What Is a Chief Technology Officer?

A trio of IT leaders examine app functionality on a transparent screen

The Master of Science in Information Technology Management at Grand Canyon University is a blend of technology and management coursework. The goal is to prepare students to pursue leadership positions in IT management. The broad scope of the program allows grads to work in any field and dive deeply into many current business-related issues.

The focus on organizational behavior, strategic management, business analysis and tech ensures that GCU students can successfully fill top-level technology roles at business in all fields. One career goal for MS IT Management students is that of Chief Technology Officer (CTO), an executive-level leadership role for people with the right IT management skills.

Key Roles of a CTO

Tech Strategy

A CTO oversees the tech and infrastructure at a business. In this role, they monitor how tech is evolving and what changes may benefit the company as a whole. They understand the trends that may impact business goals and seek opportunities to harness the ones that will make a positive change. Additionally, they look at how dated or changing technology could hurt the company’s bottom line and seek to mitigate those outcomes.

Research and Development

Technology standards and regulations fall squarely on the shoulders of the CTO. The person in this position must stay current about compliance and ensure the business is working within the necessary channels to remain legal, professional and successful. This role includes a tremendous amount of research around tech and content management systems, as well as all IT assets. Technology budgets usually fall into this role’s responsibilities, as well, meaning they research the most effective tools for the business and purchase according to cost and needs.


A CTO has several people working for them. These managers and leaders also have several direct reports. It is the responsibility of the CTO that all people working in IT and tech at the company have what they need to successfully complete their work. They lead the culture of the IT team and should work to recruit and retain the best people.

In addition to internal leadership, a CTO must be an evangelist for the company. They form relationships with outside vendors and community stakeholders. They communicate the company’s technology mission and strategy to board members, investors and partners.

If a CTO position is your dream job, get started on the path to IT business leadership with the Master of Science Information Technology Management at Grand Canyon University today.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.