Why do you need a CTO?

By Doug Nelson

We have seen a revolution in technology, and businesses are responding to meet the challenge in creative ways in front of their customers. As a chief technology officer (CTO), I see this up close, both in my business and in discussions with my colleagues and peers with our business partners about how they’re responding to these challenges.

Still, there is some confusion about what a CTO does compared to the chief information officer (CIO) in leading the organization through these unpredictable times. Though CIOs and CTOs are just a letter apart, there’s a vital difference between them, and it’s worth noting in today’s competitive landscape.

So, why have a CTO?

The reason CTOs are more important than ever is that the best compass point in such a shifting landscape is our customers’ wants and needs, as well as the experience we provide them with our products. CIOs often focus on the innovation within the company that allows for a business to respond with a flexible infrastructure and keep production moving and customers happy.

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However, what a CTO can focus on is very much centered on the product that the company provides its customers and assuring it is using the best technology for the customer segment. So in today’s market, which is so customer-focused, CTOs are becoming increasingly important, not just because of the singular focus on the customer, but also because so many technologies exist now that can improve a product, but also add to the level of support customers need with those products. Also, new whiz-bang technology could be great for the company but totally befuddle or perplex the user.

At SimpleC, we run into this issue because we’re providing technology solutions to clinicians and a majority of older clients who want the benefits of a solution without any technical training. Mobile was key to this vision because of its ease of use and ubiquity. We did an exhaustive view of possible technologies that could help provide user-friendly support for customers. This solution would need to help them stay healthy and maintain a clinical regimen while staying in contact with caregivers and providing improving guidance as we learn more about our patients and subjects.

We focused on dependable mobile technology that works across an ever-increasing device-heavy and clinically complicated industry landscape, and we focused on artificial intelligence as a critical component of our solution. This is because we wanted the improving recommendations that come from machine learning and predictive analytics, making for an attractive product both to our users and to our clinical clients.

Where architecture meets innovation

We looked at a variety of options in our research. Because of the accessibility to evolving capabilities and the ability to scale quickly, we decided on cognitive offered through the cloud. This decision was based on the client segment we’re serving, which is cognitively declining patients wanting to age at home. It was also based on efficiencies, which we knew we could find with these technologies. It was also essential because of the variety of data we work with in our solution today, including unstructured data from medical records as well as sensors and connected homes. The whole leadership team came together to make our selection of technologies, and we had to select something that worked for us, our clients and our future growth.

This is why CTOs are so vital today: we bring together the needs of the customer and the business and understand technology and how it shifts in order to compete now and in the future.

Written By

Doug Nelson

Chief Technology Officer at SimpleC, LLC

Doug Nelson, Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, leads the architectural design and integration of SimpleC’s care solutions. He has 20 years of IT experience and over 10 years as an enterprise architect. In the past, Doug has been responsible for the architecture and…