The Chief Technology (or Technical) Officer is the C-suite executive in charge of overseeing the technology needs of a company. While the \u2018T\u2019 in the CTO might change depending on the organisation you work for, the responsibilities of a CTO remain largely the same across the board; managing the technology and staff working in the IT, telecoms and in some situations engineering departments.\nOrganisations of all sizes rely on the smooth delivery of technology projects to drive long-term business success. However, not everything always goes according to plan and companies can find themselves faced with several challenges that force them to rebuild, restore and rescue projects without the help of delivery partners. This is where the role of the CTO comes in.\nAs the role has grown in popularity, so has the scope of responsibility that comes with it.\nIt\u2019s not uncommon for the CTO to be the driving force behind company-wide digital transformation efforts, as they are often best placed to evaluate the long- and short-term benefits of technological investments.\nThey should also be able to foster an environment where technical employees like developers are inspired to work towards ambitious and forward-thinking technological projects.\n\u201cOne of my main roles as CTO is to make sure that our culture of \u2018engineering excellence\u2019 is maintained throughout the organisation,\u201d\u00a0Mark Porter, CTO of Transport, Mobility and Core Technologies at hail-riding startup Grab recently told CIO ASEAN.\n\u201cOne of the key tenets of that is ensuring the team improves as it grows. This means that the team needs to embrace a \u2018learn it all\u2019 mentality instead of a \u2018know it all\u2019 mindset.\u201d\nCTO salary in Southeast Asia\nThe salary of a CTO varies from country to country across the ASEAN region and can change depending on industry, company size and years of experience. Below is a guide to the average per annum earnings of CTOs in seven countries where data was available.\n\nIndonesia: 414 million \u2013 522 million IDR (US$29,400 \u2013 37,100)\nVietnam: 584 million \u2013 738 million VND (US$25,000 \u2013 31,700)\nSingapore: 108,000 \u2013 180,000 SGD (US$78,200 \u2013 130,400)\nThailand: 484,631 \u2013 871,056 THB (US$14,869 \u2013 26,725)\nMalaysia: 94,204 \u2013414,142 MYR (US$22,648 \u2013 99,566)\nPhilippines: 674,049 \u2013 6,787,060 PHP (US$12,497 \u2013 125,839)\nCambodia: 51 million \u2013 215 million KHR (US$12,440 \u2013 52,861) [Figures relate to C-Level Executive job title]\n\nWhat\u2019s the difference between a CTO and a CIO?\nFrom an outside perspective, the role of the CTO and CIO might appear to overlap and to some extent, this is true. Traditionally, individuals employed in these roles often hail from a technical background.\nHowever, as we have already explored, with the responsibilities of the CIO moving away from being purely technical, there has been an increase of CIOs joining companies form less-traditional backgrounds. This isn\u2019t the case for the CTO, who often start out their professional lives as developers or something similarly technical.\nFurthermore, while the CIO traditionally works closely with the c-suite executive team, the CTO is more closely aligned with IT teams, helping to develop technology that can be delivered to the company's clients and help differentiate the business from its competitors.\nIn organisations that have both a CIO and a CTO on the C-suite team, the CTO would be tasked with discovering emerging technologies that can then be used to innovate the company at the technical level. The CIO would be responsible for introducing these new technologies into the organisation and overseeing with the operational and organisational challenges that stem from that.\nWhat skills do you need to be a successful CTO?\nIn Southeast Asia, which boasts a growing millennial andentrepreneurial populations, one of the most important skills for a CTO to have is a firm grasp of emerging technologies.\nWhen your customers are young and technically proficient, you need to ensure you invest in enterprise-grade technology that can keep pace with their ever-changing demands and standards.\nUnless you understand the demographic you\u2019re serving, and the technology they\u2019re using, you can\u2019t properly cater to their needs.\nMore broadly, it goes without saying CTOs are expected to be highly technical, bringing a level of expertise and understanding that would otherwise be missing from an organisation. It\u2019s also important for a CTO to possess strong leadership skills as they will need to oversee the launch of new technology projects and ensure they make it to fruition.\nIncreasingly, today\u2019s CTOs are being given some customer-facing responsibilities, meaning that good communication skills are also necessary to succeed in the role.\n"[...] Our goal is to keep as relevant with our customers, to make sure we understand our customers, not just the products they want but what they want to do, and therefore how we can support their lifestyle," said\u00a0Colin Dinn, Senior Executive Vice President and CTO at Siam Commercial Bank, during the Oracle OpenWorld Asia in March.\nUltimately, the best CTO is one who possesses a comprehensive understanding of the changing technological landscape and can make the right technology investments based on both the current and future needs of the company they work for.\nAdditional reporting by Cristina Lago.