Top 10 Goals CTOs Should Focus on in 2021 (and Why)

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Mar 2021
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CTO Goals

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Setting concrete goals is key to making a strategic plan of actions. As a Chief Technology Officer (CTO), your goals are not limited to delivering results toward your niche. 

CTO is a relative newcomer to the C-suite and takes a different role than the traditional chief information officer (CIO). The goals for CTOs are unique, and they play a significant role in the executive boardroom. 

In today’s ever-changing business world, CTOs need to play more dynamic roles and set new goals that not only impact an organization technologically but culturally as well.    

In this guide, we’ve put together top 10 goals for CTOs that can facilitate increasing revenue, bring in innovation, and more. 

Let’s take a look.

Top Ten CTO Goals for 2021

The time is critical for CTOs  to set new goals for 2021 and jump-start the year to make pivotal contributions. If you’re a CTO, here are the goals that will set you for success:

1. Develop a Technical Vision for the Organization

Technical Vision for the Organization

At the core, the CTOs must work with the CEO and other executives to develop its technical strategy. 

The executives can help with goal-setting, ideating, discussing options, and analyzing risks. It is equally pertinent that the technical strategy aligns with the company’s overall business objectives. 

As Luis Weir, the Director of Technology at Oracle, states, the main focus of CTOs should be on vision and strategy. The executives also need to support flagship customers in defining their modern strategies, especially around APIs and microservices. 

He adds that they need to remain focused on how technology can solve business problems and help deliver tangible value. 

Weir highlights that with a lot of technology, it is easy to get carried away and focus on tools, thus losing the focus on the real problem. Therefore, a good CTO should not get lost in the woods and instead take a helicopter view approach

What does this spell? 

It means that having the helicopter view approach can help to focus on the business needs, where the business is going, and how technology can enable the company to achieve its goals. 

With technology moving very fast, it is essential to remain relevant and up to date. 

What can you do to achieve the goal?

  • Set the vision aligned with the latest trends and go beyond the buzz 
  • Work on evolving a strong understanding of the business and take an active role in initiatives that directly drive revenue
  • Work on understanding how businesses can become a significant part of the digital economy
  • Help to define a concrete path of the business and become more customer-centric and omnichannel enabled

2. Focus on Creating Company’s Digital Business Strategies

Digitalization will remain a top priority in 2021 and beyond. The digital trend has grown incredibly during the global pandemic. According to IDC, spending on digital transformation (DX) will hit nearly $2 trillion in 2022. 

Creating Company’s Digital Business Strategie

Indeed, DX spending is expected to steadily expand throughout the 2017-2022 forecast period, achieving a five-year compound annual growth rate of 16.7 percent. 

As a part of your digital transformation journey, there will be an increased focus on new tools like artificial intelligence, workflow streamline tools, and robotic process automation. At the core of the strategy, CTO’s can help lead digital initiatives with a shared vision across the organization.

CTOs can expect to play an increased role as digital business leaders. To transform your organization’s business model, products, and services, you can focus on leveraging innovative technologies. It will help keep a lookout for the latest technology trends to apply them within your organization potentially.

What can you do to achieve the goal?

  • Work with CIOs to create a roadmap on new business models and capabilities
  • Ensure digital collaboration and prepare the infrastructure for e-commerce
  • Bring in strategic thinking for the company, including R&D, enterprise architecture, and innovation management
  • Work with business functions to understand potential customers and market requirements and translate them into digital products and services

3. Ensure Seamless Technology Operations

CTOs often play the role of a business enabler. It means that the leaders ensure that technology is operating as intended. 

seamless technology operations

Typically, in business landscapes of telecommunication, healthcare, and aerospace, one will find CTOs underpinning the business model. In simple words, the business landscape must be highly responsive to the business. 

CTOs are in charge of operational technology and lead the product engineers’ team. They focus on optimizing technology to support the business model and operations. Plus, they take control and lead R&D, innovation labs, and their team of product engineers. 

What can you do to achieve the goal?

  • Work with product and engineering teams on the development of new products
  • Make critical decisions on technology investments
  • Participate in piloting and building digital business platforms
  • Ensure that apt risk assessments are made when introducing new information and operational technology into the organization

4. Provide Leadership to Innovation Managers and Other Professionals

Leadership to Innovation Managers and Other Professionals

Typically, technology leadership revolves around the CTOs who can help to maintain a competitive advantage. The dizzying speed of technological changes makes it critical for businesses to stay ahead of fast-changing trends. 

CTOs play a critical role as technology visionaries and change agents for IT. The leaders provide leadership to innovation managers, enterprise architects, technology specialists, and other professionals. 

At their core, they develop a technology vision and strategy that helps the company to thrive and build a substantial competitive advantage. 

What can you do to achieve the goal?

  • Serve as the focal point for technology innovation within IT
  • Lead a team of software engineers who have adopted a DevOps-oriented and agile approach
  • Modernize infrastructure, leveraging technologies including edge computing, hybrid multi-cloud, automation, and more

5. Support as Chief Operating Officer of IT

In huge organizations with a significant IT headcount, CTOs support the day-to-day running of IT. 

How does this help? 

Well, the CIOs can focus on working at a more strategic level across the business. Meanwhile, the CTOs can support as the chief operating officer of IT and work on the delivery part of IT services. 

Plus, they can help the IT purchasing and procurement decisions for technologies and services. 

What can you do to achieve the goal?

  • Maintain IT operations through IT service management, shared IT services, vendor management, and more
  • Ensure that both internal and external systems are performing efficiently
  • Engage in the procurement of technology-centered around modernization, optimization, and consolidation

6. Craft Customer Experiences

The CTO’s role has evolved to encompass the creation of personalized customer experiences that marketing or product development teams would have once put together. 

Craft Customer Experiences

When CTOs help make business plans, they ensure that customers get tangible value out of a product or service. 

CTOs understand that for their companies to remain relevant and profitable, customers should be their priority, and it is critical to translate the customer’s voice into valuable experiences.

Let’s look at a good example

Carlos Morgado, the ex-CTO of food delivery app Just Eat explains, true personalization relies on learning about the customer, absorbing their habits, and anticipating their needs. 

At Just Eat, the team uses data to take the pain out of choosing and purchasing takeaway meals by allowing customers to repeat previous purchases and storing payment card details for rapid transactions. 

Morgado adds that the vision for a good customer experience is about delivering the service the customer wants to receive. The creation of a frictionless customer experience through smartphone apps can help the meal ordering process. 

It can help to make processes faster and more convenient. In short, the kind of success relies on strong technology-focused leadership—something the CTO is uniquely positioned to provide.

What can CTOs do? 

They can diagnose the root cause of issues and create unique value propositions around their customers. 

The understanding helps to get close enough to your customers to deliver brilliant experiences that require access to great technology—typically, something that the CTO can help provide.

What can you do to achieve the goal?

  • Use data analytics to deliver deeper personalization 
  • Leverage tech trends such as omnichannel, machine learning, and AI to share the Customer Experiences and reduce costs and deliver excellence in customer service

7. Focus on Bringing Agility to Infrastructure

CTOs play the role of the modern infrastructure manager. 

Bringing Agility to Infrastructure

According to Gartner, the CTO has overall responsibility for managing the physical and personnel technology infrastructure, including deployment, integration, systems management, and technical operations personnel development. 

Some executives consider cloud-based solutions as a part of the infrastructure toolkit to leverage the benefits to deliver a competitive advantage for the organization. The key is to have a proper understanding of tools and people. 

The awareness will help to manage the infrastructure services efficiently. CTOs can help with analyzing cloud-based solutions to bring greater agility to the overall infrastructure. The insights will help to respond to business demands more rapidly.

Moreover, top-class CTOs move beyond infrastructure management. They prefer to work on driving technology innovation to meet the business’ demands for digital transformation.

What can you do to achieve the goal?

  • Be responsible for the design, implementation, maintenance of IT infrastructure elements
  • Proactively work on measures to bring in more agile processes
  • Work on streamlining employee operations and create work efficiencies

8. Focus on Increased Collaboration

The best CTOs work on developing cross-department collaboration. It is a strategic level decision, and it can be the key to success in a fast-moving business environment. 

It’s the strength of the highly collaborative relationships that can deliver the most significant value.  

The collaboration with other teams can help to align strategies with the business vision. To bring the vision to reality, the CTOs need to blend the best of two worlds: technical skills and business acumen.

What can you do to achieve the goal?

  • Shift to a collaborative role facilitate the company’s DX agenda and strategy
  • Work on building trust in the organization, which in turn can support innovative initiatives

9. Optimize Technological Spending

Optimize Technological Spending

CTOs must have that great blend of technical skills and business acumen. Plus, to succeed in the modern business landscape, it will help to work on money management. 

When leading a startup or newer companies, it can help to guide through typical financial constraints. It is crucial to know how to manage budgets. According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending will grow by 4% in 2021. 

It would help the executives to understand how to optimize investments in new technology. The potential is a lost opportunity if there is a maxed-out or mismanaged budget. 

CTOs need to remain alert on finding practical ways to slash spending. When the executives stay involved in keeping costs down, it can give them more freedom to invest in new technologies at the right time.

What can you do to achieve the goal?

  • Focus on money management skills
  • Work on managing budgets and understand the potential of investing in new technology

10. Focus on Product Governance

Product governance can enable organizations to boost their design, distribution, and review of their product strategies. 

Product Governance

What can CTOs do? 

The CTOs can ensure that they set some real practical improvements on day-to-day operations. They can help to achieve product success and compliance with a robust product governance framework. 

What can you do to achieve the goal?

  • Ensure consistency of governance across product portfolios
  • Embed governance as a part of the organizational culture to ensure that controls and processes are robust and are designed to deliver the best outcomes for customers

Parting Words

The business landscape has fundamentally shifted. Success in 2021 and beyond will depend on how CTOs harness disruption and bring in meaningful change. 

To shape resilient and adaptive future workspaces, CTOs are responsible for transforming and differentiating their business. 

Paul Daugherty, group chief executive — Technology and chief technology officer at Accenture, aptly highlights that the global pandemic pushed a giant to fast-forward button to the future. He adds how many organizations have stepped up to use technology in extraordinary ways to keep their businesses running. 

Shaping the future will require businesses to become masters of change with three key imperatives:

  • Technology Leadership
  • Building new realities using radically different mindsets and models
  • Embracing broader responsibility as global citizens

As CTOs, it is critical to set tangible goals to drive the business forward with innovative-and-transformational initiatives.

Reward Your Organization as You Set Concrete Goals with Imaginovation

The process of goal setting can be challenging. However, it is exciting to set goals, achieve them, and create wins proactively.

If you need to transform your business by exploring new ideas and setting new goals, talk to us. We are an award-winning web and mobile app development company that helps businesses turn their ideas into incredible digital experiences. 

 

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