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Technology continues to profoundly impact how businesses operate and engage with customers. According to the Business Software Market Size report from Mordor Intelligence, the global market for commercial software is projected to grow to $650 billion this year and $1.10 trillion by 2029.

Beyond software, businesses face challenges with hardware, skilled labor, strategic planning, and cybersecurity. These factors underscore the critical need for effective tech leadership within organizations.

If your company has reached a stage where it requires an executive-level professional with specialized expertise in technology, there are numerous options to explore.

Positions to consider

Here are some of the most widely used position titles for technology executives:

Chief Information Officer (CIO). This person is typically responsible for managing a company’s internal IT infrastructure and operations. An easy way to remember the purpose of this position is to replace the word “Information” with “Internal.” A CIO’s job is to oversee the purchase, implementation, and proper use of technological systems and products that will maximize the efficiency and productivity of the business.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO). In contrast to a CIO, a CTO focuses on external processes — specifically with customers and vendors. This person usually oversees the development and eventual production of technological products or services that will meet customer needs and increase revenue. The position demands the ability to live on the cutting edge by doing constant research into tech trends while also being highly collaborative with employees and vendors.

Chief Digital Officer (CDO). For some companies, the CIO and/or CTO are so busy with their respective job duties that they’re unable to look very far ahead. This is where a CDO typically comes into play. The primary purpose of this position is to spot new markets, channels, or even business models that the company can target, explore, and perhaps eventually profit from. So, while a CIO looks internally and a CTO looks externally, a CDO’s gaze is set on a more distant horizon.

Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer (CAIO). Did you think you were going to make it through a technology article without reading about AI? Yes, more and more businesses are taking on executives whose primary responsibility is to create the company’s overall AI strategy and ensure it:

  • Aligns with the business’s overall strategic goals, and
  • Enhances the company’s digital transformation, which many businesses are continuing to undergo as they adapt to new technologies.

CAIOs are also typically responsible for understanding the global and national regulatory environments regarding AI, as well as ensuring the business uses AI ethically.

Big decision

Introducing an executive-level position into your company is a significant decision. Besides committing to compensation and benefits, you'll invest substantial time and resources into the search and onboarding processes. Therefore, it's crucial to thoroughly discuss this move with your current leadership team and professional advisors. An Axley & Rode advisor can help you identify and project all the costs involved.

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