5 signs you found the CTO your digital transformation needs

March 22, 2023

The rate at which markets shift seems to have accelerated over the past few years. Companies are not only adapting to an entirely different professional landscape but also have to account for new customer behavior, one that is mainly digital in nature.

Companies are scrambling to meet these changes head-on and react in a manner that ensures their survival through the hard times as well as long-term prosperity. Digital transformation these days is often at the top of a company’s priorities, an element that the right CTO would be able to drive forward.

A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is expected to take part in transforming elements within the organization. This role is focused on tracking emerging IT technologies, and providing innovative input in order to reach a futuristic goal. The CTO is well-positioned and well-equipped to outline and implement digital technologies.

They are the officer that understands the relationship between man and tech and are aware of their failings. This makes them one of the most influential roles in driving digital transformation.

The role

Though some would argue that a CTO’s role is pretty much well defined already, the modern world continues to reshape what constitutes a CTO’s involvement.

Whereas in the past, the role would revolve around leading the Tech team, monitoring emerging IT, and optimizing the product, today’s changes add the responsibility of understanding these trends and finding the best ways to leverage them in the customer’s best interests.

CTOs become the driving force behind digital transformation. They become the architect that digitizes products, implements technology, and keeps the company at the forefront of digital and technological growth.

A chief technology officer's job now extends beyond the traditional. Not only do they monitor tech trends as well as maintain mastery and understanding of legacy solutions, but they also ensure that the currently employed software strategy goes hand in hand with the company’s major goals. It falls to them to assess and adapt to the technicalities in between.

Signs you’ve found the right CTO

1- They’re a strategist by nature

You’re considering CTO candidates, and throughout the evaluation process, one of the candidates displays an affinity for strategic change. They explore existing company operations, assess its environment, and come up with new and exciting ways to contribute to its growth. They have the ability to outline the strategy to positive change in different areas, even ones that extend beyond the role.

Furthermore, the right CTO would take the company’s goals into account when developing their own. To bring in fresh ideas is all well and good, but to create these ideas and processes while maintaining sight of the bigger picture is an extremely beneficial trait for a CTO to have.

This is also evident in how a CTO influences the company’s business strategy. They go out of their way to predict market trends and shifts, to set their sights on emerging and promising technology, and to choose their path based on all these variables.

A CTO’s strategic input can be very valuable. They are uniquely positioned to predict when to deploy new IT processes, define the tech roadmap to success, develop unique core features, and invest in unique opportunities.

2- They’re innovative

If they value innovation in what they do, they might just be the CTO you need. They’re the type of professional that works hard to drive business through the effective use of technology.

They understand competitors and are able to spot the main operational differentiators. They maintain an innovative approach to IT and attempt to get ahead by employing commonly unexplored solutions.

3- They predict Tech trends

As we mentioned above, CTOs have the responsibility of monitoring new technologies, being familiar with IT developments, and of course, the knowledge and the expertise necessary to predict major trends before they become a competitor’s advantage.

In a way, a CTO needs to know the future -to an extent- or be able to recognize familiar hallmarks of previously successful technology. This allows them to explore these new systems and perhaps leverage them to the company’s advantage.

They have a thirst for the industry and find these trends exciting. A good CTO’s mind is always buzzing with possibilities, with plans for what might just be the next big thing. Not only is it beneficial to the company on an operational level, CTOs, in their expertise and market knowledge, are best-positioned to evaluate the talent their team needs for future growth.

4- They are the customer’s advocate

This doesn’t necessarily translate into a “Customers first and foremost” philosophy, but a CTO that holds the customer’s experience in high regard is generally well-versed in the matters of digital transformation.

They prefer creating value for the customer rather than further reducing operational costs. And every initiative on the drawing board considers the customer’s experience long before it’s deployed.

This is a CTO that understands the part that customer experience plays in the company’s business plan. It’s the most direct path to maintain product value and increase profit.

A good CTO will always assess the customer’s issues and cater to their needs as a priority. Their initiatives will almost always tackle a unique customer-centric angle.

5- They incorporate & build assets

A CTO should be an innovator, that much is certain. But an exceptional CTO not only builds the IT assets the company uses but also leverages existing technologies and resources to further develop the company’s internal operations.

Whereas the focus used to be placed on creating in-house technology, the modern business world requires more initiative than that. A Tech team should never be blind to alternative solutions or disregard development beyond the internal.

In fact, as solutions grow more and more complex in nature, CTOs can find more value in integrating third-party systems than in creating them from scratch. This is a business, and simplifying work takes priority in this regard.

With a unique mindset and expertise, CTOs can consider adopting external technology while keeping the company’s main goals in mind.

Digital transformation is a collaborative effort

Despite the significance of their role in driving digital transformation, CTOs are simply the captain of the ship. DT remains a collaborative effort that requires contribution to almost every level of the organization, beginning with CTO input and HR optimization, then spanning to cover the different entities within the company.

Outsourcing recruitment to a headhunting agency with global reach can eradicate the difficulty of acquiring the CTO talent needed to drive digital change. In fact, JB Hired is leading the recruitment industry with a vertical focus on specific IT roles.

With access to a global network of professionals and an untapped talent pool, locating and sourcing talent for the digital technology industry is a matter of time and patience.