Even as the economic malaise that has gripped the business world for the past two years shows signs of easing, value leads the discussion when the topic is IT investments. Each of this year\u2019s entrants for the CIO Enterprise Value Awards faced formidable competition from a field of nearly 150 applicants. As in previous years, the caliber of the entrants was high, whether they could demonstrate straight-up economic value and ROI, or value generated from consolidating systems, efficiencies gained through streamlined processes or?even less tangible but no less important?measures of social value. But this year, we\u2019ve modified the judging and awards process. In the past, applicants from all industries competed directly against each other in one pool. Our panel of judges?all CIOs at leading companies such as Raytheon and Staples?often grappled with the inequities of comparing entrants from different industries. Because industries are at different stages in the use of IT, the judges were often nonplussed about how to compare the value of an initiative from, say, a paint manufacturer to that of a mutual fund company. This year, we have leveled the playing field by creating individual awards within specific industries. This process allowed companies and their systems to be judged against peer companies that have many of the same business challenges. To this we have also added a new level of higher achievement: the Grand CIO Enterprise Value Award. This eminent award recognizes the one organization that rose to the top across all industries from among the CIO Enterprise Value Award winners.Of the 10 CIO Enterprise Value Award industry winners, the one that most impressed our judges was the Chicago Police Department, with its CLEAR (Citizen Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting) system, which has helped Chicago\u2019s finest dramatically increase their rate of solving crimes. It\u2019s hard to place a dollar figure on safer streets, but the value to Chicago\u2019s citizenry is obvious. Owing to the striking social value of CLEAR, the Chicago Police Department was chosen as the first-ever winner of the Grand CIO Enterprise Value Award. "CLEAR is the best example we\u2019ve seen of not just transformation, but also leveraging change management to sustain enterprise value," says Rebecca R. Rhoads, CIO of Raytheon and a veteran Enterprise Value Awards judge.View on Value In determining the extent of value created by the nominated systems, our CIO judges (see "How We Picked the Winners," Page 92) examined value from five perspectives: the impacts on finance, strategy, customers, operations and society. Financial impact is the big one. It relates directly to ROI through lower costs caused by streamlined operations and increased profits. Strategic value comes into play when a company is able to enter new markets, transform the competitive landscape within its market and boost its market share. For instance, Academic Management Services\u2019 (AMS) Integrated Counseling and Enrollment system earned high marks for both its financial and strategic value, as it helped the company enter a new line of business that now accounts for nearly 25 percent of its revenue. Systems with significant customer impact provide the customer with more choices for products and services at a lower cost, and more rewarding transactions. An example of this is how Continental Airlines helped its flight service staff forge better connections with fliers by giving them greater access to customers\u2019 history with the company. Through increased operational effectiveness and increasing margins, the winning organizations were able to demonstrate operational impact and value. For example, Procter & Gamble cataloged all its product and packaging technical standards within its Corporate Standards System, which provides tremendous value for its research and development teams.In choosing the Grand CIO Enterprise Value Award winner from among the industry winners, the judges also considered social value, the system\u2019s impact on education, health, the environment and public safety. In the end, it was the Chicago Police Department\u2019s tremendous impact on public safety that captured our judges\u2019 votes.Common Threads When examining the 10 industry winners, we compared and contrasted the approaches they took when deploying their systems, and we share some of their strategies and critical success factors in the stories that follow. While all of our industry winners exhibited exemplary enterprise value, their particular strengths emerged in several categories, including change management, integration and leveraging of customer data.\n\n\nManaging change properly is critical to ensuring a system\u2019s success. The Chicago Police Department, Guardian Life Insurance, Pfizer and Procter & Gamble are masters of change management.\n\nConsolidation is the challenge for AMS, Dell, P&G and Worldspan. Each of these companies aggregated multiple databases into single systems that helped drive customer service, internal efficiency and cost savings.\n\nMany companies have huge stores of customer data, but not many know how to dig deep into that data to generate value. However, Ace Hardware, AMS, Continental Airlines and Korn\/Ferry International have learned how to make the most out of data they already had to create new lines of business, new opportunities for revenue, and greatly increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.\nThe systems that won this year\u2019s CIO Enterprise Value Awards clearly demonstrated the ROI, the productivity and the efficiency gains needed to be honored. Even as the dark clouds of a stagnant economy begin to clear, this year\u2019s winners excel at getting the most bang from every IT buck and generating award-winning value for their organizations.