Technical, Technology

Language Deathmatch: CIO versus CTO

[NOTE: For some time I have been considering a series of short “Deathmatch” style articles, contrasting similar-but-different words. This post is the “Pilot” for such a series.]

A geek speculates: what is the difference between a CIO and a CTO?

Google returns a lengthy definition, a Slashdot discussion, and other answers. But Sean enjoyed my answer:

I have always read CTO as “Senior VP of Engineering” whereas CIO is “Senior VP of Information Services”

A CTO has more of a focus on engineering, like managing the development and deployment of a new web site at a dot-com. You’ll find CTOs at technology-centric companies.

A CIO focuses on an organization’s IT needs, and is more likely to focus on deploying existing third-party software to serve the needs of staff and customers, developing some new software when needed. You’ll find CIOs at Universities.

In a nutshell:

CTO == über-developer
CIO == über-sysadmin

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Categories: Technical, Technology

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