5 Things a CTO is Always Thinking About
Chief technology officers have become increasingly important as automation and technology improve. An e-commerce retail business can’t afford for its site to go down, potentially costing the company millions in sales. And a SaaS brand is built on its ability to develop and deploy useful technology.
While CTOs can be found in companies of all ages and sizes — from the hallowed halls of Amazon to a brand new startup — they all have a few things in common. Here are five questions they always have in mind.
1. What comes next?
Technology is always moving forward, with new innovators stepping in to develop new tools to increase productivity and convenience. Today’s CTOs always want to know what is coming next. They are always asking themselves what is Industry 4.0? Changes in current industries have lead to increased automation, better customer experiences, 3D printing, and even robots delivering food across the country. By staying on top of new technology, CTOs can sail right through the fourth industrial revolution with the latest tools and trends.
2. Do I have enough data?
There is a tremendous amount of data created every day. At the outset of 2020, the digital universe contained 44 zettabytes of data. And that number is expected to grow to 175 zettabytes of data by 2025. While fathoming the size of a zettabyte is nearly impossible, it highlights just who much data is uploaded, generated, collected, tweeted, and shared each minute.
In the professional world, data has been likened to the new oil as brands scramble to collect and utilize it. For some CTOs, 44 zettabytes of data aren’t nearly enough to answer all the questions they have about their customers.
3. What do I do with this data?
While CTOs certain crave data, they don’t necessarily know what to do with it or how to use big data analytics to further their interests. Many companies sit on goldmines of data that go unread or unused without an artificial intelligence (AI) system or internet of things (IoT) system to sort through it. After all, when it comes to understanding what customers want, it’s the analytics of real-time data that get you the answers that can streamline production processes and boost revenue.
Part of this has to do with training. In a study from Accenture, only 25% of respondents said that they feel comfortable making use of data. And 74% stated that they feel overwhelmed at the idea of working with data at all. Teams need to be ready to take action on the data that they collect, otherwise there’s no use in having it at all.
4. How much automation is too much?
Speaking of the internet of things, today’s CTOs also want to know where the line is between robots and people. At first, people were concerned that adding bots and sensors to the supply chain would drive up unemployment. However, the reality is the IoT systems and digitization in smart factories handle much of the grunt work that humans had to do in areas such as the manufacturing sector or the wood industry, leaving employees to handle high-end decision making. Still, many executives are left wondering exactly what they can automate and how they can tap into artificial intelligence to make their workflows faster, more effective, and less costly. All without driving up unemployment by leaning too much on digitization.
5. Do I look good?
While every CTO wants to be the smartest and most tech-savvy in the room, they also want to look good. Consider the rise in men’s fashion of late, with quality watches and leather briefcases. Women’s fashion has also become more driven to the C-Suite, with quality blazes and smart dresses. In the competitive world of technology and innovation, everyone wants to prove they are the best. And looking the part can give a CTO the confidence to lead their company through the trials of the fourth industrial revolution to success.
These questions guide the decisions made within technology departments and give a CTO the insight to move forward. Each question is important. Whether the tech company provides 3D printing for surgical wards or creates robots that entertain your cat.