Vying for glory: NZ’s IT leaders line up for CIO Awards

Published on the 25/08/2020 | Written by Heather Wright


CIO Awards Finalists 2020_Conferenz IDC

CIO Awards finalists unveiled…

CIOs from organisations forced front and centre by Covid-19 are among those in the running for top honours at this year’s CIO Awards, with 23 individuals and companies announced this evening as finalists for the prestigious awards.

The CIO Awards winners are traditionally announced at the CIO Summit, currently underway as a fully virtual event for the first time ever. However, this year’s Covid disruption has seen the awards, which include a new Sustainability in Technology category, moved to November 24, with the finalists instead announced at the CIO Summit.

“The organisations’ commitment to DX prepared them to respond faster to the impact of Covid-19, turning disruption into a catalyst for change.”

The annual awards – now in their fourteenth year – recognise individuals and teams who have shown leadership, innovation and foresight in their contribution to the digital transformation of both ICT and business functions.

As usual the awards have garnered a who’s who of finalists across the six categories. The recipient for the Outstanding Contribution to ICT in New Zealand award – for a high profile business person whose contribution has significantly impacted the greater New Zealand or global business community in an IT sense over the course of their career – will also be announced at the November awards night.

Competition is running high for the top honour of CIO of the Year, with five finalists in the running: Countdown’s Sally Copland, Auckland Council’s Mark Denvir, Contact’s Iain Gauld, Z Energy’s Mandy Simpson and Canterbury District Health board and West Coast District Health Board’s Stella Ward. Last year’s winner, Paul Littlefair is among the judges for this year’s awards.

Mo Chalabi from Beca, Margaret Harris from ContainerCo and Chris Marsh from Freightways are all in the running for the Emerging ICT Leader gong, recognising exceptional ICT talent by professionals under the age of 33.

Countdown garners a second finalist position, going up against Inland Revenue and PlaceMakers for the award for Business Transformation through Digital and ICT.

Also gaining multi-finalist status is Z Energy, which is a finalist alongside Genesis Energy, Southern Cross Health Society and Tonkin & Taylor in the new Sustainability through Technology category. IDC says the category honours the achievements of organisations that have successfully planned and executed a sustainability initiative – covering economic, environmental or social (profits, planet and people) – that has produced a range of benefits for either the organisation or communities.

Louise Francis, IDC New Zealand country manager and judge for the awards, says it’s been inspiring in such challenging times to hear about the exceptional achievements taking place within New Zealand businesses.

“This year’s nominees are testament to the success of organisations commitment to digital transformation, which prepared them to respond faster to the impact of COVID-19, turning disruption into a catalyst for change,” Francis says.

“New Zealand can be very proud of the outstanding talent on display.”

All the finalists will now go through an interview process with an independent judging panel, which includes entrepreneur John Holt, founder of TAINZ and co-founder of Kiwi Landing Pad; NZTE CDO Richard Kay, University of Auckland Business School professor of information systems Michael Myers and BNZ CTO Paul Littlefair.

The full list of finalists is:

CIO of the Year, for demonstrating innovation and success in the past 12 months that reinforces the transformational role of the CIO in supporting their company’s overall business strategy

Sponsor: CompTIA

  • Sally Copland, general manager digital, Countdown
  • Mark Denvir, director ICT, Auckland Council
  • Iain Gauld, CIO, Contact
  • Mandy Simpson, chief digital officer, Z Energy
  • Stella Ward, chief digital officer, Canterbury District Health Board and West Coast District Heath Board

Emerging ICT Leader for exceptional ICT talent by professionals under 33 years of age.

Sponsor: 2degrees

  • Mo Chalabi, digital consultant, Beca
  • Margaret Harris, chief information officer, ContainerCo
  • Chris Marsh, group infrastructure manager, Freightways

Community Tech Champions honouring outstanding initiatives with the goal of educating, exposing and engaging New Zealanders that have been previously underrepresented in the ICT sector.

Sponsor: Juniper

  • Manaaki powered by Indigo
  • Pam Fergusson Trust
  • Te Reo Irirangi o Te Hiku o Te Ika

Best ICT Team Culture recognising outstanding team culture within an organisation’s ICT team where fostering team culture, retaining and nurturing a diverse IT staff has created a competitive advantage for the entire organisation.

Sponsor: RWA Technology People

  • Counties Manukau Health
  • Fidelity Life
  • Otago Polytechnic
  • Stats NZ Tatauranga Aotearoa
  • Vocus

Business Transformation through Digital and ICT honouring the achievements of organisations that which successfully planned and executed a business transformation initiative through the use of digital and disruptive technologies.

Sponsor: Clearpoint

  • Countdown
  • New Zealand Inland Revenue
  • PlaceMakers

Sustainability through Technology honouring the achievements of organisations that have successfully planned and executed a sustainability initiative through the use of technology.

SPONSOR: Younity

  • Genesis Energy
  • Southern Cross Health Society
  • Tonkin & Taylor
  • Z Energy

The winners will be announced at the CIO Awards Night on November 24 at Auckland’s Civic Theatre.

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