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COO vs CTO–Who Is More Important For Business?

Written By Aisha Ahmed – Last Modified On May 15, 2024

If you have an incredible plan for a brand-new software item or product and after exhausting market research, you’re ready to put in a lot of effort to launch your own business. We suggest you stop and think about how many startups fail due to poor performance of business administration (C-suits). 

Moreover, you should also keep in mind that the individuals that comprise your startup may either make it succeed or fail. That is why before choosing the right CTO for a startup, read this article carefully for in-depth detail about CTO.

During the company’s technology-related roles, it is not necessary to be a technical expert. However, maybe working with chief technology officers with deep technical knowledge can also fulfill the requirements of the company. 

Chief Technology Officer CTOs are responsible for designing a technology strategy with their technical expertise to support company goals while Chief Operating Officer  COOs are responsible for developing broad visions. The duties of the COO may vary across the organization, and business units. They cover the internal processes of all departments within the company.

What Is a Chief Technology Officer (CTO)?

CTOs—Chief Technology Officers are leaders within the technology department who are responsible for determining the business technology needs of a company.  Many business owners hire CTO services for developing a smooth and successful business plan. The chief technical officer is an independent consultant who examines the technical needs of a business organization. Moreover, it designs strategies for investments that assist it in reaching its trending company’s technology goal.

Since technology evolves fast, the CTO is often occupied with studying recent changes and updates for deploying technology successfully in a company. Many large and small companies hire CTO consulting services to lead and oversee the engineering and developer teams to find new ways of improving products. 

As customers want a fast and simple shopping experience with products/services that must include new technological advancements. If companies fail to leverage technology or fail in improving overall technology strategy, their external customers will look for newer products.

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What Is a Chief Operating Officer (COO)?

The COO generally serves as the highest-ranking executive, typically the chief executive officer (CEO), and oversees the day-to-day operations of the business and its office building. In large companies. When the chairperson and the CEO are the highest-ranking executives, the COO is often the company’s second in command. One of the elite executive positions in a company, a chief operating officer (COO), sometimes known as a chief operations officer, is a member of the “C-suite.”

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For instance, a CEO may demand additional quality control whenever a company’s market share declines. In order to improve the company’s standing or reputation with clients, the COO would execute the CEO’s directive by guiding the human resources division to increase the number of quality control parameters or employees where necessary. Initiating the deployment of new product lines is another potential responsibility for the COO, who may also be in charge of marketing, production, and Research & Development.

Types of COO

Typically, there are seven different categories of COOs:

  1. The Executor
  2. The Changing Maker
  3. A Mentor
  4. An MVP
  5. The Acting CEO
  6. The Companion COO
  7. The Opposite Half

1) The Executor

They serve as the in-charge of delivering outcomes on a day-to-day basis and supervise the execution of business processes developed by top management.

2) The Innovator

They are recognized as leaders of new projects and for bringing change to a business process of a company. They lead in a specific strategic objective, like a turnaround or significant organizational change.

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3) A Mentor

They are employed to provide advice to group members who are fresh to the organization or younger, typically young CEOs. It comes down to the fact that as the CEO’s responsibility matures, this COO role could either dissolve entirely or undergo a significant redesign. 

4) An MVP

COO also serves as an MVP, who is elevated internally to prevent them from leaving for a competitor business. A minimal viable product, or MVP, is a calibrated version of service with just enough functionality to enhance sales, evaluate the business processes, change your product, and generate profits. It may be helpful to appreciate MVP’s feedback.

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5) The Acting CEO 

The main goal of creating a COO job is typically to develop or evaluate the incoming CEO of a company. An heir apparent might get familiar with the entire organization—its operations, workplace culture, and workforce—due to the job’s broad scope.

6) The Companion COO

He is appointed as a substitute for the CEO. The CEO may occasionally be the type of person who functions best for the company’s success when partnered. This may result in a model known as the “twin in a package” for managing company operations.

7) The Opposite Half

A corporation could hire a COO not as a mentor but as a counterbalance to the CEO’s skills, personality, background, or preferences. In order to understand the CEO and eventually take over as CEO, the heir likely first serves as COO.

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Types of Chief Technology Officer  

A CTO is a management position responsible for setting a company’s vision and developing technology strategies or reviewing technology to meet its business needs. Before going to learn the various types of CTOs, it is important to understand that CTOs are not required to work full-time on a high pay scale. Some organizations prefer to hire a Fractional CTO as compared to a typical full-time CTO.

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A fractional CTO oversees technology trends for an organization “with a fraction of the time, on a substantial fraction of the tasks, and about a fraction of the expense.

Due to the high demand & expense, many developing business owners are unable to employ a CTO full-time, so they prefer a part-time CTO or Virtual CTOs. Let’s discuss 4 types of CTOs;

1) Supervisor of Infrastructure

The company’s data security, upkeep, and balance networking are under the control of the chief technology officer who may also implement (but need not always determine) the company’s technical strategy. The CTO also handles the company’s technological roadmap.

2) Strategic Thinking

This kind of CTO might set the business’s technical strategic planner while also imagining how new technology would be used within the organization. In order to secure the company’s growth, the CTO will also consider how to adapt innovative technology further there to achieve company or business goals.

3) Customer Relations

A CTO in this position will serve in a separate position as a point of contact between the client and the company by managing client relationships, understanding the target market, and assisting in the marketing of projects in the (information technology) IT department.

4) Thinker

This type of CTO will develop business models, research target markets, and support technology infrastructure by doing critical analysis while assisting with corporate strategy development. The CEO and other executives in the company’s upper administration will be close associates of the CTO as well.

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Main Differences Between the COO and CTO Roles

The main difference between COOs and CIOs is that they are responsible for developing visions, while CTOs can find technological solutions to support their strategy. 

The duties of the Chief Operating Officer COO may change depending upon the need and requirements of any project in a company. During technology-related roles, it is not necessary to be a technical expert and you can work as CTOs with deep technical knowledge. 

Role of COO

The position of the COO often depends on the organizational structure of the business and the relationships of the COO with the CEO. The CEO and COO usually collaborate closely to put business strategies into action. Here are a few responsibilities that a company’s COO often handles.

  1. Hiring and staffing: The COO of an organization is in charge of all personnel-related tasks.
  2. Standards enforcement and implementation: The COO is often in charge of executing the company’s business strategy.
  3. Budgeting and accounting: A COO is in charge of managing the financial activities of a company.
  4. Administrative oversight: The COO of a corporation is in charge of putting the current operations of a business into place and keeping an eye on it.
  5. Successor to the CEO: The COO frequently serves as a communication link in-between the CEO and the remaining of the business.

Role of CTO

The CTO’s roles and responsibilities are to improve the services and products of an organization. Moreover, they create policies and processes and utilize technology for the progress of your business. With the help of new technologies, they improve customer experience. Once the new software is discovered, CTOs work with engineers to enhance the product offering. 

Depending on the company’s size, the full-time CTO post may require more hours to fulfill their duties. A CTO’s duties as a professional include:

  • Modernizing current technology
  • Studying technological trends
  • Information and insights are shared with the top leadership team.
  • Control over technology teams
  • keeping an eye on the use of current technology, especially software, hardware, databases, and licenses

COO vs. CTO-–Qualification Comparision 


A CTO position usually starts with a bachelor’s in computer science or information technology, such as software development and security, management information systems, and information technologies. 

Since strategic planning is also part of many CTO jobs in a corporate arena, a master’s degree in any of these fields is also beneficial. Some corporations require the CTO to possess 15 years of management experience within IT departments, particularly in project management.


A COO often has years of experience working in the industry that a particular company is in. Ascending the corporate ladder, COOs frequently work for at least 15 years. By allowing COOs to get substantial expertise in the practices, regulations, and processes of their chosen area, this steady development helps them become ready for their jobs.

Additionally, because they typically oversee several divisions, COOs need to be creative problem solvers with good leadership abilities. Regarding education, COOs normally have at least a bachelor’s degree. However, they also frequently have an MBA and other credentials.

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COO vs. CTO: Salary Comparision


As per Salary.com, the annual compensation for CTOs in the United States as of April 26, 2022, ranges from $215,196 to $300,129.


As of March 1, 2022, the average COO compensation was $144,995, as per PayScale.com. The base wage is between $75,000 and $245,000 per year. Additionally, COOs receive bonus payments and profit-sharing schemes.

Current Demand COO vs. CTO

Both positions employ technology to address problems, if you’re willing to participate in the CTO positions, you might also be interested in the information and technology executive positions or computer scientist positions.

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Since chief executive officer duties are comparable to those of the COO, those who are interested in that post may also be willing to take part in the COO function. Today, both professions are in demand, and each post has its perks and rewards. You should decide to work on a position based on your interests and area of experience.

Final Thoughts

The tasks of a company’s chief operating officer (COO) and chief technology officer (CTO), are both executive-level positions. Even though CTO may evaluate an organization’s technology requirements and frequently makes broad information and technological decisions, the CTO suggests particular solutions to help the business expand. The everyday operations of a corporation are typically managed by the COO, who may or may not use technology. 

Strong administrative, leading, communicative, and analytical abilities are needed to be a COO. A minimum of 15 years of IT expertise, a graduate degree, and specializations in computer science and business management are typically requirements for becoming a CTO.

Want to take your business to new heights? Hire Hapy as your next CTO.


How do the COO & CTO work together?

COO/CTO is an arbitrary job role that organizations may define as they see fit. Not every organization will use these titles, and not every organization will identify the roles and the relation between them.

Does the CTO report to CEO or COO?

The CTO usually reports directly to a company’s chief information officer (CIO) but may also report to the chief executive officer (CEO) of the firm.

Is the COO higher than CTO?

It is impossible to assert that all C-suits in an organization are equal because they are all subordinate to the CEO. In accordance with an organization’s needs, they collaborate beside each other. Some companies don’t have a prominent designation for CTO, whereas the Chief Technology Officer plays a vital function in all technology companies.

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