Preparations to unveil top Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in the region has entered homestretch with more companies stepping forward to support the initiative.
The CIO 100 awards, which will be held in November 28th -29th at the Nairobi’s Safari Park hotel to honour innovation and use of IT by organizations.
India’s third largest outsourcer, Wipro, has also thrown it weight behind the CIO 100 awards with financial sponsorship days after SAP, a leading global business software company has pledged its financial and logistical support to the annual event.
Introduced in 2010, the aim of the awards is to celebrate organisations that have used information technology in innovative ways to deliver business value.
Ms. Nicholle Myles, Business Development manager, CIO East Africa, received the sponsorship cheque towards the awards from Mr. Ramachandra Yadavilli, GM & Business Head-Africa region, Wipro Limited.
According to Harry Hare, CIO East Africa Director keynote speakers who have been confirmed for this year’s CIO 100 awards include Frank Modruson , CIO Accenture, Prof Louis Fourie from the University of Western Cape in South Africa and Kenya’s Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo.
More speakers are expected to be unveiled when CIO East Africa hosts over 60 CIO’s from different companies for a breakfast meeting on Friday October 28, 2011 to discuss issues in the IT industry at the Nairobi’s Crown Plaza hotel, Upperhill.
Wipro which once designed and manufactured its own PCs and servers, is now drawing from that experience to design and manufacture hardware products for customers.
As its cutting edge in the technology industry, Wipro ensures it meets customers’ requirements by designing a total package that includes product architecture and design, embedded software, mechanicals, application software, testing, and taking the prototype into production. The design and intellectual property of the product thereafter belong to the customer.
At a past interview with a local technology Magazine in Kenya, CIO East Africa, Vasudevan Aghoramoorthy, vice president for semiconductor and systems in the Wipro Technologies division of Wipro said Wipro does not do the manufacture but has arrangements with manufacturing companies in India and abroad but also supports the products in the field.
The strategy makes good business sense, and could translate into cost savings for customers who want to design and manufacture a product for emerging markets, or are planning to introduce niche products with small production runs, said Karthik Ananth, director of market expansion at Zinnov Management Consulting.
Customers typically approach Wipro with a concept or a definition of a market need, a set of features that they would like in the product, and specify the price point at which they would like it delivered to the market, Aghoramoorthy said. The products typically have small production volumes. “We do not expect someone to approach us to design and manufacture a mobile phone, for example,” he added.
Some of the customers are startups but others are large companies that want products built to address niche markets. The market may to be too small and niche for a large company to address on its own and invest in managing a supply chain, Ananth said.
Among the products Wipro has developed are high-performance computing platforms, networking products and a wireless unit with analog and digital inputs for tracking field parameters and relaying the information to servers.
The CIO 100 awards
The CIO 100 survey is based on how the companies were able to create competitive advantage, optimising business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers.
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.