The Chief Technology Officer Cto Commerce Essay

The outgrowth of the Chief Technology Officer function over the past few old ages is basically altering the landscape of concern direction. This alteration and administration ‘s acceptance of it will probably specify the success of most concerns as The Internet does its best to interrupt every concern theoretical account, while contriving new 1s throughout the procedure.This research paper aims to clear up the duties of the CTO in engineering driven concerns and the accomplishments required to run into those duties. The end was to develop a model ( “ Duties and Skills Matrix ” ) on which to establish a CTO accomplishments development. This matrix can so be used to enroll and develop persons for the function of CTO and the office of the CTO.Academic positions as to the strategic duties of the CTO are changing and therefore are the accomplishments necessary to run into those duties. This paper has assessed the available academic literature, and the findings form the footing of Chapter Two.

These have informed inputs of the interview inquiries that were asked of experts in the field, and are presented in Chapter Three ; Chapter Four so explores the qualitative research methodological analysis that will be utilised for the survey.The informations collected from the interviews was so transcribed and tagged to place emerging forms from the informations, leting the listing of duties and accomplishments most often mentioned by the experts interviewed in Chapter Five. From this list the Top 10 duties and Top 10 accomplishments to run into the duties of the CTO within engineering driven administrations were listed, based on frequence of reference.The consequences were so farther explored in Chapter Six by manner of a accomplishments and duties matrix for the CTO function.

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Research Scope

The range of this research undertaking is defined by the definitions of the undermentioned footings:


Harmonizing to Wikipedia ( ‘Chief Technology Officer ” , n.d.

) a CTO is defined asA Chief Technical Officer or Chief Technology Officer ( abbreviated as CTO ) is an executive place whose holder is focused on scientific and proficient issues within an organisation. Basically, a CTO is responsible for the transmutation of capital – be it pecuniary, rational, or political – into engineering in promotion of the company ‘s aims. ( ‘Chief Technology Officer ” , n.d. )

Technology Driven Organisations within South Africa

The definition used within this research paper of a engineering driven administration is any administration in which the usage of engineering is critical to daily operation.A few illustrations of such administrations would be: fiscal establishments, internet service suppliers, telecommunications companies and any other company that can non present a service or merchandise to a client without the usage of engineering.It is besides of import to observe that merely South African based administrations and CTOs will organize the range of this research.


The Oxford English dictionary defines a accomplishment as “ the ability to make something good ; expertness ” .

( Oxford English Dictionary, 2012 )


And it defines a duty as “ the province or fact of being accountable or to fault for something ” . ( Oxford English Dictionary, 2012 )

Research Motivation

The implicit in motive to my research is both personally and professionally driven. On a personal degree, I am so passionate about the engineering industry that I feel I need to add to the organic structure of cognition that is this under-researched field, and on a professional degree I one twenty-four hours draw a bead on to be the CTO of a engineering driven administration.Qualitative research was besides chosen with the intent of enabling a learning chance to heighten my hearing and verbal reading accomplishments instead than defaulting to quantitative research, which is more within my comfort zone.Adam Long in his web log titled ‘The Chief Technology Officer ‘ high spots the importance of the CTO function and how it is mostly misunderstood when he saysThe function of the Chief Technology Officer ( CTO ) is one of the least defined and understood corporate executive functions ( such as CEO, COO, CFO, CIO ) . The function has been deriving prominence in many organisations, as witnessed with the freshly created place of Chief Technology Officer of the United States ( Long, 2007, parity. 2 ) .Medcof and Atkinson ( 2009 ) have their ain penetrations into the function and they believe thatThe function of the CTO is a strategic one which includes duties like guaranting the effectual operation of engineering as a whole in the administration, to aline corporate and engineering scheme and to function as an active member of the administrations top direction squad and to travel beyond the duties of which are merely proficient Medcof and Atkinson ( 2009, p.

26 ) .Pratt in her article The CTO: It ‘s Chameleon states that “ now more than of all time CTOs are expected to hold the concern cognition that ties that engineering vision to a company ‘s mission, public presentation and fiscal ends. ” ( Pratt, 2007, parity. 5 ) .Blodgett in her article for the CIO magazine provinces that the CTO is deriving more dutyOne theoretical account that is developing particularly in larger companies, is to divide IT leading between CIO and CTO although many CIOs have worked with CTOs in the yesteryear, today ‘s CTO ‘s are being given more duty given the overpowering demands and complexnesss jumping into the eBusiness disturbance ( Blodgett, 2007, paragraph:10 ) .

What is going copiously clear is that the CTO has a really of import organizational function to play. What remains ill-defined are the strategic duties are of a CTO, and the needed skills the CTO needs to in order to run into those strategic duties within engineering driven administrations.

Research Problem

If anything is clear about the function a CTO dramas within the administration it would be the fact that the function is dynamic and is one that is emerging into a cardinal participant on the house ‘s board. The CTO function is non today what it was five old ages ago and as such, it will necessitate to be defined in footings of the strategic duties and the necessary accomplishments that are required to stand out at the place, particularly within engineering driven administrations.“ Those who aspire to strategic leading as Chief Technology Officers must look beyond their roots in engineering and develop their callings in visible radiation of the worlds of how determinations are made in top direction squads. ” ( Medcof, 2007, paragraph1 )The grounds from the literature suggests the CTO function now requires an executive participant which is good versed in the kingdom of concern and engineering, a leader with good interpersonal accomplishments that is person their stakeholders can associate to every bit good as person who can do some of the most of import strategic determinations for big administrations. The function requires an pioneer with broad organizational experience who is besides a airy and can pass on that vision for the administration to derive competitory advantage within the market place.

The job therefore that this research study will take to turn to is: -What are the strategic duties of a CTO?What are the accomplishments required to run into the strategic duties of a CTO?If we use the definitions from subdivision 1.2 above we can farther simplify the two research inquiries to state that this research survey will specify what a CTO working within a engineering driven administration is accountable for and depending on their accomplishment set, how good they have the ability to execute these undertakings.

Chapter Two – Theory and Literature Review


The direction of engineering has changed dramatically over the last decennary as the cyberspace has gained impulse, coercing concern to accommodate and is continually germinating and maturating with emerging engineerings come ining the market, and their execution within the administration.Edler, Meyer-Krahmer and Reger believe thatFirms have more and more developed overall schemes for their direction of engineering. This is due to the fact that the cumulative nature of technological know-how emphasises the demand for schemes that enable houses both to construct cognition in bing nucleus engineerings and to entree freshly emerging engineerings to prolong long-run fight of the company ( Edler, Meyer-Krahmer and Reger, 2002, p.149 ) .So if the CTO function is so built-in to an administrations overall scheme and hence public presentation, the function deserves a clearer definition of its duties and the accomplishments required to run into those duties within academic literature.

The literature collected and examined within this Chapter has been grouped into five subjects.In engineering goaded administrations, the CTO plays a critical function in alining the engineering enablers to the administration ‘s scheme ( Roberts, 2001 ; Smith, 2003 ; Medcof and Yousofpourfard, 2006 ) . In order for this to be successful, the CTO needs the range and comprehensiveness of accomplishments to put to death. Medcof goes farther to state that he believes that “ an unempowered CTO will non be successful ” ( Medcof, 2008, p. 407 ) .This Chapter evaluates the available academic literature available environing the duties of the CTO into five different subjects that emerged from the literature:Corporate scheme definitionCompetitive advantageInventionPower baseCorporate scheme executingThis Chapter so looks at the accomplishments required to run into the strategic duties explored above that emerged from the available academic literature.

Definition of the Chief Technology Officer Role

The publications reviewed for this research survey reveal a few somewhat differing definitions of the CTO function:Medcof ( 2007 ) in 2007 defined the CTO function as, “ The Chief Technology Officer is the most senior executive responsible for engineering in the corporation and ideally plays an of import function in explicating house scheme and guaranting that technological considerations are optimally integrated into that scheme ” ( Medcof, 2007.

p.1 para.1 ) .Medcof ( 2008 ) expanded his definition of a CTO in 2008 farther to “ The Chief Technology Officer ( CTO ) is normally the highest ranking engineering director in the house and in some administrations the place is called Vice President of Technology or some other discrepancy ” Medcof ( 2008, p. 406 ) .Smith ( 2007 ) defines the CTOs relevancy within the administration as, “ The CTO is a bourgeois who measures invention, research and experimentation by the part they make to a company ‘s grosss and future competitory advantage ” ( Smith, 2007, p. 21 ) .

“ The modern CTO place calls for a engineer or scientist who can interpret technological capablenesss into strategic concern determinations ” ( Smith, 2003, p. 2 ) .Hartley ( 2011 ) believes that the function is dynamic “ The CTO is a new and evolving function, holding been foremost utilised over the last few decennaries ” ( Hartley, 2011, parity. 1 ) .All of the above disparate definitions all talk to the fact that the CTO is a proficient expert who assumes the function of the highest superior proficient employee within the administration, who is responsible for invention which enables the house to derive competitory advantage and who plays an built-in portion in specifying corporate scheme and executing thereof.

Strategy Definition

The CTO plays a cardinal function in the definition of the administration ‘s corporate scheme, a sentiment which is echoed by legion faculty members.“ The CTO is the most senior executive responsible for engineering in the corporation and ideally plays an of import function in explicating house scheme and guaranting that technological considerations are optimally integrated into that scheme ” ( Medcof, 2007, p.23 ) . Roberts ( 2001 ) agrees with Medcof and believes that one of the duties of the CTO is in helping to specify and put to death the corporate scheme. ( Roberts 2001 )Medcof and Atkinson ‘s position is that the CTOs engagement in corporate scheme definitionInvolves selling the engineering scheme to the executive squad, carrying them to change the house ‘s scheme to suit the engineering scheme, and to hold to accommodations of the engineering scheme to suit steadfast scheme. In short, it is the CTOs function to take the harmonization of engineering and concern scheme within the context of the executive commission ( Medcof and Atkinson, 2009, p. 25 ) .Roberts ( 2001 ) found that in engineering goaded administrations, the grade to how tightly coupled the engineering scheme and corporate scheme are correlates to its overall effectivity.

This may be attributed to as Hartley ( 2011 ) puts it, “ The CTO can assist to associate scheme with research and development activities, a nexus that may hold been absent antecedently ” ( Hartley, 2011, p. 34 ) . Flynn besides highlights the importance of the CTO engagement in the corporate scheme definition procedure when he says that “ The CTO understands the company ‘s strategic way ; this in bend requires an apprehension of the nature of the corporate scheme and the scheme preparation procedure ” ( Flynn, 2006, p. 5 ) .When Medcof ( 2008 ) states that “ The effectual integrating of engineering into house scheme is indispensable for the success of houses in technology-driven industries ” , ( Medcof, 2008, p.406 ) he is reaffirming the sentiments of his fellow academic co-workers.The CTO can besides to a great extent act upon the company civilization and aid in making a civilization that fosters an credence of engineering. Smith ( 2003 ) concludes that “ CTOs can besides play an of import function in making the internal civilization ; specifically the CTO should originate activities and policies that create a engineering friendly civilization aligned with the company ‘s concern scheme ” ( Smith, 2003, p.

32 ) .The overall impact of the CTO and the function they play in incorporating engineering into corporate scheme is good understood, nevertheless it is of import to foreground that the CTO has a merely as of import function to play in footings of intercompany procedures as Thurlings and Debackere, ( 1996 ) province, driving intercompany invention procedures, and finding how best to pull off big and complex undertakings being a cardinal activity of the CTO. ( Thurlings and Debackere, 1996 ) .Smith ( 2007 ) believes that the CTO place “ calls for an operational executive who can do of import strategic determinations that impact the competitory advantage of the company. ” ( Smith, 2007, p. 18 ) and Ferdows and Adler believe that “ measuring technological facets of major strategic enterprises ” ( Ferdows and Adler, 1990, p.

59 ) is one of the five major activities that a CTO deems of import.Hartley ( 2011 ) sums up the subject of corporate scheme definition nicely when he says “ Since incorporating engineering and corporate scheme is one of the primary maps of a CTO, this survey indicates that a CTO can positively impact company public presentation. ” ( Hartley, 2011, p. 29 ) .

Competitive Advantage

A cardinal measurement tool of an administrations public presentation would be to look at whether or non it has a competitory advantage over its rivals within the market topographic point.The male parent of corporate scheme, Michael E. Porter feels thatTechnology has a important function in competitory advantage if it has a important function in finding comparative cost place or distinction. Since engineering is embodied in every value activity and is involved in accomplishing linkages among activities, it can hold a powerful consequence on both cost and distinction.

( Porter, 1985, p. 63 ) .Hartley ( 2011 ) believes that competitory advantage had a large function to play in the creative activity of the CTO function ab initio when he says “ new merchandise development has driven companies to make a Chief Technology Officer place to take and direct engineering development activities ” . ( Hartley, 2011, p. 28 ) .Medcof and Atkinson ( 2009 ) besides back up this impression, as they believe that it is the duty of the organizational CTO to head up the expeditionary leading function ofCoordination and leading across concern maps to guarantee the advancement of engineering based inventions, driving commercialisation across maps, work outing concern unit exigency jobs that involve engineering, scanning for and accessing external beginnings of engineering, scanning for technological competitory intelligence, placing and measuring menaces and chances contained in technological discontinuities, and taking technological confederations and coactions with other organisations. Medcof and Atkinson ( 2009, p.

26 ) .While there are many lending factors that can find whether or non an administration has a competitory advantage within the market place a CTO is a really of import factor in that procedure every bit, as Ferdows and Adler ( 1990 ) put it a, “ CTO can lend to legerity by easing the procedure of tapping chances emerging among engineering providers, developing merchandises and processes that capitalise on new technological chances, and marshalling the complementary accomplishments and resources needed to efficaciously work these inventions ” ( Ferdows and Adler, 1990, p.61 ) .

Medcof and Atkinson ( 2009 ) besides talk to the fact that the CTO is non merely a short term function as they believe that “ senior engineering leading is involved in determinations that tend to widen for a clip skyline of 10 to 20 old ages or even longer ” ( Medcof and Atkinson, 2009, p. 6 ) which further affirms the fact that the CTO is a cardinal participant in making and assisting prolong competitory advantage.This is discussed farther by when he says Flynn ( 2006 ) “ To be effectual, CTO ‘s must appreciate how rising engineerings can give a company a competitory advantage and be able to take a planetary position of engineering direction ” ( Flynn, 2006, p.

4 ) .


In line with this “ planetary ” position, one of the most of import functions a CTO fills is that of invention leader, as this is the cardinal enabler of deriving competitory advantage.Burgelman, Christensen, and Wheelwright, ( 2004 ) believe that “ Established hi-tech companies typically spend at least 5 per centum of gross revenues on engineering and innovation-related activities ” ( Burgelman, Christensen, and Wheelwright, 2004, p.

1 ) this is a ample investing that administrations make in invention, it can hence be assumed that invention is an of import strategic enterprise.Smith ( 2003 ) saida CTO who embodies current cognition, is networked with company applied scientists, has old ages of experience and has entree to executive determination shapers is a valuable resource in recognizing of import new engineerings and conveying them into the company ‘s strategic determination doing procedure ( Smith, 2003, p. 3 ) .and Uttal et Al. ( 1992 ) believe that one of the chief duties of the CTO function was in “ prima new engineering and invention developments ” ( Uttal et al. , 1992, p. 22 ) .

Medcof and Atkinson ( 2009 ) concur with Smith and Uttal by holding stated that a CTOs function is in “ prima strategic invention, taking the debut of cognition direction, constructing a company civilization of invention, edifice webs for garnering competitory intelligence on of import organisational issues ” ( Medcof and Atkinson, 2009, p.27 ) .So it is hence of import for the CTO to be the organizational keeper of invention, invention enables new merchandise development from the outgrowth of new engineerings and creates advantages for the administration in footings of their go-to-market merchandise offering that creates an overall competitory advantage for the administration within the industry it operates in. Ferdows and Adler ( 1990 ) believe that the supervising of new engineering developments is one of the five major activities that a CTO must execute.Porter ( 1985 ) believes that strategic invention is a important portion of how companies can happen ways for turning and edifice advantages, instead than merely extinguishing disadvantages. Deevi ( 2011 ) suggests that many administrations have augmented their R & A ; D operations with unfastened invention which is grounds of administrations internalizing invention and hence constructing these advantages that Porter negotiations about.

Cannon ( 2005 ) impresses that it is the CTOs duty to guarantee that the administration values the intangible assets it acquires through invention.Keep abreast with External Technology Changes / New Product Development/ Maintaining Competitive AdvantageInvention is assisted by the CTOs engagement with external commissions and by holding their finger on the pulsation of new and emerging engineerings, so that they can drive early acceptance of such engineerings. This external engagement in society plays a large function in the CTOs ability to animate and foster invention within administrations Smith ( 2003 ) highlights one of the chief duties of the CTO as “ supervising following engineerings and measuring their possible to go new merchandises or services ” , he besides goes on to include that a CTO ‘s function is besides required to be available to authorities and academe as adept advisers on engineering, “ outstanding engineers are frequently called upon to supply services to authorities, academic and professional administrations. ” ( Smith, 2003, p.31 ) .Hartley ‘s ( 2011 ) survey provides empirical grounds that “ the CTO place has a positive impact on invention and fiscal public presentation of an administration. ” ( Hartley, 2011, p.

34 ) . If the CTOs function can impact the overall fiscal public presentation of an administration, so that gives them important power at board degree. This subject will be explored in the following subdivision.

A CTO ‘s Power Base

Uttal et Al. ( 1992 ) introduces the following subject of a CTO ‘s power base nicely when they say, “ when a CTO lacks credibleness, it is barely surprising that he feels disenfranchised, excluded and missing in influence. Without credibleness, the CTOs attempts are doomed to neglect, a leading spread is certain to prevail ” ( Uttal et al. , 1992, p. 15 ) .Ferdows and Adler ( 1990 ) include, “ stand foring engineering within senior leading squad of the administration ” as one of the five major activities of the CTO. ( Ferdows and Adler, 1990, p. 58 ) .

Therefore the CTO function demands to get adequate organizational power to be able to significantly act upon the cardinal determination shapers.

External Parties/Communities

The CTO must develop other bases or influence which are mostly informal, such as strong personal relationships with the CEO and other influential people, a strong informal web both inside and outside the administration, a important ownership place in the house, expertness in affairs other than engineering including an intuitive appreciation of concern issues and good cognition of the corporation and its environment. ( Medcof, 2008, p. 419 ) .Smith ( 2003 ) besides believes that stand foring the administration through selling and the media is one of the six chief strategic duties of the CTO that he defined in his research. Ferdows and Adler ( 1990 ) believe that, “ pull offing the external engineering environment ” is one of the five major activities they defined in their research that a CTO fulfils, so this peculiar subject is coming through strongly in legion pieces of literature. ( Ferdows and Adler, 1990, p.

59 ) .In Smith ‘s ulterior work ( 2007 ) he believed that the CTO place emerged due to the acceleration of engineerings, “ it appears as if the CTO place proliferated as a consequence of the rapid acceleration of engineerings available to go merchandises or services. ” ( Smith, 2007, p.22 ) and Ferdows and Adler ( 1990 ) agrees with Smith ‘s sentiments by holding said that “ the CTO plays this integrating function made progressively necessary by the curious kineticss of technological development ” .

( Ferdows and Adler, 1990, p. 61 ) .The fact that the CTO function itself was formed out of a despairing demand for engineering leading within the engineering driven administrations and give the function more power over functions that are your more tally of the mill C-Suite places because of the dependence on engineering audience for most strategic determinations.

CAPEX and P & A ; L Responsibilities

CTO ‘s chief beginning of power comes from their technological expertness. Ferdows and Adler ‘s findings suggest that there are really few CTOs who have non sunk deep roots in the proficient community at some point in their calling.

Gwyenne ( 1996 ) believes that a CTO ‘s power base can be farther widened by holding P & A ; L duties, “ taking duty for net incomes and losingss additions credibleness for the CTO where it counts — at the highest degrees of direction. ” ( Gwyenne, 1996, p. 17 ) .

Board Duties

Medcof ( 2007 ) echoes Uttal ‘s sentiments by saying thatplace and proficient experience entirely are non sufficient bases of power and influence in the upper echelons, but there are other power bases that CTOs can utilize. CTOs will non hold credibleness with their CEOs and other executives, unless they are seen to be both concern and technically savvy.

( Medcof, 2007, p.27 ) .

Strategy Execution

Corporate scheme is merely every bit good as its executing and here the CTO has yet another large function to play in footings of confer withing to the organizational concern units about engineering, seting in topographic point effectual procedure which enable invention as we as doing about day-to-day of import engineering determinations.“ The wide authorization of the CTO is treble. First, is to guarantee the effectual operation of the engineering map and it ‘s relationships with other maps. Second, is to guarantee the harmonisation of house and engineering scheme. Third, is to do an appropriate part as a member of the top direction squad to the overall success of the organisation through parts that go beyond the immediate authorization of the engineering map.

” ( Medcof and Atkinson, 2009, p. 6 ) .Consult to inter-organisational Business units about engineeringThe CTO is besides responsible for confer withing to other countries of the administration about engineering and to help with engineering scheme. “ The CTO is a technically minded individual who is available to assist other senior direction to understand engineering issues and pass on efficaciously with respect to engineering and scheme. ” ( Hartley, 2011, p. 34 ) .

Ferdows and Adler ( 1990 ) echo Hartley ‘s statement when they include “ coordinative among concern units ‘ technological attempts to leverage synergisms and create economic systems of graduated table ‘ ( Ferdows and Adler, 1990, p. 58 ) in their sum-up of the five major activities performed by a CTO.The function of the CTO is non like any other on the board – it is a complex function which requires a diverse accomplishment set and must non be treated in the same mode. Smith ( 2011 ) believes “ engineering is both more diverse and more specialized than finance and human resources, and it may be more hard to pull off with the same top-down hierarchy used in those spheres.

” ( Smith, 2011 p.60 ) . The complex accomplishment set required by a CTO to run into the strategic duties outlined above will be explored in the following subject.

Skill Set

Deevi ( 2011 ) opens the treatment about the following subject by saying that, “ the function of the CTO is a wide and complex one necessitating a comprehensiveness of accomplishments ” ( Deevi, 2011, p. 9 )This comprehensiveness of accomplishments is explored within this subject demonstrates the demand for consideration of the fact that the CTO can no longer merely hold a deepness in proficient expertness to work efficaciously at their occupation but besides need a comprehensiveness of other accomplishments that are required by other C-Suite places.

Flynn ( 2006 ) states that, “ whatever the precise nature of the engineerings they manage ; most CTO ‘s now need a wide apprehension of engineering and its application to the concern. ” ( Flynn, 2006, p.4 )Smith ( 2003 ) demonstrates the demand for consideration of the fact that the CTO needs airy accomplishments to be effectual.

“ One of the cardinal functions of the CTO is to supply the proficient vision to congratulate the concern vision, puting the tone and way for the company ‘s engineerings. Leadership, in this context, comes from being able to specify what the company ‘s merchandises and engineerings might look like in two, three, or more old ages. ” ( Smith, 2003, p.4 ) .One of accomplishments that came up in the literature for a CTO to hold other than proficient accomplishments was fiscal accomplishments. A CTO needs to hold a good fiscal acumen in order to be to be efficient at their occupation because strategic determinations must be evaluated in footings of the return on investing.Communication accomplishments came out as another of import accomplishment and specifically the accomplishment to be able to interpret engineering slang into utile concern information. Tietze, Herstatt, & A ; Lorenzen ( 2007 ) explicate it good when they say, “ the demand for a direction map emerges with good communicating accomplishments and the capableness to understand and “ talk both linguistic communications ” , the proficient and economical ” ( Tietze, Herstatt, & A ; Lorenzen, 2007, parity.

6 ) .Line direction accomplishments featured in the literature that was reviewed, nevertheless it more spoke to the fact that holding had line direction experience gave the CTO more credibleness within the top direction squad. Gwynne ( 1996 ) explains this well when he says,overall, CTOs who have line duty come out strongly in favor of the experience – for their companies and themselves. In certain types of corporation, which include technology-based companies of all sizes, and peculiarly little start-ups and concern units that rely to a great extent on engineering, they see the mixture of functions as about indispensable ( Gwynne, 1996, p.20 ) .In reexamining the bing academic literature available, many different CTO accomplishments were mentioned throughout the text as advantageous for a CTO to possess. Below is a sum-up of the most often discussed accomplishments that will organize the footing for proof after the research has been collected and analysed.SkillDescription/Explanation



NetworkingConstructing strategic engineering confederations inside and outside the administrationVision and assuranceMaking something new in order to work a alone chance and holding the personal dignities to sell the vision to derive organizational broad buy-inTechnical expertnessDeep roots within the proficient field and maintaining abreast of engineering alterations within their industryField experienceUnderstanding of the issues experienced in the daily operationsInterpersonal accomplishmentsPeoples accomplishments, motivational and mentoring abilityLeadershipPuting a strategic vision, alining people, actuating and animating peopleConversing at concern executive degreeCTOs must understand the issues facing the concern as a whole, non merely the proficient issuesBusiness ( non merely proficient ) understandingMust appreciate non-technical aspects, particularly the financials of strategic determination doing to derive credibleness with CEO and other executivesSellingThe ability to sell the engineering scheme to the remainder of the board every bit good as being able to interpret proficient inside informations into existent client advantages that are superior to those of viing merchandisesGeneral direction accomplishmentsAbility to pull off HR, rational belongings, cognition direction, R & A ; D outgo and undertakings.

Ability to understand how the administration works in order to program and manage executing of scheme and undertakings



Table: CTO Skills

Medcof and Atkinson ( 2990 ) supply a great brief sum-up of the accomplishments required for CTOs to hold to run into their strategic duties as, “ proficient accomplishments are specific to the proficient field in which the person has preparation or work experience. Interpersonal accomplishments are those that enable one to pull off people efficaciously. Administrative/Conceptual accomplishments have to make with the ability to understand how the organizational system works, what it is capable of making, be aftering and pull offing executing.

These are most critical for senior leading who carry out these maps at the highest degree. ” ( Medcof and Atkinson, 2009, p. 6-7 ) .


Many strategic duties and accomplishments required to run into those duties have been explored within this Chapter. In order to assistance in a better apprehension, a graphical representation of the different subjects explored is presented below.

Figure: Subject RelationshipsA CTO requires a certain accomplishment set ( discussed in Chapter Six ) to do strategic determinations on behalf of the administration and put to death them. By doing the right strategic determinations and put to deathing them efficaciously, it creates a competitory advantage for the administration. In order to keep competitory advantage, the administration must go on to introduce and through invention of new proficient merchandises and services, it increases the administration power the CTO has every bit now the board can quantify the CTO ‘s value attention deficit disorder on the bottom line. This organizational power so allows a CTO to broaden their accomplishment set by taking on more board duties.To re-iterate, the intent of this research paper is to specify the strategic duties of a CTO and the accomplishments necessary to run into those duties within engineering driven administrations. In order to carry on the necessary research to reply these two inquiries, the subjects that emerged from the academic literature formed the foundation of the interview inquiries that the participants were be asked in the explorative interviews I conducted.The ground the subjects had to organize the footing of the interview inquiries was to guarantee that all of the different aspects of the CTO function were explored and discussed, to guarantee a complete dataset in which to analyze.The relationship between the research inquiries outlined in the following Chapter and the subjects explored in this Chapter are depicted in research consistence matrix in Table 2 below.


Propositions ( Research Question )

Literature Review

Data Collection Tool


Specifying Corporate Scheme

What function do you play in assisting to specify the corporate scheme of your administration? OR What deliverable are you required to subject which are used as inputs in specifying the administrations corporate scheme?Edler ; 2002 ; Smith, 2007 ; Medcof, 2008 ; Uttal et. Al, 1992Interview Question No:1Specifying the CTO engagement in Corporate Strategy Definition.

Skill Set

Other than engineering specific 1s, what skills do you believe are necessary for a CTO working within a engineering driven administration to hold?Edler ; 2002 ; Smith, 2007 ; Medcof, 2008 ; Uttal et. Al, 1992Interview Question No:2A comprehensive list of accomplishments required by CTOs to execute their map other than those which are proficient.


What function do you play in the invention of new engineerings, or new engineering enabled concern procedure optimization undertakings? What skills do you believe make you better at prima invention for your administration?Edler et.

al ; 2002 ; Smith, 2007 ; Medcof, 2008 ; Uttal et. Al, 1992Interview Question No:3Looking specifically at Innovation roll uping a comprehensive list of accomplishments required for ‘innovators ‘ and specifying the CTOs function in invention within the administration.

Competitive Advantage

How does your administration utilise engineering to derive a competitory advantage within the market place? What are some of the specific functions you have played with implementing these engineering enablers?Edler ; 2002 ; Smith, 2007 ; Medcof, 2008 ; Uttal et. Al, 1992Interview Question No:4To understand to what degree the administration is engineering dependent and how they efficaciously utilise engineering to gain/increase competitory advantage within the market place.

Executing Corporate Scheme

How dependent is the corporate scheme on the engineering scheme? If possible please supply some illustrations of engineering enablers of corporate scheme.Edler et.

al ; 2002 ; Smith, 2007 ; Medcof, 2008 ; Uttal et. Al, 1992Interview Question No:5Specifying the grade to which corporate and engineering scheme is linked ( the grade to which the CTO has an impact on overall corporate scheme ) and hence the CTOs duties thereto.

Table: Consistency Matrix

Chapter Three – Research Questions

This research study aims to reply two chief inquiries, being:What are the strategic duties of a CTO?What are the accomplishments required to run into the strategic duties of a CTO?The undermentioned inquiries will be used in determining the needed information to reply the above inquiries from the face-to-face adept interviews:Interview Questions:What function do you play in assisting to specify the corporate scheme of your administration? OR What deliverables are you required to subject which are used as inputs in specifying the administrations corporate scheme?Other than engineering specific 1s, what skills do you believe are necessary for a CTO working within a engineering driven administration to hold?What function do you play in the invention of new engineerings or new engineering enabled concern procedure optimization undertakings? What skills do you believe make you better at prima invention for your administration?How does your administration utilise engineering to derive a competitory advantage within the market place? What are some of the specific functions you have played with implementing these engineering enablers?How dependent is the corporate scheme on the engineering scheme? If possible, delight supply some illustrations of engineering enablers of corporate scheme.

Chapter Four – Research Methodology

Research Method

This survey aims to specify the strategic duties of a Chief Technology Officer and the accomplishments required to run into those duties within engineering driven administrations. These duties have changed over recent old ages with the outgrowth of new engineerings and their execution into the workings of big administrations.A descriptive, qualitative research attack was taken facilitated by 10 semi-structured, adept interviews with CTOs within engineering driven administrations to depict the strategic duties of a CTO and the accomplishments required to run into those duties from construing the interviewee ‘s words. Open ended inquiries were asked of the interviewee to supplement their replies with qualitative information as per the overall research survey attack.An expert is described by Belting ( 2008 ) as a, “ individual who has a high grade of accomplishment and cognition in a certain sphere, field or industry due to longaˆ?time experience and has position, poweraˆ?toaˆ?act and decisionaˆ?making chances based on these accomplishments and cognition.

” ( Belting, 2008, p. 1 )The research method was chosen based on research best practise for arousing cognition from experts Belting ( 2008 ) as the survey intends to retrace the cognition of experts. Roller ( 2011 ) confirms the chosen research method by reding that “ successful research with the corporate executive still lies in the warm, personal connexions we make in the face-to-face manner ” . ( Roller, 2011, p. 18 )Expert interviews autumn under the semi-structured interview method of informations aggregation ( Belting, 2008 ) . This type of informations aggregation method focuses on roll uping qualitative information.

Information obtained is mostly a description and reading of the interviewees ‘ words. The chief purpose of the interviewer is to understand the subject in inquiry from the point of position of the interviewee. In the instance of adept interviews, the latter will be considered knowing in the field of survey or subject ( Belting, 2008 ; Tjitra, 2011, Valenzuela and Shivastava, 2008 ) .McNamara ( 1996 ) concurs by saying that “ interviews are peculiarly utile for acquiring the narrative behind a participant ‘s experiences.

The interviewer can prosecute in-depth information around the subject. ” ( McNamara, 1996, p. 1 ) .To guarantee a structured attack to using the chosen research methodological analysis, the seven stairss of ‘Interview Investigation ‘ defined by Tjitra ( 2011 ) will be adopted those being:Thematising – formulate the intent of the probe and depict the construct of the subject to be investigated before the interview starts.Planing – see all seven phases to obtain the intended knowledge/outcome and taking into history the moral deduction.

Interviewing – base on the interview usher, brooding attack to the cognition sought and the interpersonal relation of the interview state of affairs.Transcribing – fix the interview stuff for analysis, including a written text of unwritten address into text and notes on other factors eg: organic structure linguistic communication.Analyzing – decide method/unit of analysis to transform the consequences into a clear merchandise.Verifying – ascertain dependability and cogency of informations obtained ( replies ) .

Reporting – transforming the verified consequences into a clear merchandise.( Tjitra, 2011, p. 10 )

Population and Unit of Analysis

The proposed population of the survey is merely CTO ‘s that work in engineering goaded administrations, the size of the population is unknown.Due to the nature of the research survey and chosen research design, a non-probability convenient sample of the population was chosen as the research undertaking ‘s survey frame.A non-probability sample was chosen over a chance sample due to the fact that the interviewees will be chosen based on easiness of entree the interviewer has to the interviewee and the house type the interviewee works for. Therefore the respondents within the trying population do non hold a known non-zero chance of choice.

Size and Nature of sample

The size of the population sample that was used to transport out this research was ten respondents which have the corporate rubric of Chief Technology Officer within engineering driven administrations.Technology goaded administrations as defined in Chapter One are administrations in which the usage of engineering is critical to daily operation of the administration, a few illustrations of such administrations would be: fiscal establishments, internet service suppliers, telecommunications companies and any other company that can non present a service or merchandise to a client without the usage of engineering.

Of the 10 respondents within the sample group, a important attempt was applied to seek and accomplish a diversified sample of big, medium and little administrations at a ratio of 4:3:3.Should the variegation of the sample be deemed excessively hard to obtain entree to, so the sample set will be compiled based on easiness of entree to interviewee.

Data Collection, Data Analysis and Data Management

Data Collection

The informations aggregation method applied is one of recording of the interview with the capable affair experts and so using a technological tool called Dragon Naturally Speaking which is speech acknowledgment package to transcribe the interview into text while manually formalizing the truth of the written text utilizing topographic point cheque audits of the written text.One hr per interview was allocated and the topographic point where the interview took topographic point was at the convenience of the interviewee.

After the interview is transcribed into text, the interviewer so combined the notes taken on the other ocular factors from the interview with the canned text.Roller ( 2006 ) includes six intimations and tips on executive interviewing in her Meeting Executives Face-to Face article, those being:1. Positive preliminary contact and programming2. Clearly-defined and accomplishable ends3. Flexibility – personalising the interview4. Distinguishing between utile and non utile input5. Listening accomplishments – researching what is said and non said6. Limited research worker engagement( Roller, 2006, p.

1-6 )

Datas Analysis

“ The muss of the interconnectednesss, incompatibilities, and apparently unlogical input we reap in qualitative research demands that we embrace the tangles of our conversations by carry oning analyses near to the beginning ” ( Roller, 2011, p. 15 ) .Again, a technological qualitative informations analysis tool will be used to organize and analyze the information. This tool Atlas.ti, will be utilised to organize the information ( written texts ) into logical classs and index the different pieces of informations for easy retrieval.

Atlas.ti is a scientific package tool for the qualitative analysis of big pieces of informations and is widely recognised as a tool which enables research workers to bring out phenomena in textual informations.Atlas.ti will besides be used to code written texts into cardinal subjects, constructs, inquiries or thoughts utilizing an inductive attack to specifying the classs of the codifications.The cryptography will so be utilised to construct up conceptual models based on common understanding/themes from the different respondent ‘s adept cognition.

Data Management

The direction of the information is of the extreme importance as it provides the content and grounds for the full research undertaking. Therefore legion backups of the informations will be made, one will be stored on-line virtually, one will be stored on the local computing machine of the research worker and another will be stored on an external difficult thrust.The redundancy of legion storage installations ensures that the information from which the full research undertaking is based is non lost or the unity compromised at any point.

Data Validity and Reliability

The nature of qualitative face-to face research is that the question-answer proof can take topographic point right off, so no misunderstanding is experienced when transcribing the interview into text.Roller, ( 2011 ) states that “ by examining and clear uping inquiries on the topographic point to unearth any possible misunderstandings or significances, this question-answer proof enables the research worker to maximize the quality of single responses ” ( Roller, 2011, p. 5 ) .Tjitra, ( 2011 ) concurs with Roller by saying that “ our best warrant of the cogency of our stuff is careful, concrete degree, questioning within the context of a good interviewing relationship ” ( Tijitra, 2011, p.

21 ) . So to a big extent, it is up to the interviewer to guarantee that the interviewee to the full understands the inquiry and context and builds up a good resonance with the interviewee to be able to pull out the most honorable and through replies throughout the interview procedure as possible.

Interviewer prejudice

Mistakes that occur within qualitative research are frequently introduced by the research worker and are non easy to observe. In order to understate the potency for interviewer prejudice, interviews were transcribed on a word for word footing and a professional sentiment was elicited to objectively reexamine the codifications and coding used to analyze the canned interviews to look into for interviewer prejudice in the information analysis.“ Being extremely cognizant of mistake introduced by convenience samples, every bit good as non-sampling mistakes ( such as interviewer and choice prejudice in recruiting, moderator and response prejudice in the treatments themselves ) , qualitative research workers build in steps to command mistake in their choice and interviewing processs ” ( Roller, 2011 ) .

Potential Research Limitations

Due to the nature of this survey, including clip restraints, assorted restrictions have been identified.

These include:A limited sample frame of eight CTOs will be interviewedUsing non-probability convenient sampling could present subjective prejudiceMcNamara ( 1999 ) , identifies the undermentioned restrictions to this method of research:They are non appropriate if quantitative informations are neededThey may be biased if sources are non carefully selectedThey are susceptible to interviewer prejudicesIt may be hard to turn out cogency of findings( McNamara, 1999, p. 2 ) .Meuser and Nagel ( 1991 ) identify extra possible restrictions of this research method to be prepared for and cognizant of, when carry oning the interview:The expert blocks the interview in it ‘s class, because he or she proves non to be an expert for this subject as antecedently assumedThe adept attempts to affect the interviewer in ongoing struggles in the field and negotiations about internal affairs and machinations of his or her work field alternatively of speaking about the subject of the interviewHe or she frequently changes between the function of an expert and a private individual, so that more information consequences about him or her as a individual than about his or her adept cognitionAs an intermediate signifier between success and failure the ‘rhetoric interview ‘ is mentioned. This is when the expert gives a talk on his or her cognition alternatively of fall ining the inquiry – reply game of the interview. If the talk hits the subject, this signifier of interaction makes it hard to return to the existent relevant subject.( Meuser and Nagel, 1991, p. 449-450 )

Chapter Five – Consequences

Description of Sample

The research sample was drawn from engineering driven administrations within South Africa as antecedently outlined within the research methodological analysis subdivision. All interviewees are presently in Chief Technology Officer places within their several administrations and the sample comprised of a mixture of little, medium and big administrations.

It was originally intended to interview a sum of 10 CTOs, nevertheless merely a sum of eight interviews were conducted. Seven of the interviews were conducted face to face and one interview was conducted telephonically due to the geographically location of the interviewee. The semi-structured exploratory interviews lasted on mean 60 proceedingss.

The interview was conducted in sequence of the interview inquiries utilizing the interview usher in Appendix 9.2 – interview investigations were besides used where appropriate outlined in the interview usher.Due to the organizational function that the CTO fulfils, their clip is cherished and procuring an hr in their calendar was a challenge. It was besides a challenge happening CTOs as it is non the most common C-Suite function within South African administrations, and deriving entree to these persons was besides disputing.

Trouble in Procuring Interviews with CTOs

The easiness of entree to CTOs to interview for this research undertaking was somewhat overestimated and proved to be more hard than planned. The CTO is merely every bit good guarded as any other board member of the administration and legion administrative demands were needed to be met in order to derive entree to them and procure an interview slot.

Confidentially of company inside informations

For confidentially intents, the namelessness of the interviewees and administrations they work for must be maintained in line with the research methodological analysis outlined in Chapter Four.To guarantee the confidentially of respondents was upheld, each was required to subscribe a consent signifier ( Appendix 9.1 ) . Carry throughing this demand helped to illicit more unfastened and complete information from the CTOs interviewed.Interviewees will be identified throughout this study by a random identifier hence leting the information to stay clean while besides guaranting organizational namelessness.











Size of Administration


Technology Dependant Organisation


Industry Sector

ICTDigitalNetworkFinanceICTServicessICT ServicessICT Servicess

Selling CTO


Operational CTO




Forms observed in the research sample

While construing the consequences of the informations, forms started to emerge that were important plenty to represent farther analysis. The first form was that the respondents fell into two distinguishable groups ; CTOs interviewed were classified as either a Marketing CTO or an Operational CTO.Three interviewees really alluded to this differentiation in the interview and upon farther geographic expedition, the two distinguishable types started to emerge with the undermentioned properties:The portfolio of the Operational CTO is apparent in companies 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8:They are extremely dependent on engineering and are the primary consumers of the engineering for operational intentsThe CTO is preponderantly client facingThe profile of the Marketing CTO is apparent in companies 2, 4 and 6:They are either secondary users of engineering, or resell another administrations primary engineeringThe CTO is chiefly non-client facingAs you can see from the above distribution, there is a larger representation of operational CTOs within the research sample.The whole research sample, both operational and selling CTOs, stated that the accomplishment set required by a CTO is the same as that for any other C-Suite degree employee, nevertheless it besides demands an in-depth cognition and proficient expertness. This form will be explored in more item subsequently on in this Chapter.For simpleness and easiness of reexamining the information, associating to the ‘marketing type ‘ CTOs responses are highlighted in Grey.

Research Consequences

In Table 3 on page 27 represents the distribution of CTOs interviewed from the initial sample population that satisfied the key attributes emerged through subjects within the literature reappraisal in Chapter Two of this study every bit good as the pre-defined research inquiries in Chapter Three.

The responses received from the sample group interviewed, enabled the research inquiries to be answered and therefore satisfied the research aims.There were five research inquiries that were asked in each interview, these were outlined in Chapter Three. The interview usher ( Appendix 9.2 ) provided for a solid base to examine each interviewee and the inquisitory inquiries were modified in the interview as and when the state of affairs called for it.

Probing inquiries were frequently used in the interviews to obtain a complete reply to the research inquiry ; the consequences of each inquiry will now be discussed in item below. Each research inquiry will be analysed utilizing the reoccurring subjects that came up during the interviews, to stand for the forms in the information in order to enable rich analysis and reading.The research consequences below are grouped by the respondents reply and the relevant subject that emerged is besides tabulated to measure how often the them was referenced by the respondent in their answer.

This allows the research worker to place emerging tendencies within the responses.

The CTOs Role is Specifying Corporate Scheme

The first interview inquiry that was asked of each participant was ‘what function do you play in assisting to specify the corporate scheme of your administration? ‘ , or ‘What deliverable are you required to subject, which are used as inputs in specifying the administrations corporate scheme? ‘Consequences for inquiry one are represented in tabular arraies X below:




We have planetary group scheme and so we take that ( shows book ) and utilize it as the high degree input into our scheme and see what we are traveling to make locally to aline to it


I have a say in reasonably much all facets of senior degree determination devising and I have an input on reasonably much everything we do


Our corporate scheme is reasonably much the proficient roadmap and we align concern ends with the proficient material we do which I define.


As a CTO you need to understand the engineering tonss and so you can leverage those nucleus schemes within the administration to acquire to where you want to be with the overall corporate scheme yet have a solid platform or implicit in substructure to work all of these new characteristics and functionalities.


From overall scheme point of position my portfolio is looking out to the investing programs so capital investings and looking out for illustration or the substructure that we put in


So my function in corporate scheme – so engineering forms the foundation of the corporate scheme but it ‘s non a engineering scheme per se the scheme is built on the engineering so engineering is cardinal to our concern we merely do money from the engineering.


I play a large function in assisting to specify corporate scheme I think that its really of import to hold a tool which allows you to hold insight into engineering trending and foresight so that the concern scheme is moulded around the engineering scheme so that you have the ability to scale your administration as engineering alterations.


I am really involved in specifying the corporate scheme in that I define the merchandise scheme and that determines what merchandises we are traveling to present and the scheme around that is that drives a batch of what we do.Table: Interview responses on the function played in specifying corporate scheme

Pertinent Quotes from Research Question One:

‘Technology succeeds because they are ecosystems and political relations that drive economic sciences ‘ beneath the political relations of engineering. ‘Participant 6’There is a batch of distinction in footings of what CTO function is played by the single depending on their personality ‘ .

Participant 6Of the CTOs interviewed, all had a important input into the corporate scheme. To changing grades, assisting to specify corporate scheme is a cardinal duty for the respondents.The fact that merely engineering dependent administrations were included in the research sample meant that the research worker was looking to happen the consequence of the respondents lending to a great extent to the organizational scheme, nevertheless the interesting form that emerged from research inquiry one is that the selling CTOs appear to hold a larger say in the overall organizational scheme whereas the operational CTOs chiefly contributed in footings of back uping the underlying engineering, as an enabler of the overall organizational scheme. Both functions are as every bit of import, merely in a different manner.

Skills necessary for a CTO to Have

Interview inquiry two that was: ‘other than engineering specific 1s, what skills do you believe are necessary for a CTO working within a engineering driven administration to hold? ‘Consequences for inquiry two are represented in tabular arraies X below.




General direction accomplishments and effectual people management/soft accomplishments are besides really of import because you need people to put to death what you lay out and the better the people you have working for you and the better they are managed the more successful it will be.


The best manner to depict the accomplishments that are needed to make my occupation would be everything


You need to set with persons different personalities in your squad so people accomplishments are really of import every bit good as pre-sales


You ca n’t be a unidimensional single being concern understanding is really of import.


I think you ‘ve got understand the financials a batch more now than you used to hold two as a large portion of my portfolio is pull offing the Capex and operating costs and so on


Bing a CTO is besides a political game but most significantly in you need to be more of an I-shaped individual instead than a T-shaped individual, so it ‘s of import to hold deepness and comprehensiveness of functional accomplishments to be a good CTO.


Reasonably much I think it ‘s a instance of holding started in the assorted back office type maps and holding intimate merchandise cognition.


Peoples accomplishments are a large thing because it ‘s one thing understanding engineering but understanding the manner or the mode in which people interact with the engineering or the manner clients expect the engineering to work or look or experience or move is critical.Table: Remarks skills believed to be necessary for CTOs

Pertinent Quotes from Research Question Two:

‘You ca n’t be a unidimensional person.

Bing concern understanding is really of import. ‘ Participant 4’Aware of the external market – it is of import to be foremost to market with new merchandises because of the consumer perceptual experience that you are the best ‘Participant 1’I believe general finance accomplishments and general concern accomplishments and to turn the concern because I find if you merely concentrate on the engineering and operational side you will ne’er place chances where you could work merchandises and increase gross and topographic points where you can add value ‘Participant 5’The other accomplishment that I think is rather cardinal you need to understand the fiscal impact which a batch of CTO ‘s conflict with, every bit much as the fiscal facet of the hardware is of import the fiscal impact of the hardware interacting with the whole web is besides critical so finance accomplishment is besides really important. ‘Participant 8Question two was the most interesting of the survey to analyze.The scope of accomplishments tabulated was ample, nevertheless all participants emphasises the importance of the fact that the function of the CTO does non merely necessitate deepness in proficient apprehension but they besides require a comprehensiveness in other accomplishments which are required by other C-Suite places.There is adequate grounds to back up the fact that the accomplishment set required by a CTO is larger than that of another C-Suite place and is rightly a cardinal


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