by Michael Friedenberg

How to Succeed in Business: Award-Winning IT Innovation

Jul 27, 20122 mins

IDG Enterprise CEO Michael Friendenberg finds that the 25th annual class of CIO 100 winners exemplify organizations that know how to s쳮d in business in even a challenging economic climate

Business is a competitive sport, so every day there are winners and losers. Yet what I find so interesting is that there are so many routes to business success–from culture, innovation and leadership to process, financials and technology. You can succeed by excelling in one or more of these core disciplines, but winning happens when all of them are woven together.

Among this year’s CIO 100 award winners (see the full list in our sortable database), I see many examples of CIOs and IT organizations not just succeeding at business, but winning. Their ability to innovate and operate simultaneously is simply awe-inspiring. The business transformations they’ve led serve as a model we can all learn from and would do well to emulate.

CIOs like Rob Carter of FedEx, Kim Hammonds of Boeing, David Kline of Viacom and Wayne Shurts of Supervalu exemplify the kind of winning leadership that drives business success. I invite you to come and listen firsthand to their stories (and many others) on stage this month at our CIO 100 Symposium, August 19-21 at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

I thought of our newest class of CIO 100 winners–the 25th class in this magazine’s history–as I was reading “The C-Suite Challenges IT: New Expectations for Business Value.” Written by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Dell Services, this recent survey of 536 C-suite executives took an in-depth look at the challenges facing companies as they make IT, business, strategy and purchasing decisions to move their companies forward. Here are a few of the highlights I took special note of:

  • Nearly six in ten (57 percent) respondents expect their IT function to change significantly in the next three years; 12 percent predict a “complete overhaul.”
  • CEOs who involve their CIOs in setting business strategy and leveraging innovative IT outperform their peers financially–by a margin of nearly 2:1.
  • While using IT to cut costs is still popular (38 percent), there is significant interest (22 percent) in leveraging IT to develop new products and services.

These findings certainly reflect our challenging business climate, but they also underscore the impressive accomplishments of our CIO 100 winners. Congratulations to you all.

Michael Friedenberg is the president and CEO of CIO magazine’s parent company, IDG Enterprise. Email him at