Every year, the CIO 100 Awards recognize companies that are the best at using IT to achieve business value. We honor ingenuity as well as pragmatism: companies that take risks with new technologies as well as those that create change through sheer will and straightforward smarts.
The list of 2011 CIO 100 Award honorees is striking for how many of the winning projects comprise multiple steps on a continuum of corporate progress. Executing a project well is a given. Stringing several excellent projects together in support of evolving business strategy goes beyond alignment. It shows IT as the integral and powerful force needed to push companies to do more, be more, grow more.
For example, Graham Group, a $2 billion construction company, built a strong technology infrastructure that allowed it to break into new markets, even during a recession. During the recent rise in personal bankruptcies, credit card issuer Discover Financial Services deployed analytics technology that helped it hold the line on bad-debt write-offs. Baker Hughes (BHI), a $14.4 billion oil and gas services firm, created video and collaboration applications to support its reservoir and rig consulting and services business and bring in extra revenue.
Other winners shook up business as usual so that their companies run better. PNC Financial Services developed patent-pending analytics technology that smoothed integration of its National City acquisition. Sprint Nextel (S) mapped its entire technology infrastructure to the business tasks each piece of hardware and software performs so it could predict outages and improve uptime. HealthSouth (HLS), after pulling itself free of a financial scandal that sent senior executives to jail, set out on a path to increasing profits by using common metrics to manage its high-performing hospitals.
This story, "Setting the pace for growth with innovative IT" was originally published by CIO.