Modern Middle Manager
Primarily my musings on the practical application of technology and management principles at a financial services company.
CTO versus CIO

Tuesday, February 18, 2003  

There are two positions at the top of the Information Technology career ladder -- Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer. John over at John's Jottings asked me why I took the CTO title rather than CIO. When I look at what CIO's are responsible for versus CTO's, I don't have a clear picture...but here are some things that come to mind:

CIO Position
1. Usually part of senior management.
2. Directly involved in crafting business strategy.
3. Focuses primarily on internal consumption of technology (maybe -- not sold on the idea but presented in Infoworld).

CTO Position
1. Not regularly part of senior management.
2. Extends existing business strategy with technology.
3. Focuses primarily on external consumption of technology (again, Infoworld definition).

In addition, I am concerned with how my organization, including the parent company, views a CIO. There is baggage that goes with the title based on how it's used in other divisions. Those concerns, coupled with my actual functions within the company, weighed towards the CTO title. While I certainly work on both internal and external consumption of technology, I have no equal footing with senior management. Because we have no real strategy, I have no input regarding those plans. Nor do I want them. I believe I can do more for the company if I am not caught up directly in senior management politics at this time. That positioning begets a "lesser" title, more focused on technology strategy than business strategy. Hence my choice of CTO.

posted by Henry Jenkins | 2/18/2003 12:25:00 PM

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