Information Age Insight and Analysis for the CTO Tue, 31 Jan 2023 08:57:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Information Age 32 32 Keys to successful M&A technology integration Mon, 30 Jan 2023 10:47:59 +0000 By Kristaps Petrovskis on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

M&A technology

Any merger or acquisition completion will call for the combination of tech from the different networks involved. In this article, we explore the keys to a successful M&A technology integration.

The post Keys to successful M&A technology integration appeared first on Information Age.

By Kristaps Petrovskis on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

M&A technology

One of the most important components of any successful merger or acquisition (M&A) is the timely integration of two separate technology networks. Combining them into a highly functional networked technology infrastructure keeps the new business entity operating as seamlessly as possible, all while creating additional value from the combined capabilities.

Every modern-day business activity — employee email, payroll, sales prospecting, production, product inventory, and even recruiting — relies on underlying technology that is as free as possible from friction, outages, inadequate connectivity and frustrating downtime.

Integrating the technology stacks of two different companies can be incredibly challenging or surprisingly easy, depending on such factors as similarity or differences between the two companies’ respective technologies, software, and location(s).

Obstacles to consider

For large organisations merging together, unifying networks and technologies may take years. But for SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) utilising more traditional technologies such as VPNs, integrations may be accomplished more quickly and with less friction. In scenarios where both the acquiring company and the company being acquired utilise more sophisticated SD-WAN networks, these technologies tend to be closed and proprietary in nature. Therefore, if both companies utilise the same vendor, integration can be managed more easily. On the other hand, if the vendors differ, it is not going to interlink with other networks as easily and needs a more careful step-by-step network transformation plan.

Taking these challenges into account, the acquiring company could devise a strategy to let any existing network contracts expire, but in the long-term scope of spending, this is going to prove to be more expensive than to be proactive about merging technologies in the beginning of the acquisition.

Keep an eye on your apps

Another key to a successful technology merger is to truly understand where your applications are going. For example, if two New York companies are joining forces, with most of the data and applications residing in the US East Coast, it wouldn’t make sense to interconnect networks in San Francisco. Along with this, it is important to make sure your regional networks are strong, even within your global network. In terms of where you are sending your traffic and data, it’s important to be as efficient as possible.

In the case that the acquiring company is absorbing a more technologically advanced company, it could be beneficial to take a step back and see what can be learned from those who have already experienced the transition to more sophisticated systems and networks. This is especially worth considering where the company acquired is smaller in size, and therefore likely to have made cost-conscious decisions when building out their network without added complexity.

On the opposite side, for modern companies that are acquiring more traditional organisations, it could be beneficial to examine the applications you intend to keep to ensure they will continue to work properly within a more modernised network. While it might sound counter-intuitive, there is always “that one legacy server” in the basement that is running an archaic network configuration.

Keys to success

While keeping some of these challenges in mind, there are six key tips that can help guide companies through the often challenging steps involved in merging one company’s network with another, while keeping both businesses running until the single technology stack is functional.

  1. Focus on end resultsStart by thinking about what the end result will be, and what the new software/technology platform will look like for all users when the integration is complete. Working toward an expected final result keeps the entire process on track and focused on common goals even while fine-tuning integration strategy. It’s a far better alternative than “let’s figure it out as we go”.
  2. Have a planThe risk of not having a comprehensive and detailed plan is formidable. Piecemeal integration opens the door to unexpected obstacles and problems. Develop a detailed plan, and begin integration only when the entire team is on board with the full scope, ensuring the beginning-to-end integration plan is well defined before giving the go-ahead.
  3. Assemble a team of stakeholders to reduce riskMake sure everyone who needs to be involved is involved. Experts in IT, software engineers and designers,  and the chief information officer will no doubt lead the efforts, but other key players should be part of the process, too. They include experts from human resources, change management, finance, and legal. Expert stakeholders might also be needed in locations where industry-accepted UCaaS/VOIP services might not be available, or where collaboration tools (e.g. Google Workspace) might be blocked by a local regulator.
  4. CommunicateCommunication from the team is critical throughout the integration process, especially around change management. Well-designed plans might require less frequent or detailed communication because hiccups and challenges tend to be solved proactively.
  5. Allow ample time Ask any technology engineer how long a project will take to complete, and the answer usually is, “it depends”. The same is true when merging two companies’ technology platforms. If the acquired company is in a new geography to you, be aware of lead times – from network delivery to supply chain – which might be different than your home market, and therefore need to be accounted for in your project planning. Just know that a start-to-finish integration can range from a couple of months to a year or more. Existing technologies like SD-WAN, though often proprietary and closed networks, can streamline integration by automating many of the underlying IT processes. SD-WAN democratises the network by providing visibility into all of its components, leading to smoother transitions in some cases.
  6. Consider a tech integration specialistYour already-busy IT staff will be asked to take on additional duties and projects during a technology integration project. Partnering with a specialty technology firm, managed services provider, or integration specialist can help by offloading sizable portions of the WAN restructuring work while keeping your IT staff available for everyday duties and projects.

Technology integration projects can be overwhelming, but experience shows the work is more manageable and more successful if companies plan ahead and assemble the right teams, tools, and partners to move the project to completion. Put simply, there’s a fast way to manage technology integration, and there’s a right way.

Kristaps Petrovskis is chief technology officer at Expereo.


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Data Privacy Day 2023: keeping data secure and compliant Sat, 28 Jan 2023 00:01:00 +0000 By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

Data Privacy Day

On the 17th annual Data Privacy Day — also known as Data Protection Day — we explore what organisations need to consider this year when it comes to keeping data secure and compliant with regulations.

The post Data Privacy Day 2023: keeping data secure and compliant appeared first on Information Age.

By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

Data Privacy Day

Recognising the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty for privacy and data protection, Data Privacy Day raises awareness of the need to keep employee and customer data secure, and compliant with regulations such as GDPR. Today, it’s reported that over 2.5 quintillion bytes of storable information is developed every day — with an average digital user producing some 1.7MB of data each second.

Continuously evolving cyber threats and the recent evolution of AI paint a data management landscape that could prove chaotic and costly if all assets aren’t properly controlled. Costs for poor privacy practices, after all, would not only be financial, but reputational, too.

OpenText research reveals that almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of consumers say they have new concerns about how organisations use their data since the start of the pandemic, while almost half (46 per cent) say they would no longer use or buy from a company they were previously loyal to if it failed to protect or leaked their personal data. Indeed, retaining customer trust is vital, and strong data privacy is key to achieving this.

In this article, we delve into how businesses can ensure that all company and customer data is managed by strong data privacy protocol.

Key roles in the IT team

Privacy is now at the forefront and one of the top concerns for consumers, making it the responsibility of everyone in IT. This truly calls for a team effort across the organisation.

“On Data Privacy Day, organisations have the opportunity to reflect and commit to a holistic approach within their IT teams to ensure data privacy standards are upheld and data resiliency is achieved,” said W. Curtis Preston, chief technical evangelist at Druva.

Preston went on to identify the following roles and responsibilities that should be in place in the IT team:

  • The web developer ensures that any personal data received via the web is stored directly in a special database designed for personal information.
  • It’s the database administrator (DBA)’s job to ensure that the database is treated differently, applying the process of least privilege to it, to ensure only a select few are granted access, and everyone else (including bad actors) is only met with encryption.
  • Then, the system administrator needs to apply the same concepts to wherever that database resides.
  • It’s the backup person‘s responsibility to ensure the backups of this database follow best practices, and are encrypted and air gapped.
  • Finally, the security person should check in with the rest of the staff to help them understand their responsibilities and ensure they are meeting them.

“When all of these pieces of the team are aligned, organisations can be certain that they’ve done everything possible to keep their data resilient in the face of unexpected threats and adversity,” Preston said.

Combatting ransomware

Ransomware is set to continue wreaking havoc on company networks. According to the Veeam Data Protection Trends Report, 85 percent of companies were attacked by ransomware at least once in 2022 alone. All members of staff need to remain vigilant, with training put in place to help recognise what needs to be done to prevent harm.

“While we hear time and time again experts telling organisations to protect data and get ahead of becoming a bad actor’s next target, many don’t know the first steps to take,” explained Veeam’s vice-president of enterprise strategy, Dave Russell.

“My advice on Data Privacy Day is to make sure systems are patched; employees are given proper training on common attack methods such as phishing links; zero-trust strategies are implemented and maintained; to be aware of the best digital hygiene practices; and to implement a data recovery strategy to ensure that when an attack happens, data remains immutable.”

>See also: Data immutability: the forgotten component of defence in depth


It may be an industry standard in many sectors, but the frequency of data breaches in the past year shows that encryption isn’t always properly implemented. Data needs to be consistently encrypted across all locations, transfer points and formats.

“With ever-expanding amounts of data being generated and stored every day, in all manner of locations, formats and platforms, it is the lack of visibility and consistent enforcement of security policies that threat actors are taking advantage of,” explained Chris Harris, EMEA technical director at Thales.

“Networks are under constant probing and scanning by threat actors, so finding ways to securely store and move the vast amounts of data being generated every day, without compromising on performance and user experience, is crucial.”

The types of encryption to consider

There are various kinds of data encryption that are suitable for the various cases that organisations will meet when keeping assets protected. These include:

  • Data-at-rest encryption: ensures that data is secure down to the storage type in which it resides.
  • Firmware protection: helps to prevent threat actors from reverse engineering firmware.
  • Hardware-level encryption: provides a level of encryption that is separate from the operating system.
  • Instant secure erase (ISE): encrypts the drive, with only the encryption key needing to be deleted when data needs to be eradicated, allowing for quicker protection in a matter of seconds.

“We live in a world where data is everywhere, stored on both hardware and software, meaning always-on protection is a must for businesses,” said Brad Jones, CISO and vice-president of information security at Seagate.

“Any businesses looking to seize the benefits of innovation in technologies such as embedded systems, IoT, real-time data and AI-powered cognitive systems, must do so with strict compliance with legislation like GDPR and data security at the heart of their adoption.”

AI and ML-powered tools

There are an array of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)-powered tools that can bolster data privacy approaches, allowing for added threat visibility and predictability, as well as the accelerated action made possible thanks to added insights.

On the other side of the screen, AI, ML and other automation capabilities can help to maintain strong customer service regarding data, as Andy Teichholz, global industry strategist, compliance & legal at OpenText explains: “Customers are more empowered than ever to exercise their rights and reclaim control of their information by submitting Subject Rights Requests (SRRs), with our research showing that more than a third (34 per cent) of consumers would completely abandon a brand if the company failed to respond to a SRR.

“With the help of available technologies including AI and ML tools, organisations cannot only locate all personal and sensitive information, they can appropriately classify, manage, and protect it throughout its lifecycle and apply policy-based retention tools to support data minimisation.

“They can also automate the SRR fulfilment process to ensure deadlines are met and that processes are repeatable and defensible.”

>See also: Use cases for AI and ML in cyber security

The zero trust journey

With hybrid working continuing to spread endpoint devices beyond the traditional network parameters that were present pre-pandemic, every organisation now needs a comprehensive zero trust model that assumes all new devices and users are considered suspicious until proven otherwise. However, this alone isn’t enough — a truly successful zero trust approach is a strategic journey, as opposed to a one-time measure.

“Organisations often think that creating a zero trust framework is a ‘one-and-done’ process. In reality, it is an interactive journey that must be reassessed at every step of the way,” said Chris Vaughan, vice-president, technical account management EMEA at Tanium.

“Cloud solutions often have a tool set that can continuously check the state of endpoints and attest to them much more readily, as long as they are switched on.

“Through a zero trust approach and the use of effective tools to gain visibility of IT environments, organisations will give themselves the best chance of avoiding costly breaches in 2023.”


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What is the role of a CTO in a start-up? Fri, 27 Jan 2023 11:02:00 +0000 By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

CTO role start-up

The role of the chief technology officer (CTO) can be vital to the much needed innovation of any start-up. Here, we explore what this entails.

The post What is the role of a CTO in a start-up? appeared first on Information Age.

By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

CTO role start-up

When it comes to innovation in business, it pays to have strong leadership at the top for implementing technology. To innovate with digital capabilities, the chief technology officer (CTO) oversees the tech strategy, and this role can often be found in a start-up, whether taken on by a founder or a hired executive.

In this article, we explore what the role of the CTO entails in a start-up company, key responsibilities, and how it compares to an equivalent position at a more established scale-up.


The chief technology officer oversees the planning, testing and rollout of technology that concerns customers. In a start-up, this can also extend to infrastructure utilised by the workforce — an area usually led by the chief information officer (CIO) in scale-up businesses. Start-up CTOs need to lead a competitive vision around target customer needs, and how the company can occupy that gap in the market with technology.

>See also: What is the role of the CTO?

Evolution of the CTO

With competition across every vertical growing quicker than ever, start-up CTOs are having to grow to be more commercial, strategic, and business-focused than before. A purely technical mindset is no longer an option for long-term success – also required is the skillset to translate technical value to non-technical stakeholders, viewing the benefits from a variety of different perspectives. Particularly in start-ups, the CTO is expected to speak both “tech” and “business” – switching seamlessly between the two.

“Organisations are more aware of what needs to be achieved and how they need to be achieved,” said Caroline Sands, partner and head of the CIO and technology officers practice at headhunter Odgers Berndtson.

“There’s more case studies to follow from and so there’s more examples to learn from. It means CTOs going into a start-up now, generally have an idea of the challenges they’re going to face.

“What’s more, in the tech start-ups of yesteryear, the CTO was king or queen. Now the product leader holds as much sway within the C-suite, resulting in tension between product and engineering.”

A position of many hats

To ensure long-term prosperity for their role and start-up, CTOs need to be willing to adjust their day-to-day duties to meet evolving business requirements.

“Founders don’t want a whole tech team reporting to them – they need to be able to focus on running the actual business and driving more growth,” explained Robin Beattie, managing director at Spinks — the specialist start-up and scale-up recruiting arm of Nash Squared.

“Sometimes they may not consider appointing a CTO because they look at standard job descriptions and think it doesn’t match to their business. But you shouldn’t get caught up in these generic definitions – there are much more flexible arrangements that could work and create value.

“The CTO could be someone who wears multiple hats – for example, still actively coding some of their time or actively involved in architecture. There’s scope to think outside the box.”

Start-up vs scale-up

The role of the CTO in a start-up can vary greatly from an equivalent position in a more established scale-up business. While in both scenarios the position concerns leadership of all technological decisions within a business, there are considerable differences in the focus and nature of the role.

“Start-ups tend to be disruptive and faced-paced, with the goal of quick growth over long-term strategy development. So, start-up CTOs are often responsible for building the technological infrastructure from the ground up,” said Ryan Jones, co-founder of OnlyDataJobs.

“Whereas in an established company, a CTO might be responsible for reviewing and improving the current technology stack and data infrastructure, in a start-up, these structures might not exist. So, the onus is on the CTO to create and implement an entire technological infrastructure and strategy. This also means that a hands-on approach is required.

“Because start-up CTOs may be the only technologically minded individual within the company, they’re often required to go back on the tools and do the actual work required themselves rather than delegating to a team.”


In terms of particular responsibilities, start-up CTOs need to be constantly working on their tech strategy, from planning to phase-by-phase implementation, and communicating it to the whole organisation. A key aspect of a successful approach is the gauging of feedback from all departments, from the top down. Like the deployment of the technology, actioning based on feedback should never be a one-time thing — it is a journey of incremental fixes and improvements, in line with the needs of customers.

Balancing overseeing and enabling

While having a unified view of all tech-driven operations throughout the company is key, also vital is ensuring that the workforce is comfortable in using the technological resources available to them.

“The CTO must balance the role of ‘enabler’ to the technology team(s) with that of ‘overseer’,” said Ryan Sheldrake, field CTO EMEA at security start-up Lacework.

“This means giving the freedom for technologists to be innovative and creative. But it is also essential to provide some guardrails to prevent complete technology sprawl, which may lead to costly tech-debt later in the evolution of the business.”

Scaling the team

With managing tech-enabled staff comes the scaling of tech teams as the start-up continues to grow. As the company receives more funding and acquires more customers, the evolution of needs from those investors and clients will call for more talent to be hired. Additionally, scaling the team allows the CTO to delegate to various departments with a wide spread of expertise, providing more time to focus on the bigger picture.

“Scaling a team from a few people to a large team means your time allocation will change drastically (mostly from writing code and being involved in day-to-day operation to hiring and management),” said Virgile Raingeard, co-founder and CEO of compensation benchmarking platform Figures.

“It’s important to define what you want to keep doing and find people to handle the rest (for instance, finding a solid vice-president of engineering).

“Likewise for other technical topics. You cannot be an expert in data, security, compliance, QA, infrastructure and development. Even if you’ll need to get some grasp around those topics, you should find & delegate the work to people that know what they’re doing.”

>See also: How to provide purpose when hiring tech talent

Staying focused amidst tech evolution

Start-ups are increasingly focusing on how best to utilise advancements in tech areas such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI), to maximise value. While investing in developments in tech may be valuable for the organisation, the CTO should also ensure they stay focused on core business goals and the overall bottom line.

According to Richard Bate, CTO of network security start-up Goldilock,“The CTO is increasingly responsible for managing expectations and ensuring the focus stays on what really matters, helping the company to make the most of its time and resources. Building a deep understanding of emerging technologies and their true value helps with this.

“Start-ups cannot just focus on getting a product out as quickly as possible – they need to ensure that secure design and development is embedded from the outset. The CTO plays a key role in ensuring a security focus is implemented and represented at every level.”


The salary of a start-up CTO will depend on the funding stage of the company and the experience of the leader. Average start-up CTO salaries tend to fall in the range £110,000 ($135,000) to £130,000 ($162,000), according to Jones, although in time this can rise to over £200,000 as funding and experience grows.

>See also: CTO salary – how much can you earn where?

“It’s also important to mention that prospective hires for roles of this nature value the opportunity to be recompensed through shares in the business, rather than just a paid salary. A comprehensive bonus infrastructure also goes a long way in getting the right hire,” said Jones.

Sheldrake added: “In a world driven by rapid technological evolution and change, combined with ongoing digital transformation, businesses can have a competitive advantage based on the quality of the technology leadership that they have.

“The very best tech leaders are in demand, but as you’d expect, start-ups with a higher investment or funding amount backing them generally have more to pay their CTOs, and other executives.”


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Radical Ventures $550m fund for AI start-ups backed by market pioneers Fri, 27 Jan 2023 10:56:37 +0000 By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

AI start-ups

Toronto-based investment firm Radical Ventures has received backing from several artificial intelligence leaders, to go towards supporting the innovation of AI start-ups.

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By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

AI start-ups

Demonstrating an example of decreasing deal-making as we know it in tech, investors backing Radical Ventures include ImageNet project founder Fei-Fei Li, former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, and Google Brain researcher Geoffrey Hinton, reported the Financial Times.

Having raised over half of its $550m target so far, the funding round is set to go towards the largest investment budget supporting AI start-ups, with Radical Ventures previously launching a $350m fund in 2019.

Radical Ventures, founded in Toronto 2017, already has OpenAI rival Cohere — established by former DeepMind and engineers — in its investment portfolio.

The firm plans to invest in companies that are building the models that power an array of AI applications, along with more niche start-ups that can build on top of those models.

“There’s no question there’s a lot of hype and money flowing into this space,” Jordan Jacobs, managing partner and co-founder of Radical Ventures, told the FT.

“We’ve had an enormous flood of inbound [interest in investing] from everyone you can imagine.

“You’ll see all the world’s software replaced by AI over the next decade. Every business will end up using this [generative AI technology], either directly or via third-party software that is incorporating it.”

Rising investments in generative AI

An array of corporate investors, including Microsoft, IBM Ventures and Alphabet’s GV have made substantial bets on AI innovations in recent times — this week, Microsoft announced the third phase of its partnership with OpenAI, having recently revealed plans to embed ChatGPT into its Bing search engine.

There was a surge in early-stage investments towards generative AI start-ups in the final months of 2022, even as investors pulled back across other areas of the tech market.

According to private capital market tracker Pitchbook, $1.4bn was invested in generative AI last year — almost totalling funding in the category in the previous five years combined.


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The post Radical Ventures $550m fund for AI start-ups backed by market pioneers appeared first on Information Age.

CTO salary – how much can you earn where? Thu, 26 Jan 2023 09:57:00 +0000 By David Adams on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

CTO salary concept. Business people office workers standing on different stacks of golden coins cartoon

How much you can earn as a CTO depends on the size of company you work for and where. But Information Age has gleaned what the average CTO salary is around the world

The post CTO salary – how much can you earn where? appeared first on Information Age.

By David Adams on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

CTO salary concept. Business people office workers standing on different stacks of golden coins cartoon

How much you can earn as a CTO depends on the size of company you work for and where. But Information Age has gleaned what the average CTO salary is around the world

If you want job satisfaction, be a CTO. That was one conclusion drawn from research conducted by Python development specialist STX Next in early 2022. More than one in three (35 per cent) of 500 CTOs surveyed rated their job satisfaction at five out of five, with a further 43 per cent putting it at four out of five.

But only 18 per cent rated satisfaction with their salaries at five out of five. That’s interesting, because many CTOs are well-paid, with six-figure salaries widespread, and many earning considerably more than that. But whether you are already a CTO, or somebody who aspires to be one, it’s always tempting to wonder whether the grass might genuinely be greener elsewhere.

‘The average UK CTO salary is £192,000 for the private sector and £245,000 for the public sector’

Benchmarking CTO job specifications or CTO salary is difficult because every organisation – and thus every CTO role – is different. What we can say is that CTOs shape and execute technology strategy; building and managing teams to deliver that strategy. Those working for technology-based companies may also be closely involved in the creation of products or services that are core to the overall business model.

If working with technology is what you enjoy the most about your work, you will be doing more of that if you work for a smaller organisation. At start-ups, for example, says Tom Chambers, associate director responsible for the London technology division at global recruitment company Robert Walters, “a CTO will be deeply involved in technical work, day to day”.

Some start-up CTOs will also be co-founders, so may have a big stake in the business, but those hired from outside are also likely to be offered equity as part of their compensation package. Equity in a successful start-up, or one later acquired by another company, may turn out to be very valuable.

Start-up versus enterprise level

But even within the start-up world, the CTO’s role can vary. Once a company has more than about 200 employees, Chambers suggests, the CTO’s technical focus tends to become more strategic and less focused on day-to-day operations. These CTOs may spend more time engaging with investors, possibly discussing current and planned products with them. They are also likely to be building a layer of management to oversee different aspects of technology operations and development.

In larger businesses CTOs may do much less hands-on technical work. “They will be focused on budgets, stakeholder engagement and strategy,” says Chambers. Some may have an “ambassadorial role”, as Chris Bone, CEO and co-founder at technology recruitment platform Haystack puts it, selling the company to investors, customers and potential employees, particularly those who might work in tech roles.

“Because tech talent is so in demand, part of a potential candidate’s decision making will be based on the quality of the CTO,” Bone explains. “The CTO is the face of that company to the technology community, so they have to be engaging and inspiring.” For these CTOs, networking events, speaking at conferences and being active on social media are all important parts of the job.

What can I earn as a CTO?

Sources: Jobbio, Robert Walters

So how much might these different types of CTOs expect to earn? That is a “how long is a piece of string?”-type question, but recruiters can offer some pointers.

Owen Reynolds, head of marketing at Jobbio, the service provider which powers Information Age’s jobs board, says his company’s figures suggest average UK CTO salaries are £192,000 for the private sector and £245,000 for the public sector. For early stage private sector businesses that figure is £175,000, including bonuses and stock options.

Chambers points out that some CTOs working for technology start-ups will be on higher compensation than some CTOs of well-established corporates. “I’ve placed CTOs who were on salaries of up to £400,000, plus equity, at a series B company,” he says.

What’s the salary for a midsized company?

The average CTO salary at a longer-established, mid-size company is likely to be somewhere around £250,000, according to Ricky Burns, regional director, UK and Europe, for permanent hiring in software, cloud, product, design and creative at recruitment firm Salt. Companies in some sectors pay more: Haystack co-founder and COO Mike Davies says a London-based CTO at a fintech or AI-based technology SME might expect to earn between about £275,000 and £350,000.

At larger corporates Chambers suggests salaries might range between about £280,000 to £350,000, with base salaries, bonuses and other incentives varying by industry. Some CTOs will earn much more: he gives the example of a CTO working for a London-based pharmaceutical corporate with a compensation package in seven figures.

Can I earn more working in the US?

Remuneration also varies by location. In the UK, salaries for London-based CTOs may be £30,000 to £40,000 higher than those elsewhere, Davies suggests. Employers in Europe tend to pay slightly less than in the UK: the average CTO salary in Germany ranged from €120,000 to €250,000 in December 2022, according to Jobbio. Salaries tend to be higher in some of the places that you might expect – Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin or Frankfurt – and in some you might not, such as Lisbon, which nevertheless is becoming a popular hub for technology-based businesses.

Many of the highest CTO salaries are paid in the US, where Jobbio figures suggest many salaries were in the $244,000 to $304,000 range in December 2022. Sectors where some US CTO salary packages reach seven figures include technology, financial services, oil and gas, and pharmaceuticals.

Other countries where CTO will find their skills in demand and well-remunerated include the oil states of the Middle East, says Chambers. But he does not think many Asia-Pacific employers are yet paying CTOs as much as they could earn in the US or parts of Europe.

Salary transparency

In future it may be easier for US job hunters to find out how much a new position might pay than it is now. Four US states (California, New York, Rhode Island and Washington) now require some salary transparency, with employers showing a likely salary range in job listings. Reynolds expects more US states and some other governments and regulators to follow suit in the near future.

Whatever kind of CTO they want to be, would-be candidates should keep their eyes open, says Reynolds. “The best way to benchmark your role against the market is to go somewhere such as Information Age Jobs and take a look around to see what the requirements are,” he advises.

The good news for everyone who might be looking is that with technology at the heart of most businesses, there will continue to be opportunities for both experienced and aspiring CTOs, in jobs which can be varied, exciting and well-paid, for the foreseeable future.


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How to provide purpose when hiring tech talent Thu, 26 Jan 2023 09:55:05 +0000 By Lorraine Rew on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

hiring tech talent

Providing purpose is key to recruiting top tech talent in today’s recruitment market. Here's how you can go beyond salary when hiring candidates.

The post How to provide purpose when hiring tech talent appeared first on Information Age.

By Lorraine Rew on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

hiring tech talent

There’s no denying it, the ‘digital skills gap’ is a perennial challenge faced by each and every organisation — whether working specifically in the tech sector or not. Making this challenge more tangible, recruitment organisation Hays recently stated that almost 95 per cent of employers looking for tech talent have encountered a skills shortage over the past year.

We’ve known for many years that this challenge exists, but how have the expectations of technologists evolved recently? And, what can organisations do to attract and recruit them?

Beyond salary: The evolving needs of technologists

It might sound cliché, but when it comes to recruiting quality tech talent, there’s still a ‘war for talent’ playing out in the industry currently. What’s more, thanks to a widening ‘skills gap’, it’s a candidate-driven market too — one where individuals with in-demand skills are very much able to be selective about their career moves, and also have a bigger influence over the salary and benefits packages they receive.

Although overall compensation is still a big priority for technologists, the pandemic in particular has created a shift among many job seekers and what they value and prioritise most when it comes to career moves. For instance, work-life balance, purpose, and the central motivations that drive them are just a handful of the factors that have grown in importance over the last few years.

In fact, these were factors highlighted in Hays’ recent UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2023 report which showed that an organisation’s central purpose is important to 82 per cent of tech workers when it comes to considering a new role. In addition, 69 per cent also stated that an organisation’s commitment to providing a diverse and inclusive culture was an important factor too. When it comes to working styles, nearly half (46 per cent) said that a mix of hybrid working was also important to their decision making.

>See also: Three companies with great diversity & inclusion policies hiring now

Providing renewed purpose

When it comes to a re-evaluation of purpose among talent in the tech industry, this has largely come about from the fantastic role we’ve all seen tech play during the pandemic. The industry not only survived a turbulent few years, but actually thrived as the result of a much-needed ‘innovation by necessity’ mentality. This is particularly appealing to experienced technologists that want to continuously improve their skills and knowledge, and solve the challenges we all face with cutting-edge tech. After all, many technologists are not only prolific problem solvers, but extremely curious too.

Driven by what they’ve seen technology do during the pandemic, many now feel that the global climate crisis is yet another challenge that can see them play their own small, but significant, part. In my experience, a ‘tech for good’ mentality — particularly in relation to sustainability — has certainly become a strong motivating factor for candidates who are looking to pursue roles with only those companies that share their vision and sense of purpose.

No more box-ticking

It would be easy for tech companies to ignore all of these factors when they’re trying to recruit talent. We’re all aware of the so-called ‘tick-box exercises’ that companies in all sectors can create. However, by simply paying lip service to the matters and issues that technologists care about, they’ll find it hard to compete in what is an aggressive market for talent.

Regularly benchmarking salaries and benefits is certainly one thing all companies should be doing to stay competitive. However, this is just scratching the surface and doesn’t necessarily get to the heart of what people want in the current climate — again, as evidenced by Hays’ recent report.

In addition to salary and benefits, organisations need to work hard to develop truly people-centric policies. This includes setting out an authentic organisational purpose that chimes with the expectations of potential recruits and puts their needs — and those of current employees — front and centre. From there, you can build out the necessary policies that will motivate, encourage, support and evolve your existing talent, as well as that of the future.

In essence, you need to make individuals feel that they have a purpose within your organisation; can share your vision and values — and most importantly — make a positive impact for your company. 

Forward-looking companies that are actively investing in their people, will also attract talent as a result. For example, investing in learning and development, individual growth planning, and the measurement of employee experience and satisfaction — to name just a few — are all examples of how companies should be building their businesses. By actively doing these things, their reputation as a destination employer will grow and they’ll find it much easier to attract the right talent.

>See also: Four ways to build technical talent

Investing in purpose and people

Put simply, making a sustained investment in people and purpose are vital when it comes to attracting tech talent. The last few years have certainly highlighted how tech can shape the world for the better and as a result, there’s a renewed sense of purpose among technologists. It’s on organisations to now shape their offerings so that these new expectations and needs can be met. Those that actively do so, will find themselves better off in the long run — particularly in a market that is already short on talent.

Lorraine Rew is head of talent acquisition at xDesign.


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The post How to provide purpose when hiring tech talent appeared first on Information Age.

Tech leaders call on UK government to deliver semiconductor strategy Wed, 25 Jan 2023 12:22:15 +0000 By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

semiconductor strategy

In a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, tech leaders have asked the government to prepare and publish the UK’s semiconductor strategy as a matter of urgency.

The post Tech leaders call on UK government to deliver semiconductor strategy appeared first on Information Age.

By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

semiconductor strategy

According to The Times, signatories — including Acorn Computers founder Hermann Hauser, NMI network director Jillian Hughes, and industry groups TechUK and Global Tech Advocates — have warned that hesitation to deliver a strategy for UK semiconductor operations puts the country’s tech sector standing globally at risk.

“Semiconductors are the vital components that power our lives every day. Britain has traditionally been a world leader in the field — home to world-leading chip design companies and leaders in the compound semiconductor segment,” the letter stated.

“Confidence in the government’s ability to address the vital importance of the industry is steadily declining with each month of inaction.”

Responding to pandemic challenges

A global semiconductor shortage brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic caused widespread depletion of manufacturing and resources.

Since then, the US has put $50bn behind its microchip operations, and the European Union has invested over €43bn with the aim to double global semiconductor market share to 20 percent by 2030.

The letter added: “The issue bears relevance to geopolitical affairs, too. Taiwan produces over 90 per cent of the world’s advanced chips and has commanded significant influence as the most fruitful manufacturer of semiconductors.

“Given this nation is at the centre of tensions between China and the West, it is paramount that global dependence on Taiwan is addressed.”

Additionally, Russ Shaw CBE, founder of Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates commented: “In the past, the Prime Minister has pledged to make Britain a technology superpower – now, the tech industry needs him to act decisively on one of the greatest threats to the sector’s growth and outline the future of the UK’s semiconductor industry.

“The failure of the UK to reach its potential in this field to date has been brought sharply into focus by the progress of others – from the construction of major semiconductor production plants in India to the passing of the Chips Act in both the EU and US. Britain’s status as a leading tech ecosystem is at stake.

“This open letter and the publication of techUK’s ‘A UK Plan for Chips’ emphasises the cross-industry consensus that action on the semiconductor issue cannot wait any longer. It is now the Prime Minister’s turn to demonstrate his pro-tech credentials and take action.”

Separate to the letter, TechUK set out a five-point plan for what the body would like the UK semiconductor strategy to include, asking for focus on the UK’s design and intellectual property strengths, as well as encouraging investment and addressing skills gaps.

In response to calls for government action, a Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson said: “Our strategy will be published as soon as possible. We are reviewing our domestic capabilities to develop a new semiconductor strategy which will grow the sector further and make sure our supply chains remain resilient.”


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Five steps to build a business case for data and analytics governance Wed, 25 Jan 2023 09:45:00 +0000 By Saul Judah on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

data and analytics governance

Here are five steps for data leaders to take towards building a strong business use case for data and analytics governance.

The post Five steps to build a business case for data and analytics governance appeared first on Information Age.

By Saul Judah on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

data and analytics governance

Good governance is critical to business success. However, organisations are often let down by their business practices, and a key culprit is poor (or no) data and analytics (D&A) governance.

Organisations that are successful in D&A governance have a data-driven culture. They actively engage and influence their stakeholders, promote data sharing, break down silos and evangelise data literacy. Gartner’s Seventh Annual CDO Survey found that chief data officers (CDOs) who link D&A to prioritised and quantified business outcomes and metrics are more successful than their peers. There are five key steps to achieve this.

1. Identify unachievable business outcomes due to poor D&A governance

First, present business leaders with a problem statement that they can recognise and own. The organisational business strategy should be used as a primary source to understand the goals and direction the organisation expects to take, the market drivers and the regulatory landscape. Following this, engage with key business leaders to find out where D&A is working well, and where it is not, and focus on the business implications of poor D&A governance.

Next, obtain internal audit reports that show the audit observations, audit points and risks that have been raised in the enterprise and assess these in relation to the governance of D&A – within and across business areas – and their cost.

Before proceeding, explore high-level findings to key business leaders and ensure the problem statement is expressed in the right business language and business priorities, and valid assumptions are correctly understood.

2. Connect business performance with information value through metrics

The causal relationship between poor data and analytics and poor business performance must be highlighted if a compelling business case for governance is to be made.

Initially, look to identify the business processes and process owners that are critical in addressing the problem statement. These will often span multiple business areas, so look to focus on key processes rather than on lines of business. This will help break down the silos that have led to the insular and disconnected governance of data and analytics.

Determine the most impactful key performance indicators (KPIs) and key risk indicators (KRIs) for business success, and then identify the specific data and analytics assets that are used in the KPIs and KRIs. These assets are the ones that must fall within the scope of the data and analytics governance proposal.

3. Outline the scope and footprint for governance through people, process and technology

A key characteristic of highly successful D&A governance initiatives is their ability to effectively define and manage scope. Be clear on what is in scope and what is out of scope for governance while identifying the key stakeholders needed in the D&A governance steering group. Also highlight the need for a governance footprint within the business areas, so that decision-making and decision-execution are properly aligned through roles such as the information steward.

Look to then create and evaluate all potential models for delivering key business outcomes for D&A governance, analysing the benefits, costs, risks and assumptions for each of these options. In addition, use knowledge and experience of how the organisation works to select the best option.

Finally, assess the likelihood of success of the proposed governance solution by testing it with the key business stakeholders who will require to share their initial insights and final approval on the proposal.

>See also: Three pillars for scaling intelligent automation: process, technology, people

4. Define the approach, deliverables, time scales and outcomes

To define the approach, use the statement of governance scope to segment the delivery of business outcomes into manageable phases. For each of these planned deployments, identify the business value that will be delivered, to whom it will be delivered and the specific business impact on the organisation.

Select the adaptive D&A governance approach as the governance deployment model, recognising that the application landscape is complex and contains multiple platforms. Identify the deliverables produced through the phases of governance and their specific contribution to business value improvement. Connect these deliverables to data-driven business decisions, improvement in organisational behaviour and the ability to drive new business value.

5. Complete the financials for the proposal

Ultimately, a clear set of financials that numerically demonstrate the value of the governance proposal and the financial implications of not proceeding are crucial – and this will take time and effort. Look to assess the governance proposal in terms of the total cost of ownership (TCO) and develop the return on investment (ROI) model based on a spread of possible outcomes.

Before presenting the final business case to senior business stakeholders, review the storyline, logic and evidence for the governance business case. Include a “do nothing” as one scenario and project the financial implications of this option. Engage supportive business stakeholders to help find the holes in the proposal before it is presented to the formal decision-making board and be prepared to update the business case based on actuals, new data and new issues raised by the review team.

Saul Judah is vice-president analyst at Gartner.


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IoT governance: how to deal with the compliance and security challengesAs the Internet of Things becomes more prevalent across an organisation’s network, the question of effective IoT governance becomes increasingly relevant.

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LogicMonitor appoints Taggart Matthiesen as chief product officer Wed, 25 Jan 2023 09:33:42 +0000 By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO


SaaS observability provider LogicMonitor has hired former Lyft and Twitter executive Taggart Matthiesen as its new chief product officer.

The post LogicMonitor appoints Taggart Matthiesen as chief product officer appeared first on Information Age.

By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO


As CPO, Matthiesen will oversee all aspects of product strategy for the company and its unified observability platform, LM Envision, including product management, user experience (UX) and data science.

Matthiesen will be responsible for enhancing the ability to provide enterprises and managed service providers with the visibility and insights needed to cost-effectively maximise their IT environment’s resilience, performance and adaptability — key elements for long-term success in today’s increasingly digital economy.

The new executive appointment joins from Lyft, where he spent seven years in the role of vice-president of product, helping to build and lead autonomous driving initiatives.

Prior to this, Matthiesen held product leadership positions across Lyft’s pay platform, identity & fraud, service & support, mapping, and Lyft for Business.

Further product management roles held previously include director and senior director of product management at Salesforce between 2008 and 2013, and group product manager at Twitter between 2013 and 2015.

“Observability tools have always been key to building and delivering great products. From monitoring top level metrics, such as ride requests and ETAs, to more detailed diagnostics and insights, like identifying fraudulent vectors or outdated turn restrictions – observability tools are essential to delivering a resilient platform and providing the best possible user experience,” said new LogicMonitor CPO, Matthiesen.

“I see great growth potential in the observability space and LogicMonitor is in a unique position within that space, with an incredible team and product.”

Christina Kosmowski, CEO of LogicMonitor, commented: “Taggart has a proven track record for building successful enterprise and consumer SaaS product teams that combine deep technical know-how with the empathy to fully understand and anticipate users’ needs.

“With Taggart joining LogicMonitor’s leadership team and heading product, we will be able to integrate innovations into our observability platform faster, continuing to set our customers up for success in an ever-changing tech landscape.”


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Am I ready to be a tech leader? Tue, 24 Jan 2023 16:16:59 +0000 By Pippa Hardy on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

Pixie-cut blonde woman punching air with office gantry background

Here are four things to remember if you thinking of taking the next step up on your IT career path to become a tech leader

The post Am I ready to be a tech leader? appeared first on Information Age.

By Pippa Hardy on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

Pixie-cut blonde woman punching air with office gantry background

Here are four things to remember if you thinking of taking the next step up on your IT career path to become a tech leader

Are you ready to take charge and become a tech leader at work? It’s important to note that being at the top of the career ladder isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s not something that comes naturally for most.

Having to make tough decisions, manage people (with all their quirks and sensitivities), and sometimes work completely on your own can be taxing. But, of course, the rewards are great too, generous salary, autonomy, career security and recognition.

If you’re ready to get on the fast track to leadership, there are a few things that you need to know.

There’s no direct path to the C-suite

Author, lecturer and motivational speaker Simon Sinek once said, “The best leaders are the best students”. To become a leader in the tech industry, you need to pay your dues. Most people will start in an entry-level role at the beginning of their career such as junior UX designer or junior developer. However, if your end goal is to get to management – or C-suite – level, you should be constantly thinking about the next strategic step to take.

A successful career path is one where you’re constantly upskilling and challenging yourself. In order to reach the top levels within a company, you’ll need relevant educational credentials, and around 10-15 years of experience.

Soft skills matter

No one arrives at the C-suite without having a wealth of experience under their belt. However, we are seeing a shift where companies actively seek senior people with highly developed soft skills too.

Researchers at Rice University and the University of Windsor studied 48 teams from five Canadian technology start-ups to identify the leadership skills that build a team’s capacity to take risks and bounce back from setbacks. Leaders who encourage employees to learn on the job, and those who are open to ideas for change are the ones who can best build team resilience and effectiveness.

Gender imbalance is alive and well

There are still more male leaders than female bosses in tech. According to the Government-funded growth network Tech Nation, nearly three million people, or 9 per cent of the UK workforce, are employed in the UK tech industry. Just 26 per cent of those are women.

Naturally, these numbers correlate to tech leadership too, with the IMF reporting that women represent less than 10 per cent of founders and members of executive boards within fintech firms.

Diversity matters across a business, and at the C-suite level, because wider experiences deliver greater perspective and creativity, and allow for an improved ability to produce positive changes which impact on employees and business processes.

New roles are emerging

As the tech industry grows and matures, so too do the job titles within it. Companies are not just looking for CEOs, COOs or CFOs anymore. In 2023, we’re seeing emerging titles becoming more popular.

Job advertisements for roles such as chief data officer, chief product officer, chief happiness officer, chief storytelling officer, chief inclusion officer, chief sustainability officer, and chief automation officer mean that there are more ways to get involved in a leadership role than ever.

3 great tech leader roles to check out now

If you’re ready to accelerate your leadership journey this year, the Information Age Job Board is a great place to start. It contains thousands of interesting open roles to choose from, such as the three below:

Chief Technology Officer, QUIBIM, UK

QUIBIM is a global leader in whole-body medical imaging analysis, meaning this chief technology officer could be a great move for someone with a background in biotech. The company’s headquarters are in Valencia, Spain, but this particular role is based in the UK. Duties and responsibilities include leading the strategy for QUIBIM’s technology platforms, managing the scale-up process for the company, developing new products, and leading a product-oriented technology team. You will need previous experience working as a CTO (at least seven years), an engineering degree, and in-depth knowledge of web systems architecture. You can apply online here.

Chief Financial Officer, Octopus Energy, London

This chief financial officer job is at Octopus Energy Ltd, now the fifth biggest power supplier in the UK. Following a prosperous 2022 where the company’s revenue doubled to $2.6 billion, this is a company showing strong growth. You will lead the company’s core finance functions––financial management and accounting, financial operations, financial risk, credit and underwriting, and pricing. They will also support the strategic finance team. You’ll need have experience managing large debt lines, planning and scaling teams, while creating strong processes, and a strong background in fintech or a financial services business. Get more information here to explore this role further.

Chief Technology Officer, Republic, Remote

If you’re looking for a C-level tech leader role that’s fully remote then this Chief Technology Officer job could be for you. Republic is a financial technology firm that allows everyone to invest in private markets. With more than 1.5 million users across 100 countries, you will join as the company’s first CTO, and will help to continue the growth trajectory, leading the technology strategy and operations, plus all the product development and innovation activities within the organisation. You’ll need 15-plus years of professional experience, a proven track record in building and leading high-performance product teams, and previous experience in a heavily regulated environment. Find out more about the job here.

Find all these jobs and more C-suite roles on the Information Age Job Board today

Pippa Hardy is a content creator and writer for Amply by Jobbio. She’s a work-from-home enthusiast who loves all things travel and tech. When she’s not writing up her next article, she’s usually hiking or spending a whole afternoon on Pinterest


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Hybrid working to continue, say 85% of IT leaders Tue, 24 Jan 2023 13:50:57 +0000 By Tim Adler on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

Hybrid working written on Post-It note slapped on laptop keyboard

Acer survey finds IT decision-makers overwhelmingly in favour of hybrid working, partly as a way to reduce carbon emissions

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By Tim Adler on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

Hybrid working written on Post-It note slapped on laptop keyboard

Acer survey finds IT decision-makers overwhelmingly in favour of hybrid working, partly as a way to reduce carbon emissions

Eighty-five per cent of IT leaders say they want their staff to continue hybrid working in the future, according to computer manufacture Acer.

It has been estimated that reducing commuting could reduce carbon emissions by 60 per cent.

IT decision-makers overwhelming vote to continue the hybrid-working model will sit well with employees, as most staff prefer to work for companies with a robust attitude towards climate change and sustainability.

Transport generates 14 per cent of global greenhouse emissions. Acer research tracking 815 employees across pre- and post-Covid periods found that remote working reduced commuting emissions by 43 per cent in 2019 and 97 per cent in 2020, saving 1.9 tonnes of CO2e per person over two years.

Mixed messages

However, despite championing reduced carbon emissions, the 250 IT decision-makers surveyed did not see sustainability as a priority when deciding to buy new hardware.

Less than 25 per cent of IT leaders saw energy consumption or carbon footprint even making it into their top five criteria when deciding what new computers to buy.

Instead, 62 per cent chose performance as the most important criteria, followed by battery life (53 per cent) and price/value for money at 41 per cent.

In the UK alone, laptops and desktops are responsible for 34 per cent of IT-related pollution and up to 80 per cent is caused by their daily use. People just using computer hardware creates 3m tonnes of CO2e, equivalent to 650,000 cars driving on the road annually.

Acer predicts that sustainability will only become more of a priority as global warming accelerates, and companies have to be ever more mindful of carbon footprint.

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of UK technology businesses are collaborating with more than one company on sustainability, with 85 per cent of those partners being in the technology industry.

That figure is even higher in the US, with 96 per cent of tech businesses collaborating together on sustainability, according to iResearch.

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Hybrid working: the implications of an ‘always on’ network and its solutionWith flexible working set to remain a permanent fixture for many businesses, Mike Osborne, managing director for managed services at Intercity discusses the resultant infrastructure implications and solutions for businesses

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Microsoft and OpenAI enter third phase of AI acceleration partnership Tue, 24 Jan 2023 10:15:04 +0000 By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

Microsoft OpenAI

Microsoft has announced a new multi-billion dollar investment in OpenAI, extending the two companies' partnership to accelerate AI computing and research development.

The post Microsoft and OpenAI enter third phase of AI acceleration partnership appeared first on Information Age.

By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

Microsoft OpenAI

Following two previous investments in ChatGPT developer OpenAI in 2019 and 2021, the funding will go towards speeding up development of AI computing at scale, as well as deployment of AI capabilities across consumer and enterprise products.

In addition, Microsoft Azure is set to power all OpenAI research, product and API service workloads as its exclusive cloud provider.

Microsoft began working with OpenAI in 2016, with the aim of transforming its cloud environment Azure into an “AI supercomputer for the world”.

Up to now, notable developments overseen by the partnership have included the construction of a top five publicly disclosed supercomputer in 2020, and the agreement to embed ChatGPT into the Bing search engine.

OpenAI has been using Azure to power many of its AI offerings, including ChatGPT, DALL·E 2 and GitHub Copilot.

The research aspect of the extended deal, meanwhile, has included the building and advancing of a framework for the safe deployment of AI, with OpenAI’s AI Alignment studies and Microsoft’s Responsible AI Standard in mind.

“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratise AI as a new technology platform,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.

“In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organisations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, commented: The past three years of our partnership have been great. Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone.”

Computing power versus accessibility

While AI products being powered by an established cloud environment such as Azure is key to scaling capabilities, it can be argued that the exclusivity agreed in the deal with OpenAI may bring vendor lock-in, which can halt flexibility for end users looking to innovate.

While referring to the work done between Microsoft and OpenAI as “the fastest industrial revolution in history”, Marshall Choy, senior vice-president, product at SambaNova Systems, warned: “Microsoft’s decision to make Azure the exclusive cloud provider for OpenAI workloads does limit accessibility.

“For AI to reach its revolutionary potential, companies require flexibility around how they adopt and deploy it. That said, this innovation will impact us all — any software open on your computer right now will be changed by generative AI forever.

“The next challenge is taking generative AI and making it productive in enterprise environments.”


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61,000 open source projects, vulnerable to 15-year-old flaw, now patched Mon, 23 Jan 2023 14:00:00 +0000 By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

open source projects

Following discovery of a 15-year-old vulnerability affecting open source projects through Python, Trellix has managed to patch over 61,000 of the ventures affected.

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By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

open source projects

Upon launching the Trellix Advanced Research Center in September, cybersecurity researchers at the organisation announced that an estimated 350,000 open source projects were at risk due to the CVE-2007-4559 vulnerability, which has resided in Python systems for over 15 years.

The path traversal vulnerability — found extensively in frameworks created by AWSFacebookGoogle and Intel — has the potential to allow threat actors to overwrite arbitrary files, leading to possible override and control of devices.

Since the discovery in September, 61,895 projects affected have been patched by Trellix, through the software development platform GitHub, with the work being led by Kasimir Schulz and Charles McFarland.

Researchers received a list of repositories and files that contained the keyword “import tarfile”, which allowed them to clone and scan each repository using the free Trellix tool Creosote, to determine which needed to be patched.

An automated process called ‘pull request’ allows code — created and worked on between developers and community members — to be delivered to vulnerable projects.

From here, users overseeing the projects can review the new code, and request collaboration or clarification if needed, before accepting the code for patching.

The pull request process allows for unique patches to work on a case-by-case basis, at scale.

“Our team took inspiration from Jonathan Leitschuh’s DEFCON 2022 talk on fixing vulnerabilities at scale,” said Douglas McKee, principal engineer and director of vulnerability research at Trellix in a blog post.

“Our Advanced Research Center vulnerability team was able to automate most of the processes, except for quality control. We broke the process into two steps, the patching phase and the pull request phase, both of which were automated and simply needed to be executed.”

The benefits of collaboration

Through patching and automating vulnerable projects, the software supply chain attack surface present in the base Python package has been narrowed.

McKee added: “This work to narrow the attack surface cannot be done without collaboration across our industry.

“As an industry we cannot afford to ignore the need to seek out and eradicate foundational vulnerabilities. Mass patching of open-source projects can be done, even if it takes a lot of time, and it can deliver benefits to organisations of all sizes, across sectors and regions.

“To properly prevent the reintroduction of past attack surfaces, it’s critical that every organisation using code libraries and frameworks in their applications have proper checks and evaluation measures in place to ensure full transparency into their software supply chain, while also making sure their developers are educated on all layers of the technology stack.”


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Safeguarding the open source model amidst big tech involvementExploring how open source model licences can be safeguarded amidst increasing big tech involvement.

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Google to make 12,000 employees redundant Fri, 20 Jan 2023 17:04:07 +0000 By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

Google employees redundant

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced in a company memo that around 12,000 employees in the US will be made redundant, as big tech continues to cut costs.

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By Aaron Hurst on Information Age - Insight and Analysis for the CTO

Google employees redundant

Following similar staff cuts at Amazon and Microsoft, Google CEO Pichai’s memo states that an email was sent to all employees made redundant, with layoffs in other countries set to follow over a longer period of time “due to local laws and practices”, reported CNBC.

The move to make staff redundant comes following plans made to defer portions of end-of-year staff bonus checks to March or April, as opposed to these being fully paid in January.

According to the memo, Google will offer all US-based employees laid off 16 weeks’ severance pay plus two weeks for each additional year they’ve worked at the corporation.

Pichai told employees that “we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today” over the past two years, which have proved prosperous.

Having apologised for the layoffs, claiming to take “full responsibility for the decisions that led us here”, he expressed confidence in product and service value going forward, as well as that of investments in AI.

“We’ll need to make tough choices,” he continued. “We’ve undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company.

“The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review. They cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions.

“To the Googlers who are leaving us: Thank you for working so hard to help people and businesses everywhere. Your contributions have been invaluable and we are grateful for them.”

Following the announcement, shares in Google increased by five per cent in early trading.

Tech companies in Silicon Valley and beyond are taking measures to preserve budgets amidst economic uncertainty, including slowing down hiring or laying off employees.

Firms have been struggling with rising interest rates and inflation over the past year, leading to drops in shares and spending on advertising.

Talent availability

On the flip-side, the layoffs announced by Google and other big tech companies in recent times is set to make more tech talent available to startups looking to boost operations.

Along with redundancies, talent has been voluntarily resigning en masse due to a lack of career progression — a trend that has been referred to as part of The Great Resignation.

Speaking about this week’s worldwide IT spending forecast from Gartner, the research vice-president analyst John-David Lovelock told Information Age: “It’s been a long time since an enterprise was a cool place to work, and since an enterprise had an organisational size that would allow for progress through a career a that organisation.

“This isn’t true for tech service providers. They’re much more flexible with starting salaries and salary bands, because it is their business.

“So people moving from enterprises to TSPs. This is a foundational thing, and there’s very little that enterprises can do about it.”


Over 150,000 employees laid off by tech companies in 2022 – Analysis from has found that 153,160 members of staff at tech companies were laid off across 2022, the highest amount since the dotcom bubble burst

The highest average tech job salaries in the UK revealed – IT industry researchers TechShielder has revealed the highest average tech job salaries currently offered across the UK, using Indeed’s Salary Guide tool

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