Chief technology officer

The chief technology officer (CTO) is responsible for the technological capabilities of the ICT department. As with the chief information officer, the CTO does not provide the ‘hands on’ services related to ICT, however, the CTO is responsible for matching technology with the business needs. The CTO then documents the match so that the whole senior leadership team can decide if the business is going to use the technology.

The CTO works in a strategic and forward planning manner. The CTO presents the business with all the technological options, including comprehensive assessments that will meet future business needs. The CTO should be unbiased and not an advocate for a particular brand of technology.

The CTO will work with the enterprise architect and technology architect, to ensure that the technology solutions that have been proposed are aligned with existing technologies and that they are the most cost efficient solution for the business.

A CTO exhibits capabilities in line with the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)[1] and the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile[2].

Within the SFIA profile, the CTO has level 6 and 7 capabilities, i.e. sets strategy and initiates, influences, inspires and mobilises the skills outlined below.


At the highest organisational level, has authority over all aspects of a significant area of work, including policy formation and application. Is fully accountable for actions taken and decisions made, both by self and others to whom responsibilities have been assigned.


Makes decisions critical to organisational success. Inspires the organisation, and influences developments within the industry at the highest levels. Advances the knowledge and/or exploitation of technology within one or more organisations. Develops long-term strategic relationships with customers, partners, industry leaders and government.


Leads on the formulation and implementation of strategy. Applies the highest level of leadership skills. Has a deep understanding of the industry and the implications of emerging technologies for the wider business environment.

Business skills

Has a full range of strategic management and leadership skills. Understands, explains and presents complex ideas to audiences at all levels in a persuasive and convincing manner. Has a broad and deep business knowledge, including the activities and practices of other organisations. Communicates the potential impact of emerging practices and technologies on organisations and individuals and assesses the risks of using or not using such practices and technologies. Assesses the impact of legislation, and actively promotes compliance. Ensures that the organisation develops and mobilises the full range of required digital skills and capabilities.

SFIA Skill

SFIA Skill Code

SFIA Skill Level of Responsibility

SFIA Skills Level Descriptor

IT governance



Leads development and communication of the organisation's policies for corporate governance of information. Contributes to strategic plans, which satisfy the current and ongoing needs of the organisation's business strategy, and the current and future capabilities. Promotes clear decision making, leading to valid reasons for technology-related acquisitions. Monitors provision of services, levels of service and service quality. Assures that the organisation's business processes are compliant with relevant legislation, and that the organisation operates according to the principles embedded in relevant standards. Promotes policies, practices and decisions which recognise the current and evolving needs of all the stakeholders.

IT strategy and planning



Leads the definition, implementation, communication of the organisation’s strategic management framework and directs the creation and review of an IT strategy and plans to support the strategic requirements of the business.

Information systems coordination



Establishes, maintains and communicates the organisation's strategy for managing information and the policies, standards, procedures and methods necessary to implement the strategy. Coordinates all aspects of management of the life cycle of information systems. Represents the interests of the entire organisation to general management and external bodies on matters relating to information strategy.

Enterprise and business architecture development



Directs the creation and review of an enterprise capability strategy to support the strategic requirements of the business. Identifies the business benefits of alternative strategies.

Directs development of enterprise-wide architecture and processes which ensure that the strategic application of change is embedded in the management of the organisation. Ensures compliance between business strategies, enterprise transformation activities and technology directions, setting strategies, policies, standards and practices.




Manages provision of consultancy services, and/or management of a team of consultants. In own areas of expertise, provides advice and guidance to consultants and/or the client through involvement in the delivery of consultancy services. Engages with clients and maintains client relationships. Establishes agreements/contracts and manages completion and disengagement.

Queensland Government roles align with the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile.

The success profile is a sector wide, one-government approach to the leadership behaviours expected of all public sector employees to support high performing workplaces.  The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 13 leadership competencies required against four role types:

  • Individual contributor (manages self)
  • Team leader (manages individuals)
  • Program manager (manages multiple teams/projects)
  • Executive (manages program managers)

When developing a Role Description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.

Entry points

To have a career such as a chief technology officer a bachelor level degree in areas such as information technology, information systems or business is required.

Learning and development

Formal training and on the job experience are important ways to improve and develop the required skills.

[1] The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides a common language that integrates with an organisation’s way of working, to improve capability and resource planning, resource deployment and performance management.  This role profile quotes extensively from the SFIA, under licence from the SFIA Foundation. Information about the SFIA can be found at

[2] The Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile plays a key role in translating the government’s ‘talent management requirements’ into clear behavioural terms, while at the same time delivering organisational change and growth. The success profile is being utilised to align sector-wide talent management strategies, including workforce planning, talent acquisition, leadership development, capability development, performance management, career management and succession planning. See

Last Reviewed: 22 July 2016