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Scaling up tech capabilities top priority

STX Next’s Global CTO Survey report polled 250 Chief Technology Officers around the world on the biggest challenges facing their business

A majority of CTOs (53 per cent) name the need to scale up their technological capabilities as a top priority. Despite this clear recognition of a need to evolve, the typical CTO currently faces a wide range of challenges, including software prioritisation, budget constraints and the need to hire and manage the right people.

Prioritisation is the most widely cited software development challenge (mentioned by 44 per cent of respondents). This is followed closely by budget constraints (42 per cent) and making the right hiring choices (40 per cent).

Commenting on the figures, Chairman Maciej Dziergwa, said: “These numbers lay bare the vast diversity of the CTO role, and the unique mix of challenges that someone in this position has to address on a daily basis. Scaling is very much front of mind, but there are a number of hurdles standing in the way of making this happen.

“Some challenges – such as budget restrictions – aren’t too surprising given the current difficulties posed by COVID-19. However, working out which software development projects to prioritise over others is another interesting headache facing CTOs, as is the pressing need to ensure the right hiring choices are made during such uncertain times.”

When it comes to making hiring decisions, 93 per cent of respondents said that having the right technical skills is crucial for any candidate. Not far behind this is the need for a new hire to be the right cultural fit for the organisation (85 per cent).

Dziergwa said: “The above points illustrate perfectly how the CTO role requires an extremely broad range of skills. An effective CTO needs to possess not just the technical know-how to implement and manage projects, but also the soft skills needed to build an effective, harmonious team whose emotional needs are looked after. This is a rare blend that illustrates the invaluable role that a CTO plays in running an organisation.

“To help CTOs achieve these goals, it’s important for leaders across the C-suite to take note of these figures and offer their support where they can. This means continuing to recognise the role of the CTO and IT department as crucial drivers of innovation across the entire business. Without the right amount of investment to ensure CTOs can run the projects and hire the people they need to, the ability to keep up with competitors will be compromised,” he concluded.