IT leaders from financial services, healthcare, retail, government and gambling make up the top 10 in the inaugural CIO50 list for 2016.The CIO50 list recognises Australia's top 50 IT chiefs, who have each driven transformative change across their organisations. They have all displayed the sort of leadership and innovative thinking that will place their organisations at the forefront of their respective market sectors for many years to come. Perhaps the most promising trend in this year's CIO50 list is that the absolute majority of '50 listers' are part of their organisation's leadership team. 60 per cent of CIOs are now reporting directly to the chief executive officer with only 10 per cent still reporting to the chief financial officer. These are great indicators that the CIO role is an important one, and IT chiefs are being trusted by the business to deliver the technology plans and benefits that have been promised. More than ever, IT is vital to the future competitive and overall survival of organisations across all industries. The top 25 CIOs this year have well and truly transformed the delivery of technology services and created innovations that have had a positive impact on the bottom line to give their organisations an advantage in an increasingly complex and competitive global marketplace.Number one this year was ME's CIO Mark Gay who steered the bank through a complete overhaul and redesign of its technology architecture from the ground up. In second place was Domino's Pizza Enterprise's CIO, Wayne McMahon who is shaking up the quick service restaurant sector with autonomous delivery and artificial intelligence technologies.Number three was Tim Thurman who is heading the Australian Securities Exchange's transformation which has seen it replace every piece of its core technology \u2013 four clearing systems, six risk systems, and all the underlying applications that support them.Also in the top ten, SA Health's Bill Le Blanc and Children Health Queensland's Alastair Sharman each provided compelling stories around how technology is being used to improve patient's lives and deliver better clinical outcomes.Kim Wenn, CIO at Tabcorp drove Sun Bets, the largest global venture the multi-billion dollar gaming and wagering organisation has undertaken in its 22-year history. Staff satisfaction with IT services at Yarra Valley Water has jumped from 30 per cent to 86 per cent under the leadership of its CIO, Leigh Berrell.Read these stories and more inside our special CIO50 section.