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Here’s the sad truth: many of the people who are most deserving of professional recognition are far too busy doing great work to put their name in for an award. I suspect that’s particularly the case for CIOs, who are often juggling multiple roles and projects in an organization. What’s the ROI on getting a pat on the back from the industry?

The answer is simple: CIOs are often acting in isolation from each other unless they’re gathering at conferences and events. Connecting with peers can offer a lot of great ideas that move the profession forward, and programs like the ITAC Ingenious Awards are a way to capture those ideas in a way that’s as instructive as it is celebratory.

IT World Canada has been a partner with ITAC on the awards since their inception, and this year we’re continuing to partner specifically on the CanadianCIO of the Year award, which will honour two executives from the public and private sector. Nominations are open now until June 30, and the gala will be held in Toronto in November.

To help motivate worthy CIOs (or someone on their team) to fill out a form, I went through the CanadianCIO archive to look at some examples of people who have done the kind of work that demonstrates excellence in IT management. These are the kind of traits that make judges take notice:

1. Double down on emerging opportunities: Our most recent issue profiles CIO of Mississauga Shawn Slack, who is leading a mission that will make his municipality a case study in how the Internet of Things will transform everyday life.

2. Bring IT to where it’s needed most: It’s not always easy to see how apps will have a real impact, but Dave Perfetti demonstrated the way mobile strategies will improve health care in his work at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dave recently left his CIO role there to offer consulting services to other organizations.

3. Take industry frameworks to the next level: A lot of companies talk about Lean Six Sigma, but what it actually means for organizational performance and agility depends a lot on the execution. That’s why I enjoyed hearing how Maurice Gallant, CIO for the City of Fredericton, is bringing manufacturing sector’s best practices to his IT staff.

4. Deploy technology to deepen personal connections: We often hear complaints about the way mobile devices distract people or make them less engaged with the outside world, but TD Bank CIO of Direct Channels Technology Solutions Jeff Martin has talked about a project that used tablets as a way of bringing financial services closer to customers.

5. Prove the value of executive decision-making: Hopefully we’re long past the discussions about aligning business and IT, but the range of cloud applications, mobile devices and now wearables will make some aspects of technology more ephemeral and seemingly difficult to control. Mike Battistel, CIO of Athabasca University, has spoken about the power of effective governance in a way that could convince the board of directors and beyond.

These are just a handful of people who could easily find themselves on the podium making a thank-you speech later this year, but I know there are many more. Submit your nomination for the CanadianCIO of the Year Award today.



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