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Start-up vs Large Corporate: What CTOs need to know before accepting a role

Caroline Sands, Partner and Head of the CIO and Technology Officers Practice, explains the requirements and responsibilities of a CTO in a start-up, and how it compares to an equivalent position at a more established business in this insight written for the Startup Observer.

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Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) are vital positions for any organisation; aligning the technology roadmap with the strategic vision, driving innovation, and ensuring products and services remain one step ahead of the competition. But key differences in culture, product and service development, and cross-functional management exist between a CTO role in a start-up and its equivalent in larger businesses. These differences should guide a CTO candidate’s decision when choosing between the two.  

Among the most significant of differences is culture. The informal environment of a start-up is often built upon a sense of camaraderie between founding and early members. While this creates a tight-knit community of driven employees all motivated toward the start-up’s success, it does create several challenges a new CTO must overcome.  


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