Scaling up tech capabilities top priority for CTOs — but budget constraints represent significant hurdle

CTOs see scaling up tech capabilities as top priority, but prioritisation and budget constraints are major hurdles to overcome.

According to new research from STX Next,  53% of CTOs have identified the need to scale up their tech 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.

The findings were taken from STX Next’s recent Global CTO Survey report, which polled 250 CTOs around the world on the biggest challenges facing their business.

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

Commenting on the figures, Maciej Dziergwa, chairman of STX Next, 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.”

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When it comes to making hiring decisions, 93% 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%).

Dziergwa added: “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.”

He concluded: “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.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...