Beginning last November, we solicited applications for the 2011 CIO 100 Awards through ads in CIO and our online newsletters, and through electronic mailings to our print subscribers, event attendees and publicists who sign up to receive our editorial announcements.\n \n Entrants filled out an online application between November 2010 and late February 2011. Although most applications came from companies headquartered in North America, the pool included entries from multiple continents.\n \n Two CIO 100 judges\u2014who included former CIOs, academic experts and independent consultants\u2014read each application. The judges evaluated the applications according to two criteria: innovation and business value. Applications that received a score of 15 or higher (out of a possible 20) were selected for a second round of scrutiny by CIO editors.\n \n 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. We sought to cull the most exciting initiatives from the pack and reward them with the CIO 100 honor.\n \n The companies we selected for this year\u2019s CIO 100 Awards range from small nonprofits to multibillion-dollar global powerhouses, and they come from every industry. Companies had to demonstrate not only that they were able to create new value using IT and to 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. We also emphasized projects that, due to their scope and impact, are helping propel companies to a more profitable future despite continued economic challenges. In short, these companies are technology leaders.