The Role of CTOs

Rao Chalasani has built his career on a foundation of technology and development risk management strategies. A resident of New Jersey, he has worked at mega corporations in New York, NY, such as Bank of America (BofA), JPMorgan Chase, and Merrill Lynch. At Merrill Lynch, Rao Chalasani served as risk management strategist and chief technology officer (CTO).

On the surface, the role of a CTO seems simple: choose and implement technologies that facilitate success for a company. Below the surface, however, the specifics run a gamut of responsibilities. A CTO may be able to choose a third-party solution for the company, such as a database program to keep track of customer accounts and inventory. When such solutions do not exist, or when existing solutions do not provide the functionality the company needs, CTOs must lead the research and development (R&D) of a proprietary solution. In either case, CTOs need to adhere to standards and regulations.

CTOs must also be aware of tech trends and news that could affect the company’s bottom line. Toward that end, CTOs must monitor and evaluate emerging technology in order to determine if it should be brought into the fold, or passed over in favor of other products. CTOs communicate their decisions to their managers, as well as to partners, investors, and employees.

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