After settling on resourcefulness as this year’s CIO 100 theme, we developed an application for companies to submit that would identify several aspects of their resourceful IT management. We solicited applications through advertising, newsletters and e-mail. While we waited for the apps to roll in, we tapped a panel of IT management specialists (see “CIO 100 Panel of Experts,” Page 34) and our in-house experts to recommend and nominate organizations distinguished for their resourcefulness. We invited these nominees to apply as well. The combined pool of applicants and nominees totaled nearly 400.
Teams of CIO editors and writers made initial recommendations about each entrant. We debated how each company stacked up against the others in terms of the depth and breadth of their resourceful practices, their creativity, the results they achieved and the take-aways they could provide to our readers. Telling a good story about cost-cutting or vendor negotiation wasn’t enough to garner an award—almost every applicant had a method for shaving expenses. Nor was it enough to demonstrate that an IT organization is well-run—evidence that a company employs IT management best practices was a prerequisite for making it past the first screening. To be selected, companies needed to be more than reactionary; their achievements reach beyond the low-hanging fruit. We think the resulting list defines the state of the art in generating greater value with more limited IT resources.