In order for a business firm to become really successful, the most important thing that it requires is excellent leadership. A technological visionary with excellent managerial skills can play a vital role for the growth of a company, especially a startup firm. When the right kind of technological decisions are taken, it can make your company and product scalable, thereby keeping your working team active and result oriented in their approach.
Different types of CTOs or Chief Technology Officers operate within technical firms. The responsibilities that are handled by these professionals may vary from one company to another. Some of the more prominent roles handled by CTOs include the following:
Major Thinker and Strategist
External Facing Technologist
Technological Visionary as well as Operations Manager
While the roles handled by the CTOs may be different from one organization to the next, there are certain qualities that every CTO should have in order to achieve success in their professional fields. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Highly skilled engineering discipline
Efficient CTOs should have the ability to make use of practical knowledge in order to come up with better quality software products. They should also be independent enough and not rely on consultants or professionals under them for regular technical expertise. The CTOs that lack sufficient technical discipline might eventually make decisions that lead to a sufficient amount of technical debt. This may come up in the form of incorrect code that needs to be corrected and recreated later.
A sufficiently large network of professionals
While CTOs are required to handle large scale technical projects, it is imperative to understand that they may not know everything under the sun when it comes to the assignments that they handle. However, it is for this very reason that they need to have a well rounded network of professionals that can handle different types of tasks as and when required. For instance, if a CTO needs to have an iPhone app built within a short time but have no in-house iOS programmers, then the CTO can make use of his network to get the app developed within a short period of time. In this way, the CTO is not required to hire a full time iOS developer but also fulfill the task as and when required. Every efficient CTO has a network of engineers, consultants and development firms that can handle vital tasks such as these.
A professional CTO should have sufficient work experience and know well enough how to guide technical strategy and manage teams and people. The technical discipline comes from handling projects from the beginning to the end and learning from the failures and successes. The CTOs should also have firsthand experience in managing complex processes and the people at the same time. A CTO with sufficient experience can make sure that a particular project is handled in the best way possible and the teams associated with the work also performs together to achieve optimum results.
Knowledge relating to all technical aspects involved in a project
An efficient CTO should have sufficient knowledge regarding all technical aspects of a particular project. For numerous startup companies, this would mean in-depth knowledge regarding everything that is associated with the development of web software. Nevertheless, it is a hard truth that not all people involved in a technical field are familiar with the workings of the web. Numerous social networking companies actually manage to create only single page mobile apps. However, many of these apps have been redesigned since then in order to update them with enhanced technological features.
Always taking a practical approach to all projects
A CTO should be a practical individual who needs to understand what can be achieved and in what ways. He should be able to coordinate with his team members and not be autocratic in approach. Sometimes clients may be required to cut down on technical requirements in order to cater to market demands. Therefore the CTO needs to take on a flexible approach and scale his goals according to the needs of the moment. Even if the CTO desires to make a technically better project, sometimes this may be needed to be sacrificed in order to meet market needs. Therefore the CTOs should be able to make such compromises as and when necessary.
Strategic thinking and planning
While a CTO is required to work on individual codes of a given project, he or she should never lose sight of the big picture. The CTO needs to play a crucial role in directing the project and making sure that the final technology or the product that is to be developed is flawless and handled as planned. The CTO should also look out for new technologies that are currently being developed and see how they can be used for the benefit of the project and the company. Such strategic thinking is going to benefit the company both in short and long terms.
Every CTO worth his salt should be having excellent communication skills so that he can interrelate with numerous people involved in technical and non-technical backgrounds. The CTO will need to communicate with the stakeholders from time to time and make them explain how various technical choices can affect the business goals. The CTO also needs to organize team meetings with engineers in order to explain them how various business goals are going to determine the direction of the technical decisions. Numerous meetings and communications are to be held on a regular basis to ensure smooth handling of various client projects. A CTO will is skilled at communication can combine technical and business aspects of a company and make sure that every project moves in the perfect direction.
An efficient CTO should have a combination of all of these qualities in order to achieve success in his or her profession. These qualities can not only help in managing all immediate projects but also make further growth plans for the future of the company.