Nineteen years ago today, I was putting the final touches on CIO\u2019s first ever CIO 100. That first year, we picked the companies by size and revenue, selecting the top three or four across 33 industries.\n\nWe profiled all 100. This provided a broad and comprehensive look at the role of IT in corporate America\u2014which was a useful thing to do in 1988. It also made for a pretty homely magazine: 17 pages, each divided into six squares, tiny black and white photos, mainly of white males, many sporting hilariously oversized glasses.\n\nThings were different then. In our \u201cday in the life\u201d profile of then-TRW CIO Rich Koeller, there are pictures in which you can see ashtrays on the conference room table. In many photos, Koeller has a lit cigar tucked into the corner of his mouth. \n CIO 100: IT Innovation\n \n Quiz: Are You Innovative?\n \n 100 Innovative Projects\n \n 3 Keys to Innovation Success\n \n Make Money, Win Customers\n \nNot surprisingly, IBM dominated the IT infrastructures on that first list, with 72 percent of our 100 relying on Big Blue mainframes and 57 percent using IBM PCs. (Another 31 percent had \u201cIBM compatibles.\u201d) Dell? What was that? \n\nThe most prevalent \u201cnew\u201d technologies in use were LANs, WANs and EDI. They didn\u2019t know it then, but those early CIOs were in for some disappointments: 30 percent believed that artificial intelligence and expert systems were going to be important. \n\nAnd only 13 of the 100 CIOs reported to the CEO. \n\nSince then, the CIO 100 has evolved. We haven\u2019t picked companies based on their size for years. It got boring writing about the same companies again and again, and we (and consequently you, our readers) weren\u2019t learning much that was new. So in the early \u201990s, we switched to a nomination process based on a theme we felt was important to business that year: customer service, supply chain expertise, innovation, agility and so on. \n\nToday we focus the CIO 100 on significant projects that demonstrate the double virtues of innovation and value to the business. We look at companies large and small in the public, private, nonprofit and government sectors. And we (and consequently you, we hope) learn a lot. \n\nDespite all these shifts, we\u2019ve had a number of persistent winners. FedEx and Wal-Mart have made the list 14 times; Procter & Gamble 13; Intel 12; and Dell and GE 11. \n\nLooking back, and then looking at what today\u2019s honorees have achieved, it\u2019s not hyperbolic to call this year\u2019s group The Transformers. IT and CIOs have come a long way in 20 years. I can\u2019t wait to see what the next 20 brings. \n\nEditor in Chief Abbie Lundberg can be reached at email@example.com.