CIOs and CTOs for the success of their organizations.

To reiterate the importance of human resources

Great leaders aim to depict the organization's value in its employee. Although some of their roles overlap, top-level leaders such as CTOs often oversee technical operations in the organizations. CEO remains responsible for the company's big picture while CIOs take charge of the organization's information technology operation.

To enhance trust in the organization

A great partnership bridges that trust gap in the organization. CEOs that value talent develop a strategic partnership, which often creates honesty and trust to promote a winning CEO-CTO-CIO partnership.

To enhance superior technical execution

The CEO-CTO-CIO partnership enhances transparent communication and execution of agendas among the C-suite table members. The ability of a member to execute technical responsibilities across the C-level hierarchy has led to the blurred distinction in roles. Companies whose CEOs also act as CTOs include Peloton, Twitter, KFC and Ocean Spray.

Related: 7 Hidden Signs You'll Ultimately Be CEO

How can CEOs, CTOs and CIOs work together?

Although it may seem difficult for CTOs and CIOs to work as partners, the line between the two roles is diminishing in contemporary times. While most people keep comparing the two roles regarding business organizational hierarchy, the truth is that they all report to the company CEO, and the topic of who runs the show should not matter. The overall goal remains to create an environment that allows them to collaborate and drive progress. However, you can guarantee that your CIOs and CTOs remain effective business partners is by ensuring the following:

  • Having a clear distinction between the responsibilities of both roles to minimize cases of overlapping
  • Creating a collaborative environment that will allow employees in both positions to thrive or align with the organization's mission and vision
  • Promoting transparency and openness to minimize the feeling of competition and promote teamwork towards achieving the company's objectives.

Related: 10 Leadership Lessons With Blue Apron CEO Linda Findley Kozlowski

Where can U.S. companies find competent CEOs, CTOs and CIOs?

Finding CEOs who can leverage the CEO-CTO-CIO partnership's importance remains a challenge as most companies merge this role to minimize operational costs. However, each member plays an essential role in the strategic partnership. Fortunately, sources like nearshore software development companies bridge the IT outsourcing demand gap.

The bottom line

Business changes are no longer constant but rather accelerating, and every organization must adopt new strategic plans such as partnerships to align their objectives with the ongoing cycles of technological changes. The CEO-CTO-CIO partnership creates the best resource with a trusting and transparent relationship in the company's executive team.

Related: What Are the Duties of a CEO?

Steve Taplin

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

CEO of Sonatafy Technology

Steve Taplin is the CEO of Sonatafy Technology (, a premier nearshore software-development-services firm that provides its clients with expertise in cloud solutions, web and mobile applications, ecommerce, big data, DevOps practices, QA, IoT and machine learning.

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