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Difference between CIO and CTO

I know that this is not technically a project management question, but I think there are people on this website who can answer my question. I want to know what is the difference between a CIO (Chief Information Officer) and a CTO (Chief Technical Officer). Both seem to me technical roles in an IT environment. Please explain!
asked 6 years ago by anonymous
related to an answer for: What does CXO stand for?

2 Answers

The are several differences between a CIO and a CTO, notably:

- A CIO is responsible for maintaining/expanding the internal IT infrastructure, and developing for products/services that are for internal usage/consumption. The CTO is responsible for developing IT products/services for external clients. (Note: The project manager reports to the CIO in case of a internal project, and to the CTO in case of an external project).

- The CIO usually deals with internal stakeholders, the CTO deals with external stakeholders.

- The CIO procures technology equipment/software to serve the internal infrastructure/projects, the CTO procures equipment/software to serve external projects.

- A CIO is focused on the internal IT operations (such as maintaining/expanding the IT infrastructure, developing IT products/services for internal use, IT procurement for the company), the CTO is focused on the external IT operations (such as developing IT products/services for external customers)

- In large companies where resources are completely segregated, the CIO will be either responsible or influential in hiring resources to serve the internal operations, the CTO will be responsible/influential for hiring resources to serve the external operations.

- The CIO is focused on enhancing the internal IT operations of the organization (and ultimately productivity and efficiency), the CTO is responsible for increasing the revenue of the company by undertaking external projects.

In short, the CIO is focused on internal operations of the company, while the CTO is focused on the external operations of the company.
answered 6 years ago by MaplePM (46,940 points)
C-roles should always be strategic and not technical.  The CIO is generally the strategic position for IT. That means developing the business plans for the IT infrastructure and working with the internal business owners to apply IT to business problems.

The CTO shares this role, however also has an outward facing responsibility.  The CTO may, in many instances, be responsible for product development.  Some large companies may split these roles and have both a CIO and a CTO.
answered 6 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)

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