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There is an issue I am seeing that is causing a problem with shared time in fastly growing IT department along with business matters and the CEO trying to oversee all of it. Ultimately, what once were status checks that can include full detailed information and explanation on a particular project and where it stands, now must be very simple magic bullet points that do nothing but cause wrong assumptions and misunderstanding leading to false and unrealistic expectations. Critical decisions can't be made just by bullet points. The business is growing to a point where the CEO needs to offload the IT portion to a CTO who has a much larger area of responsibility than a department manager reporting direct to the CEO can do.

Anyone ever been through this? How were you able to convince the CEO (who can't otherwise see this problem) they need to hire a CTO? Did some tragedy have to happen first? Lost large client, business, etc?

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Reorganization can lag behind during active growth times, out of curiosity how large is your staff that you feel a C level position is needed for IT? And what types of situations are you expecting them to handle that a manager couldn't currently give direction on. –  sparks Nov 6 '09 at 16:03
Are you talking about CTO or CIO? Internal IT or customer facing products? –  Doug Luxem Nov 6 '09 at 16:10
This question is similar to this one: pm.stackexchange.com/q/557/34 –  jmort253 Mar 6 '11 at 6:09

1 Answer 1

Be specific and make it about the business first and IT second. Describe the problems you have seen (in a positive way) and how a CTO will solve them. The majority of the points should be about how it help move the business forward: efficiency, project success, improved uptime, reliability, remote access, investor confidence, etc and less about how it will prevent the sky from falling: backups, security, etc. Too much gloom or negativity, however justified, doesn't work, especially if you are pitching to the person who currently heads IT. Remember that some of the gain is offloading work from the CEO that should allow her/him to focus on running the business/sales/strategic planning/etc.

I agree with the other comments though, without more information it's hard to agree/disagree on the need for a CTO. Many things can be outsourced and the CTO salary/benefits are usually large so there has to be a significant benefit to justify it. In some cases the CEO can provide direction and goals and the execution can be handled through a combination of inside and outside resources. Your organization size, situation and mileage may vary.

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