By James Ratemo, firstname.lastname@example.org
The annual CIO 100 awards is growing bigger each year with entry of more participants and introduction of more categories.
Two more countries, Rwanda and Ethiopia, have joined in the 2011 competition bringing the total number of participating countries to five.
This effectively means the number of companies to be surveyed in 2011 would increase to over 500 up from 350 in 2010.
The 350 participants in 2010 were drawn from from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The increase in the number of participants also crops from introduction of new awards that include Leadership, Green Edge, Security and CIO of the Year Award, recognising the best CEO in embracing IT.
The competition, themed “Innovation for business value” is expected to attract over 600 participants across East and Central Africa, and will climax with the Awards gala which will be held in Nairobi, Kenya at the Safari Park Hotel & Casino, from the 23rd -25th November 2011; to honor 100 organisations within the region.
The CIO 100 Awards were introduced last year and seek to celebrate organisations that have used information technology in innovative ways to deliver business value.
According to CIO director, Mr Harry Hare, the survey is based on how the companies were able to create competitive advantage, optimising business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers.
“All these awards are competitive and based on a three-month long survey exercise. The Competition commences with an extensive survey where eligible companies submit applications to be evaluated for the award,” said Mr Hare.
With the entry of Rwanda this year, Mr Hare said, the number of government departments participating in the survey are expected to rise significantly, since the country is ahead of the rest in embracing IT technology due to its small size.
The vetting process
A team of judges drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia will review the applications and make initial recommendations about each entrant. Each application will be read by members of the CIO 100 judging panel, who will rate it on a scale for each criterion. Final selections will be confirmed with all scores being kept confidential. The number of entries will ultimately be reviewed to the top 100.
The top CIO of the year will receive the CIO of the year award, while other participants will receive awards ranging from special, Storage, Infrastructure, green edge, security, networking, leadership, plus one and technology awards.
Over 350 companies participated in last year’s annual competition, with Safaricom (m-pesa, Nairobi stocks exchange and Equity bank (m-kesho) leading the pack, in innovative products. The competition did not leave out higher learning institutions.
Makerere University of Uganda was ranked 5th, Kenyatta University came in the 7th place, Kampala International University at 45th place, while Dar-es salaam University college of education was ranked in the 98th place.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) participated in the survey and received awards due to their levels in automating operations and relations with customers.
The financial sector took 40 per cent of the awards last year, followed by manufacturers and government sectors, which took 10 per cent each. The service sector took 6 per cent of the awards while retail outlets took 2 per cent.