1] CEO/Strategy

 

  • Predict and stay ahead of any technical inflection points that might significantly affect the company.

  • Advise the CEO (and CFO/COO) on the long-term technical strategic direction of the company and where to, or to not, make large strategic technical bets.

  • Provide the CEO with different “options” on the technical direction of the company and provide sufficient information for deciding the best option to take at any given time.

  • Be a sounding board for the CEO by providing a neutral view which puts the company’s long-term interests above all else.

  • Thought leader in all things IT.

  • Innovation and Technology Monitoring.

 

2] CTO/CIO Strategy

 

  • Produce a technology vision and plan for the company

  • Develop the ongoing company IT Strategy

  • Develop the principles and roadmaps to govern the provision of IT Services

  • Develop competitive positioning maps and product/services maps

  • Overall  responsibility and accountability for:

    • Technical strategy

    • Architecture

    • Analysis and Design

    • Development

    • Deployment

    • Utilization 

    • Support

  • Support the Chief Architect in developing  the organisation's strategic roadmap for technology, processes, information, and information technology assets

  • Support the change management function in validating proposed outbound changes to ensure the proposed IT solution is fit for purpose

  • Support the change management function in validating 3rd party delivered changes to ensure the proposed IT solution is fit for purpose

  • Promotion of shared infrastructure and applications to reduce costs and improve information flows

  • Enhancement of technology projects

  • Establishing new technologies / technical projects

  • Guidance in designing and refining the technology needs for the organisation

  • Working with staff within the organisation and wider to understand their needs and obtain suitable technologies to address those needs

  • Leading the development and execution of new technologies to the appropriate guidelines

  • Acting as an advocate for change and innovation 

  • Assisting where is needed with technology architecture. 

  • Develop the roadmap and strategies and principles for the use of technology 

  • Provide support in validating inbound and outbound change from a technology perspective, considering the long term architectural impact on the IT estate. 

  • Undertake Chief Architect activities

  • Work with architect and work closely with members of the Business Units and Change function. 

  • Assist the product’s management, partner and client organisations in developing highly scalable, multi-channel, multi-stakeholder, technology products to support the stabilisation

 

3] Engineering/Product:

 

  • Although the CTO isn’t responsible for the day-to-day tactical delivery (See SMB/Start-ups below), they work closely with the VPs of Products & Engineering to make sure that the overall development direction is well aligned with the company’s strategic technical vision.

  • The CTO influences the prioritization of resources across large strategic technical bets, but should not be involved in the daily execution once the priorities are set. In fact, it is important to let go entirely of obsessing over the day-2-day execution, so as to focus on the long-term strategic thinking without being encumbered by the immediate constraints.

  • One of the key challenges for the CTO is how to champion people, projects and ideas without stepping on the toes of Product/Engineering management. 

  • Be a sounding board for the VP of Engineering, allow them to vent, and help them with brainstorming about the different challenges that the development team is facing. In many ways, the CTO and the VP of Engineering is a very critical relationship, so spend significant time on getting the right balance.

  • Help with the recruiting/retention efforts (this includes ties to Suppliers and Academia).

  • Continuously optimize across the whole organization to avoid any duplication of effort and encourage cross-department fertilization.

  • Ensure alignment of the greater technical organization and, when necessary, arbitrate techno-centric turf wars, architecture conflicts, etc.

  • Foster innovation by organizing periodic ‘hackathons’ and by being a steward of innovation in the early stages.

  • Serve as master architect across product lines.

  • Technology Lifecycle – Develop understanding of the technology portfolio (hardware and software) that is used per business, per technological level of maturity, in order to identify potential opportunities for technological investments (upgrades, migration, decommissioning, diverging, divestment and the like).

  • Definition and maintenance of IT principles and standards

  • Working in multi-disciplined cross functional teams in a dynamic, agile environment to consolidate the various business and technology silos whilst working with clients in bids and tenders.

  • Ongoing support solutions within the organisation's guidelines and governance procedures.

 

4] Programmes and projects

 

  • Manage a large portfolio of projects / define and implement enterprise architecture autonomous functions using SOA and BPM approaches. 

  • Deep understanding of methodologies for architecture (enterprises, technology, solution or application), IT governance and IT development / support.

  • Excellent leadership skills with a technical team that could include Architects, Developers, Testers, DBAs, Project Managers, Infrastructure, and Support engineers. Through agile expertise and practices.

  • Liaising with senior level stakeholders including CEO, CIO, CFO and COO, Investors and strategic partners.

  • Develop the strategic direction and information technology elements of the business plan in conjunction with business managers.

  • Recommend and maintain information technology and systems policies and procedures; IT change management, IT security and IT operations.

  • Drive IT process and discipline.

  • Participate in the strategic and operational governance processes of the organisation as a member of C-Suite.

  • Lead IT strategic and operational planning to achieve goals.

  • Develop and maintain an appropriate IT organisation structure that supports the needs of the business.

  • Establish IT department goals, objectives and operating procedures.

  • Develop business case justifications and cost benefit analysis for IT spending and initiatives.

  • Establish and administer an effective and efficient operating organisation for carrying out the information technology aspects of the business plan.

  • Develop and manage relationships with external service providers, solution vendors, business partners, clients and General Managers.

  • Meet budgeted capital and expense expenditure and other specific financial and operational performance criteria as specified in the business plan.

  • Report periodically to all relevant parties concerning project progress, operational status and plan implementation

  • Maintain and enhance a network of professional contacts among other financial institutions, trade associations, technology and systems developers and suppliers etc.

  • Active participation and engagement on behalf of IT function in projects and change initiatives and regular business meetings

  • Take full responsibility for IT governance model and its implementation

  • Review hardware and software acquisition and maintenance contracts and peruse agreements to capitalise on economies of scale.

  • Establish lines of control for current and proposed information systems.

  • Provide effective management of direct report team and communicate effectively to ensure optimum performance and morale.

  • Lead motivate and support the team, to ensure the highest level of delivery of services to customers.

  • Implement development plans to ensure individuals have the right skills for the role: training, developing and implementing succession planning within the team to meet business needs.

  • Cultivate an environment that supports diversity and reflects the brand.

  • Identify and prioritise business system needs in conjunction with senior heads of departments to the maximum cost effect level.

  • Identify, evaluate and recommend appropriate software and hardware solutions in order to accomplish the agreed goals and objectives.

  • Manage all phases of systems development from requirements definition through to implementation.

  • Ensure information technology and systems operate in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

  • Maintain active awareness of technology and systems developments, competitors’ plans, strategies and solutions and changing regulations and other industry norms and issues.

 

5] Sales:

 

  • Partner with the sales organization to effectively close customer accounts.

  • Support the sales organization by building strong relationships with peers at strategic customer accounts.

  • Participate in customer meetings to articulate the long term technology road map hence strengthening the customer’s confidence that their company is leading the industry.

  • Speak with authority about the market; listen to customer needs; quickly understand their issues; and give good advice on the company’s products to the customers. 

 

6] Business Development and Partnerships:

 

  • Support the business development team in strategic partner engagements and maintain good relationships with peers at these organizations.

  • Provide technical due diligence of partner technologies and acquisition targets to make sure they properly fit with the company’s platforms, offerings, and culture.

  • The CTO should keep track of all the technology start-ups in the same space, and have them stack ranked based on what he/she can glean about their prospects. The CTO should have clear thoughts about: possible acquisition targets, what expertise is the company missing; which companies are doing the best work across all of the ancillary areas; which companies have the best technical teams; what could competitors buy that would hurt the company; and the like. 

  • Represent the company at select technical associations to re-enforce the company’s presence and voice with partners.

  • Predict if a new partner technology would have significant impact on the long-term technological roadmap for the company.

  • Predict long-term competitive trends due to the constant shifts in the market. 

  • Work with the IT Service supplier to provide architecture that is scalable, adaptable and in synchronization with the company’s business needs

 

7] Marketing:

 

  • Serve as public face of technology for the company.

  • Evangelize the company vision and technical direction through conferences, speaking engagements, and press/media/analyst activities.

  • Maintain good relationships with designated key industry analysts.

  • Support the marketing team in building a large active community around the company’s products (meet-ups, hackathons, industry conferences, etc.).

  • Social engagement marketing through twitter, blog posts, articles/whitepapers, etc.

 

 

Call us today: we’ll be happy to help you.

 

 

For general details please refer to the CTO services section.

 

There are seven main constituents that the CTO serves for the SMB/SME - listed below are some of the key responsibilities towards each of these constituents.

 

Each assignment should define the appropriate subset and additional responsibilities. As an advisory CTO support role, only a few responsibilities may be engaged.

Consulting Services

 

Inferz offers a range of consulting and interim options: From strategic planning; the use of technology to grow your business; managing vendor / investor relationships on your behalf; through to enterprise, programme, project, product or solution consulting.

 

 

CTO / Technology (SMB to Large SME)