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The role of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) may seem similar, as both C-suite positions involve leveraging technology to meet business goals (Marinaki, 2022. Their day-to-day functions may even overlap in certain companies depending on how the company structures these roles and their purpose in meeting the company’s business and client needs (Gillis, 2022). Donncha Carrol, a partner at Axiom Consulting Partners, states that the role of CIO and CTO have “several shared responsibilities” (Lawton, 2022). However, these two roles come with their own set of directives and tasks.


The CIO of a company focuses on internal business operations. They are concerned with improving a company’s productivity and, in turn, increasing its profitability (Marinaki, 2022).

Their responsibilities lie in evaluating a business’s current “IT operations and infrastructure” and identifying areas for improvement (Marinaki, 2022). They apply software and applications to a business’s internal processes, such as daily operational tasks,  in order to increase “efficiency and productivity” (Marinaki, 2022). 


For example, a CIO might implement automation tools that automate time- and labour-intensive tasks allowing employees to focus their attention on more critical business activities (Marinaki, 2022). 

Gillis (2022) describes the CIO role as one that utilizes as “systems thinking,” which aims to make use of technology with the intent of streamlining core processes across the company. They are in charge of managing and increasing the efficiency of the IT and operations departments within an organization (Farrelly, 2022).


The CTO of a company focuses on creating and managing external technology solutions with the aim of enhancing the organization’s products and services to meet the growing needs of their customers (Marinaki, 2022).  

They are concerned with driving innovation within a company and introducing new streams of revenue (Marinaki, 2022) as one of their sub-focused is on meeting a business’s financial goals by leveraging technology to achieve this (Farrelly, 2022). 

In addition to this, a CTO is tasked with managing a  team of product / service design and development specialists (Farrelly, 2022). They take a more customer-centric approach and seek to align business objectives with customer needs and product specifications (Farrelly, 2022).

Marinaki (2022) states that both of these roles serve vital functions within organizations and emphasises the importance of them working together to achieve the organizations’ goals. Rajeev Sharma, CTO of Grid Dynamics, states that ideally, the role of CTO and CIO would serve complementary functions, but there is, however, usually a degree of apprehension between these two positions (Lawton, 2022). For example, when implementing a new solution, CIO’s focus more on the cost implications, whereas CTO’s are more concerned with the technological advantages attainable through this implementation (Lawton, 2022).


Gillis, A.S. (2022) Chief Technology Officer (CTO), TechTarget. TechTarget. Available at:

Farrelly, J. (2022) CIO vs CTO: The Definitions & Differences, Electric. Electric. Available at:

Lawton, G. (2022) CIO vs. CTO: Key differences in roles and responsibilities, TechTarget. TechTarget. Available at:

Marinaki, A. (2022) CIO vs. CTO: Their key differences, Resources for Employers. Resources for Employers. Available at: