As team sports go, technology innovation may be the trickiest game of all to play. Nobody knows exactly how to keep score. The rules change with every twist of the economy. And the end-goal-creating something new and valuable-never sits still for long.
Who's got the game-changing idea? What's the next big thing? Where does this rainbow lead? For more than two decades, our annual CIO 100 Awards have been answering those questions and following that rainbow to discover the most innovative IT projects delivering business value today.
Along the way, we've noticed that IT innovation is inevitably a team effort. "When you assemble the right team...amazing things happen," says Chris McGlothlin, VP of information services for Domino's Pizza and one of this year's CIO 100 honorees. "High-performing teams can accomplish twenty times more than you could ever hope to by yourself."
Domino's high-value innovation was Pizza Tracker, which allows customers to follow their orders online from start to finish. This fast-food spin on a successful idea borrowed from other industries came from McGlothlin's emerging technology team, which seeks at least two business-transforming ideas per year.
CIO and VP Mike Skinner at Eurpac, a marketing brands conglomerate and CIO 100 honoree, also embeds an innovation-seeking mind-set within his IT team. He wraps up every meeting with specific questions about resources, progress and end-goals, relentlessly pushing his team's focus toward the future.
Throughout our CIO 100 issue, you'll notice a trio of dominant drivers-innovating for customers, collaboration and cost management-guiding many of the CIOs behind these winning projects. We'll also be honoring their accomplishments later this month at the CIO 100 Symposium and Awards Ceremony on Aug. 25 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. You're cordially invited to come and join in the idea exchange.
To see a fully detailed, interactive chart of the CIO 100 winners that can be sorted by location, industry, company revenue, project type and business function, head online to www.cio.com/cio100/2009/1. Every click in that chart could be the spark of an idea that helps your company transform its business somewhere, somehow, some day.
No wonder we still chase that innovation rainbow. Wherever it leads us, we all believe in this journey.
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