by CIO Middle East staff

Introducing the CIO50 Middle East awards

Dec 08, 2020

Nominations are free to enter; deadline has been extended. Awards will be announced 24 February.

CIO is proud to launch the inaugural CIO50 list in the Middle East, recognising the top 50 senior technology executives driving innovation, strengthening resiliency, and influencing rapid change in the region.

Reflecting IDG’s increasing commitment to the region, the CIO50 Middle East awards are aligned with a global awards programme and viewed as a mark of excellence within the enterprise.

In 2021, CIO50 Middle East nominees will be judged on three core pillars—Innovation, Leadership and Resiliency—honouring transformational, inspiring, and enduring CIOs at both in-country and regional levels across the Middle East. Awards will take place with the virtual IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2021. (For links to online nomination forms, see below.)

Under the Innovation pillar, nominees are expected to describe the technology innovation/s introduced over the past two years that have changed the way the business operates.

For the Leadership pillar, the nomination will highlight the ways in which the technology leader has collaborated and influenced the organisation and its leadership team.

The Resiliency pillar specifically recognizes CIOs who ensured continuity of operations and systems during the early phase of COVID-19, before kick-starting efforts to reposition for growth during such a challenging and unpredictable period.

 The role of technology leaders—whether CIO, CTO, CSO, or CDO—continues to change at pace, driven by the emergence of new technologies and business models. CIO50 will capture this change through highlighting the innovative work of individuals and organisations across the region.

Whether a small project or large company-wide initiative, entrants are encouraged to document the positive impact of technology and the business benefits of disruptive thinking.


The CIO50 is open to the top technology leader within an organisation; one who has overall responsibility and control of the IT vision and direction of the company. This C-level executive has demonstrably provided innovation, leadership and resiliency within their organisation, while also being at the forefront of decision-making and strategic change.

Specifically, the CIO50 Middle East questionnaire seeks to determine:

  • The technology innovation/s that have changed the way an organisation operates
  • Why the innovation/s are unique in the marketplace
  • The efforts to ensure business resiliency during COVID-19
  • How the C-level executive collaborates and influences the organisation and its leadership team
  • The role technology plays in helping the organisation achieve its objectives


Nominations are now open and run until Tuesday, 12 January 2021. Submissions are free to enter and can be self-nominated or nominated on behalf of someone else, with all entries set to be reviewed by a select and independent CIO50 Middle East judging panel that will rate each section of the questionnaire to determine the final list.

Twenty-five CIOs and organisations will be highlighted, with the remaining 25 honourees recognised and listed alphabetically by company. Submissions will also form the basis of written profiles of all 50 technology leaders. This year will see the introduction of three individual awards, acknowledging CIO excellence across the Innovation, Leadership, and Resiliency pillars.

The more powerful nominations will be the ones that can provide real-world examples of where technology and digital chiefs are successfully providing value to their organisations, driving innovation, and leading their teams.

The word count for responses to questions under each of the three pillars—Innovation, Leadership, and Resiliency—should be no more than 800 words (2,400 words in total for all pillars).

Set for 24 February 2021, the inaugural CIO50 Middle East Awards will take place with the virtual IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2021—the largest gathering of CIOs and IT leaders in the region. This 14th annual installment of the popular event will be hosted on IDC’s industry-leading virtual platform and will serve up unrivaled insights into the current market situation, the latest technological innovations, and emerging strategies for meeting the unique challenges of an ever-changing technology landscape.

To submit your candidature, download the nomination form for the IDC-IDG CIO50 Middle East Awards; or fill out the online submission form. For more information and questions, contact Andrea Benito, community editor of CIO Middle East, via