The difference between a chief information officer (CIO) and a chief technology officer (CTO) is really a difference in perspective.
A CIO is focused on the company’s business and what their goals and objectives are, and how he can come up with solutions to create business results. The mind of a CIO is looking ahead at where the business wants to be and how to use technology to get there.
The CTO is really all about alignment of technology. They’re looking at infrastructure. They’re performing gap analysis against best practices. Their job is really to build a relationship with the users and understand how technology is working — or how it’s not working — and to know where all the risks are.
What our virtual CIOs do is understand our clients’ businesses. They understand what the drivers are, what the goals of the organization are, and how technology will accelerate the achievement of those goals.
Our virtual CIOs work closely with the rest of our team to take misalignments and technology and understand risks, understand how technology works in the organization, and come up with solutions to fit the needs of the business. A virtual CIO is really focused on the business: How do I make it more efficient and faster, how do I change the workforce, and what technology solutions will allow that business to accelerate its goals?
So the CTOs are performing the MRIs and the CAT scans and running the tools that bring to the surface issues and misalignments so that the CIOs can go in ask themselves, “What do we do with these misalignments and how do they impact the business?”