Celebrating our IT achievements

Maybe I should be spending more time at the track. When it comes to picking winners at the 2007 Canadian Information Productivity Awards, I’ve hit several on the nose this year.

Both projects given the best-in-show Diamond Award of Excellence at last month’s CIPA gala in Toronto were featured in CIO Canada in 2007. The Wait Time Information System, helmed by Sarah Kramer of Cancer Care Ontario, was the cover story in our March issue, and Toyota’s CustomerOne project, the brainchild of CIO Hao Tien, got special coverage in our July report on The CIO Assembly. And just to put the icing on the cake, Mr. Tien gives readers an inside tour of the project in our upcoming Jan/Feb issue.

We’ve also featured three other 2007 CIPA finalists this year: RBC Royal Bank, Saint Elizabeth Healthcare, and BC Ministry of Forests and Range.

In case you think I’ve got special pull with the judging committee, forget about it. They’re an incorruptible bunch. You couldn’t sway them with free invitations to a Brangelina toga party.

In my view, the 15th edition of the CIPA gala was the best ever, both in terms of the caliber of the finalists and the production of the event itself. Better still, there seems to be a growing enthusiasm for the event, judging from the frequent hooting and hollering going on at several tables throughout the packed grand ballroom at Toronto’s Weston Harbour Castle Convention Centre.

And I have to say, it’s nice to see people getting excited about their IT projects. A little glitz and glamour never hurts, and in our industry it’s a positive tonic.

Nice to see Hugh Kelly win the ‘CIO of the Year’ award, which this magazine sponsors. Hugh has been doing great things with the IT operations at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario for over a decade, and was instrumental in helping transform that organization’s stodgy business practices into something that would make Martha Stewart proud.

Hugh was on the cover of our April 1998 issue, giving readers a thumbs-up from inside one of the LCBO’s sleek new retail outlets. Frankly, it’s the one cover that has bugged me to this day. Why we never had Hugh swap that thumb for a glass of champagne I’ll never know.

Anyway, if you haven’t already thrown your hat in the CIPA ring, then it’s time to get off your duff and do it. I look forward to seeing you on the podium next year.

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