Beginning in mid-January, we solicited applications for the 2006 CIO 100 Awards through ads in CIO and our online newsletters, as well as electronic mailings to our print subscribers and to publicists who sign up to receive our editorial announcements. Entrants filled out an online application between mid-January and the end of February, providing us with more than 400 submissions. Although most applications came from companies headquartered in North America, the pool included entries from five continents.
Each application was read by two CIO writers and editors who evaluated them according to four criteria: innovation, business value, leadership and collaboration with end users or external partners. Applications that received a score of 26 or higher (out of a possible 40) were selected for a second round of scrutiny. We examined how each company stacked up against the others in the pool, putting emphasis on submissions that told the best stories about generating business value through creative and cutting-edge uses of technology. Unlike in years past, we did not look for projects that hewed to a specific theme; instead, we sought to cull the most exciting initiatives in the mix for the CIO 100 honor.
The companies we selected for this year’s CIO 100 Awards range from private organizations with a few million in revenue to multibillion-dollar global powerhouses, and they span every industry. To be selected, companies had to demonstrate not only that they were able to create new value using IT and execute their project well but also that they did so in uncommon, innovative ways: pioneering a new technology, applying a familiar technology to a new purpose, setting the bar higher for their competitors. In short, these companies are technology leaders.