2008 Premier 100 Honorees: How They Were Chosen

Each year, Computerworld accepts nominations from across the industry -- from vendors, IT users, public relations and marketing professionals, Computerworld readers and past Premier 100 honorees. Eligible nominees include CIOs, chief technology officers, senior vice presidents, vice presidents, IT directors and managers from a cross-section of user and vendor companies and their IT divisions, including but not limited to professionals in network management, database management, Web management, help desk, application development, project management, contract management or procurement.

Nominations for the 2008 list were collected in April and May 2007. We received more than 1,000 nominations. Our editors then invited the nominees to complete a comprehensive management/leadership questionnaire online during June and July. The candidates were asked about a range of topics, including their backgrounds, work experiences, special accomplishments, leadership styles, project management skills, mentoring activities, technology priorities and strategies, and other details about the IT environments they have fostered at their companies. We received more than 200 complete, qualified surveys.

Nominated individuals were asked to provide three references each: a direct manager, a direct report and a professional reference. Computerworld's editors contacted references for each finalist, and those responses were incorporated into the evaluation process.

Using Computerworld's IT Leader Index, which is a measurement of how closely an individual matches our definition of an IT leader, a panel of Computerworld editors and outside judges evaluated the completed questionnaires. Judges evaluated only those nominees outside their own industries. We define the IT leader as someone who guides the effective use of information technology to improve his company's business performance.

Other characteristics of IT leaders include the following:

  • Promotes an IT vision that supports the company strategy
  • Identifies strategic opportunities provided by IT
  • Thinks beyond short-term tactical needs to long-term strategic goals
  • Understands business needs and profit/loss responsibilities beyond the IT department
  • Ties technology and innovation to specific business needs and goals
  • Uses technology to gain an advantage over the company's competition
  • Takes calculated risks but has contingency plans in place
  • Learns from failure and uses such experiences to improve IT processes and products
  • Hires inquisitive people who like to explore and are innovative
  • Creates work environments that are positive and rewarding to employees both inside and outside of work
  • Encourages staffers to be innovative and come up with ideas
  • Motivates with recognition and opportunity, not just money
  • Compares best practices with those of peer companies
  • Leverages technology vendors as partners
  • Develops leadership skills inside the IT organization
  • Is viewed as a leader by other executives and by the IT staff
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