More African countries have joined competition for Kenya’s CIO 100 innovation awards.
According to CIO director, Mr Harry Hare, the competition has so far attracted 320 entries but the number is expected to rise by the close of the entry period.
“This year there is more awareness and understanding of the objectives of the awards. Last year we had a total of 350 entries by the end of the survey, this year, with almost a whole month to go, we are already at 320 entries. Given the momentum the process has gained, it is likely we shall double the numbers we had last year,” said Mr Hare.
The top CIO of the year will receive the CIO of the year award. Other Award categories include storage, infrastructure, green edge, security, networking, and leadership awards.
Over 350 companies participated in last year’s annual competition, with Safaricom (M-Pesa), Nairobi Stock Exchange and Equity bank (M-Kesho) leading the pack of innovative products.
The CIO 100 Awards were introduced in 2010 and seek to celebrate organisations that have used information technology in innovative ways to deliver business value.
“We have entries from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia. We also received entries from Ghana, Nigeria and India but these are out of our scope so we have dropped them,” said Mr Hare.
This year’s entries are from private sector, government departments and ministries and non-governmental organisations. About 50 per cent of the entries are from Kenya another 30 per cent from Uganda and the rest shared between Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia.
Themed “Innovation for business value” the competition, 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 from the 23rd -25th November to honour 100 organisations within the region.
A team of judges drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia will review the applications, and make initial recommendations about each entrant.
“The Judges will be from the region so all the participating countries will be represented. We will also have two external judges one from the US, the Editor Emeritus of CIO US and a senior professor teaching Business Information Systems from the University of Western Cape in South Africa. The panel we have assembled will have a combined business IT experience of more than 200 years,” Mr Hare explains.
The survey is based on how the companies were able to create competitive advantage, optimising business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers.