Our analyst friends at Ovum have put out a piece of commentary that points to the rise of a new breed of "Super CTOs".
Commenting on SAP's appointment of Vishal Sikka as chief technology officer David Mitchell, software practice leader at Ovum writes:
"...central CTO roles are increasing. Microsoft had Ray Ozzie as CTO, before he succeeded Bill Gates as chief software architect. HP will soon have Prith Banerjee at the helm of HP Labs. Sun Microsystems has Greg Papadopoulos as Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development. Oracle has the likes of Thomas Kurian and Edward Screven - although no single identified CTO.
The individuals taking these roles, however, need to be more technology visionaries - they need to be a credible 'stage act'. Their speaking performances are used by some as an indicator on the state of technology invention in their companies - and their performances are analysed in great detail. It is not quite at the stage of the cult-of-the-personality but the super-CTO is emerging.”
“The only irony is that end-user organizations recognised the need for this architectural leadership much earlier than the majority of their vendors.”