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How the responsibilities of the Technical Director will change by 2020

18/07/18 Adam Walker Managing Partner

As every company becomes a technology company - and technology companies continue to innovate and expand their reach - the Technical Director’s job, CTO, CIOs and other technology executive roles are changing.

Once upon a time, the sole purpose of a company’s IT department was to keep servers running, eliminate computer viruses, and deliver desktop support. While these tasks are still critical in day-to-day business, the role of the Technical Director has grown significantly. If this evolving role of technical leadership is not fulfilled and leveraged within an organisation, the company will always be one step behind its competition.

Technical Directors, also known as Technology Directors, are becoming innovation officers, security leaders and a core component of business-minded decisions as the technology on offer today takes centre stage.

Adam Walker, Redline Executive Managing Partner offers his insights into how the Technology Directors roles will continue to change over the next few years.

“The Technology Director’s role must evolve from a ‘keep the lights on’ to a ‘business value leadership’ position. No industry can afford to not take a proactive stance on technology, which requires a technical leadership role to be a valued business leader and not just a maintainer of the current state. Technology leadership can be a business differentiator, or inversely, a liability if neglected.” says Adam.

“The technical job role will require a skillset more like process engineering - defining how the business runs and innovates using the available and sometimes unavailable data. The technical director’s role becomes more strategic around how products and services are delivered to the end customer, both internally and externally.

Technology leaders must look at the human factor. As much as being a Technology or Technical Director is about technology, they must look at the people behind it. The Technology and Engineering industry suffers from ‘shiny object syndrome’ where everyone has a self-induced pressure to keep up with technology to stay relevant. This is a short term way of thinking. Technology leadership is about training and nourishing the soft skills that make their workforce great, regardless of the technologies they use.

We will eventually get to the point where the terms ‘tech company’ and ‘company’ will be one and the same. That being said, being a good technical executive will be about more than managing technology. Having a better understanding of the needs of customers, stakeholders and the future direction of the company will become much more important

Technology has always evolved quickly; today, that pace is faster than ever before. Any technology leader must know where technology is headed and how that can be an opportunity and a differentiator. It's about learning and experimenting with new technology in a way that truly helps one understand it. Details matter here, and can be the difference between success and failure. Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will continue to disrupt. Winning the war for top Machine Learning and AI talent is a trend that is not about to go away: Top technology companies will continue to go after big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning talent with practical corporate experience and a track record of successfully bringing their AI innovations to life in the real world.

Technology is evolving at breakneck speed, creating some of the most challenging—and potentially rewarding—conditions technical directors have ever experienced. “Technology is everywhere. Technology is everything” says Adam. “It’s not only that it’s moving fast, it’s also that it’s ubiquitous.”

Digital expertise is no longer optional for corporate leadership. Finding the right C and D Level technical executives takes a strong, well-established network and time-tested recruitment strategy. Redline Executive are the leading,  industry-aligned Executive Search recruiters to the Technology sector and have committed to challenge and improve the quality of the executive search sector for its clients.

For more information on Technical Director roles or Technology Director jobs, Redline Executive offer an extensive portfolio of executive search services and provide thorough insight and support to your strategic recruitment planning. To have a confidential discussion, please call Adam Walker, Managing Partner on +44 (0)203 131 0019 or email