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CTO Role Description and Responsibilities


CTO stands for Chief Technology Officer. These individuals are responsible for making sure that companies make sound decisions when it comes to technology. They even make sure that the company sticks to its goals and incorporates modern solutions to reach those objectives.

Their responsibilities can vary and typically include a broad range of functions. Individuals in the company may come to them when they’re trying to troubleshoot a tech problem and may even lean on them to develop detailed, well-thought-out plans regarding technology-related strategies that the business is taking.

If you’re considering a job as a CTO or are considering hiring a CTO for your business, it’s important to thoroughly understand what is asked of these individuals. With such a wide range of responsibilities, it’s important to consider exactly what each one entails.

CTOs and Their Responsibilities

Different Types of CTOs

According to Investopedia, a CTO doesn’t describe a single job. As a whole, a CTO is the highest tech position that a company offers. These individuals aren’t slated with the usual tech help desk responsibilities. As Investopedia explains it, this job is often broken down into one or more of the following four positions:

  • Planning CTO positions
  • Infrastructure CTO positions
  • Consumer liaison CTO positions
  • “Thinker” CTO positions

Each of these positions has a slightly different role in the company and comes with its own set of responsibilities.

Planning CTO Positions

Planning responsibilities include the tasks that involve deciding how a company will use technology within itself. For instance, what type of technology will an employee use to get their job done? In an app development company, a CTO in this position might help decide which tools an employee would use to develop an app and help to create the app they’re working on.

This can also include tasks such as planning transitions into new technologies as the company grows as well.

Infrastructure CTO Positions

Infrastructure CTO tasks are similar to planning tasks in the creation of technical strategy. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to include employees’ day-to-day tasks. Infrastructure has more to do with how the company itself is run. For instance, how will the company protect itself from security threats or store its data? These are questions that the business will turn to the CTO to answer.

CTO Role Descriptions

Consumer Liaison CTO Positions

It’s nothing new to point out that businesses can’t survive without consumers. As such, consumers are always part of the consideration when it comes to creating any company’s strategy. That’s why CTOs are often tasked with acting as liaisons to connect the customers to the company through technology. This can include creating and assessing aspects of marketing campaigns such as social media efforts. It may also mean heading a technical support team for customers.

“Thinker” CTO Positions

The set of “thinker” CTO responsibilities is close to the responsibilities that fall under planning. However, instead of creating a completely internal plan, these help to incorporate technology into the long-term goals of the company.

CTOs assigned these types of tasks often work closely with the CEO of the company and even help communicate technology strategy to the company’s investors or partners. They may also have to use the feedback that these stakeholders give to adjust the strategy as well.


The responsibilities of CTOs working as a thinker, customer liaison, infrastructure, or planning are all crucial to a company. Oftentimes, they overlap, especially in companies with a smaller workforce where one person may have extra responsibilities assigned to a single position. As it’s clear to see, these individuals are crucial to a modern business’ success.

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