A survey of 415 CIOs and CTOs conducted by Transposit, a DevOps process orchestration platform provider, finds that as organizations continue to adopt DevOps processes more widely, friction between these types of senior IT leaders is rising within many organizations.
As a C-level role, ‘CTO’ first gained traction in the wake of the dot com boom. In more recent years, many traditional enterprises added CTOs alongside CIOs as they realized how dependent the organization had become on software. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is now more focus than ever on digital business transformation initiatives that are dependent on the timely delivery of software.
Transposit CEO Divanny Lamas said that as more organizations’ structures revolve around product teams, there are a lot more CTOs. In some cases, CIOs are reporting to CTOs.
The majority of organizations surveyed have both roles. A full 83% of CIOs said there is also a CTO at their organization, while 86% of CTOs said there is also a CIO. Just under a quarter of respondents (24%) said they perform both roles.
At the same time, 98% of survey respondents reported increased focus on digital transformation within their organization in the past three years, with three-quarters (75%) noting that focus has increased since the start of the pandemic. A full 85% report their budget has increased over the last three years.
Not surprisingly, 92% of respondents said that their responsibilities have changed in the last three years, with over half (56%) reporting their role changed significantly. Both are now graded according to key performance indicators (KPIs) related to managing revenue, with 66.3% of CIOs and 78% of CTOs saying their position is now either directly involved in or required to lead a business strategy.
But only 34%, or just over a third, said that ownership of most aspects of digital transformation initiatives is a shared responsibility between the CIO and CTO. Specifically, just under a third (32%) noted ownership of software development in their organization is a shared responsibility. A full 88% of respondents apply DevOps practices, and 83.4% believe that DevOps is important to digital transformation at their organization. Almost all (98%) plan to expand their DevOps practice, and 83% already have a plan in place to do so.
Lamas says software engineering-first principles are changing not just how applications are built but also how IT teams are structured in a way that advances innovation.
More than a third (35%) of respondents said ownership of software operations developed in-house is a shared responsibility in their organization, while 28% said ownership of managing SaaS or operating commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software in their organization is a shared responsibility. A third (33%) also noted ownership of the technology for the external customer experience in their organization is a shared responsibility.
A full 95% of survey respondents also confirmed that the performance of their team is measured by key performance indicators (KPIs) related to revenue, specifically revenue growth (75%), rate of innovation (60%) and uptime (54%).
It’s too early to say how the relationship between CIOs and CTOs will evolve, but the one thing is clear: The pressure for these roles to collaborate more effectively is on the rise.