The Difference Between a CIO and a CTO

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Companies around the world have CIOs and CTOs that do just about whatever they want. They’re just happy to have a C in their title. But there is a real difference in the jobs. And understanding it can make life a lot simpler for everyone involved.

Companies around the world have CIOs and CTOs that do just about whatever they want. They’re just happy to have a C in their title. But there is a real difference in the jobs. And understanding it can make life a lot simpler for everyone involved.

What is the difference? Why even need different offices for Information and Technology? A CTO creates technology to sell to customers whereas a CIO focuses on managing infrastructure for the business operations. It’s that simple.

Depending on the industry, or organization, these offices consist of different responsibilities. But generally a CIO is responsible for technologies that run a business internally while a CTO is responsible for technologies that grow the business externally.

Here a quick breakdown :

 

Chief Information Officer

  • Serves as the company’s top technology infrastructure manager
  • Runs the organization’s internal IT Operations
  • Works to streamline business processes with technology
  • Focuses on internal customers (users and business units)
  • Collaborates and manages vendors that supply infrastructure solutions
  • Aligns the company’s IT Infrastructure with business priorities
  • Developers strategies to increase the company’s bottom line (profitability)
  • Has to be a skilled and organized manager to be successful

Chief Technology Officer

  • Serves as the company’s top technology architect
  • Runs the organization’s engineering group
  • Uses technology to enhance the company’s product offerings
  • Focuses on external customers (buyers)
  • Collaborates and manages vendors that supply solutions to enhance the company’s product(s)
  • Aligns the company’s product architecture with business priorities
  • Develops strategies to increase the company’s top line (revenue)
  • Has to be a creative and innovative technologist to be successful
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