The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is a top executive that oversees the entire information technology department and is responsible for integrating business needs and requirements into IT planning and operations. Also known as a Chief Technical Officer, this individual examines the short- and long-term needs of an organisation and uses capital to make investments designed to help the organisation reach its objectives.
What are the primary responsibilities of your role as Chief Technology Officer? A CTO ensures continuity of the technology stack within the company and its projects. Our aim is to bring our customers top-notch tech that’s efficient and fail-safe, and this is what I’m responsible for. Apart from that, as our company grows, so does the need for developing internal tools and services for our team (such as bots, boilerplates, etc.), and I aim to bring improve the workflow for our employees.
How do you build an IT architecture that can adapt to a fast-moving environment? We appreciate agile methodologies of project management as those tools are suited exactly for this goal. I will add that modular systems have proven to be good. It’s great to think of your project as a conveyor belt, where you can switch or interchange parts, and tweak the amount of time and effort put into each according to a project’s priorities. This way you can stick to the initial plan without overthinking or overengineering, and also have room for adjustments in the future. If you need to rework the app in some way, you will only have to change just a few bits.
Where will technology be in five years and how will we adapt? The world is rapidly changing, and that’s exciting. You can always gain insight of future trends, before they become commonplace, just by investigating what the brightest human minds are working on. For instance, AI, AR/VR, crypto, and blockchain are just a few of those which have already shown promising data in practice. That being said, the world needs even more solutions and applications with those technologies, with more refined goals and techniques.
How should organisations measure their return on technology spending? It’s nice to have someone who can help you assess the technology stack and project implementation plan, referencing your specific goals. This way you will make tech ideas and opportunities meet your business needs. Above that, some common sense is to ensure you’re staying on track.
As a CTO, how will you stay abreast of current trends in technology? I regularly read books, and articles, and listen to podcasts. I’m trying to be mindful of my colleagues’ current research and experience. It also helps to be open to different experiences and switch your focus from time to time. Sometimes the best solutions come when you don’t expect them.
What are your three biggest accomplishments?
- I am most proud of the custom solution I developed to optimize monthly costs of services (up to 80%) and successfully integrated it.
- When Appello just started out we were still doing a lot of processes manually and I initiated a couple of projects that automated the workflows, including Slack, Git, and CRM, which we still utilize and improve on today.
- Non-tech-wise, burnout was a reality for me and I’m proud to have overcome this without harming the projects I led.
What were some of your biggest technology challenges? A few come to mind, but I’d say the biggest challenge would be to take over the tech debt of the previous developer, which could become Pandora’s box of your worst nightmares. That being said, nothing’s unfixable, and this reminder makes it easier to focus on the challenge.
What drives and motivates you? The key to keeping motivated is knowing your worth and value, and believing that no one can do your work better than you. This makes such a difference to your mindset and excelling in your career. Just bear in mind, after a few years of working in tech, especially competing with so many vigorous newcomers, you can easily burn out, and statistics testify to that. I think the ability to avoid or manage your work/home balance is as important.
What do you think are the biggest challenges organisations are facing regarding developing innovative technology solutions?
The biggest challenge corporations face is finding the right technology partner. With the right partner, any technology solution can be successfully developed and implemented.
How do you think companies should decide which technology partner to select?
Identify and communicate the exact criteria and key priorities of your project to potential partners and see how you match. Regularly assess testimonials and compare the result with the initial plan and goals. Also, appreciate the value of the research and development successes that your team accomplishes along the way, as this will refine your project’s direction. It’s best to have a versatile and agile team because they can offer new perspectives and insight which could take your project to the next level.
If you would like to have a consultation with any of our team members for a project, get in touch!