by Abbie Lundberg

Leaders of the Information Age

Oct 01, 20022 mins
IT Leadership

We’ve created various awards programs at CIO to recognize the significant progress made in the use of information technology in business. The CIO-100 Awards, which seek out companies noted for their excellence in a particular business area, is in its 15th year. We’ve done the Enterprise Value Awards, which focus on applications that have delivered real value to the enterprise, for 10 years. During the early days of the Web, we also ran the Web Business 50/50 Awards to honor 50 Internet and 50 intranet applications. All of the thousands of efforts and accomplishments we’ve celebrated over the years have had people behind them, and we’ve noted that. But we’ve never had an award that directly honors the people themselves.

So this year we decided to do something that would put the individual at the center, with the selection of honorees based on the cumulative effect of each person’s accomplishments. We wanted to recognize that while organizations have done great things with information technology, there are always individuals behind these achievements, leaders who see things clearly and then make those things happen.

The 20/20 name signifies something besides clear vision. For technology to have an impact on the world requires two sets of people: the inventors, scientists and vendors who develop the technology, and the businesspeople?primarily CIOs and CEOs?who apply it to a real business or organizational challenge. We have selected 20 people from both camps.

There are, inevitably, noteworthy individuals whose names you won’t find on this list. Some who were brought to our attention had retired or moved on. While that by no means lessens the importance of their contributions, we chose to limit our list to people whose impact was current and ongoing. We also wanted to present a mix of technologies and industries; this influenced our selections as well. Finally, while we received some 300 nominations, many gifted leaders weren’t considered simply because they weren’t nominated.

There were remarkable people behind this project too: Special Projects Editor Mindy Blodgett, who helped invent this new awards program and led the issue team; Web Developer Diane Chen, who created an amazing website for the judging; Art Director Terri Haas, whose smart design provides the perfect setting for our honorees; Projects Specialist Tina Sousa (who, sadly, recently left the company); and many others whose creativity and fine work made this a standout issue.