Celebrating Kenya's ICT excellence
COMPUTINGBy BiztechAfrica - June 22, 2011, 6:47 p.m.
Calls for applicants for the 2011 CIO 100 Awards were announced in early June. CIO 100 Awards celebrates 100 organizations (and the people within them) that are using information technology in innovative ways to deliver business value, whether by creating competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers. CAROLE KIMUTAI spoke to the man behind the awards, Harry Hare.
Carole: What impact has the CIO 100 had on the business environment in Kenya?
Harry: CIO 100 has helped CIOs and IT Business leaders examine and recognise the impact technology has in their organisations contributing to efficiency, enhanced performance and a positive bottom line. Organisations are now looking for continuous business transformation and technology innovation that can deliver lasting value, attract new customers and propel the enterprise towards a more profitable future. That is the impact CIO 100 has catalysed.
Carole: To be selected, you say companies/individuals must demonstrate excellence in technology innovation and bushiness value delivery. Why these two specific areas?
Harry: We only have one specific area that we concentrate on which is Technology innovation that delivers business value. CIO 100 Awards are awarded to companies that show this business value, that demonstrate excellence the use and adoption of technology. And this can be through creating a competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth and/or improving relations with both internal and external customers. Also we concentrate on technology innovation because it is one of the areas that companies/individuals are rarely recognized for in the business world. Technology has come a long way in the growth of businesses and society as a whole.
Carole: What calibre of organization is the Awards open to?
Harry: A CIO 100 award is an acknowledged mark of enterprise excellence. The calibre of organisations cuts across the board from private sector, NGO, educational institutions and government agencies, both small and large.
Carole: What were the learnings from the 2010 Award?
Harry: One of interesting learnings is that there is a lot of excellent technology innovations that Organisations are using that have gone unrecognised. The CIO 100 Symposium and Awards 2010 gave these organisations and business leaders an opportunity to share this with their peers through the presentations at the two day Symposium and crowned this with an Awards Gala Dinner on the last day of the Symposium. We also leaned that organisations have stepped up their utilisation and that technology is now a strategic addition in most companies. Companies are spending millions of shillings to acquire technology solutions which they hope will give them that strategic advantage over competition.
Carole: What are the challenges Kenyan companies face in the area of IT?
Harry: Successful implementation of IT projects is the biggest challenge, the result is most projects end up either going either over budget, are poorly implemented or incomplete. But this is not a Kenyan or East African thing. Global research indicates that 90 percent of IT projects that fail or do not deliver value, do so because of project mismanagement and not technology. That is why you find that big organisations are now establishing Project Management Offices (PMO) to handle all projects including IT.
Carole: Five years down the line, what do you want to achieve with the CIO Awards?
Harry: We would like the CIO Awards to bring out the relevance of IT in a business environment and bring the impact technology has in organisations thus contributing to efficiency, enhanced performance and a positive bottom line. CIO Awards five years down the line will also spread geographically by more East and Central African Countries participating and eventually a few more years down to become a premier African event.
We need to identify, profile and recognise those organisations (and the people behind them) that are using technology strategically and effectively so that others can see and emulate. We want to create a competitive environment which will see better use of technology in the region.
Carole: How is the response by Kenyan companies?
Harry: The response in Kenya is very positive and encouraging. So far we have over 123 organisations in the East African region (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda) having participated in the ongoing survey.
Carole: How many applications are you expecting this year?
Harry: We expect about 1000 applications from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.
Carole: There are many excellence awards in Kenya. What makes CIO Awards unique and worth participating in?
Harry: The intense focus on productive, sustainable growth in Organisations is what shapes the CIO 100 Awards into an extraordinary forum for pragmatic ideas and inventive approaches to the business of ongoing innovation for CIOs and and IT Business Leader. The CIO 100 Awards celebrate 100 organisations (and the people within them) who have used information technology in innovative ways to deliver business value, whether by creating competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers. We believe no other Excellence Awards in the region draw this unique focus in the business environment.
MORE COMPUTING NEWS
Managing IT consumerisationConsumerisation is having a considerable effect on business, says Syspro. Read More
Samsung puts the spotlight on enterprise solutionsSamsung Electronics South Africa has announced its support of the upcoming Enterprise Mobility Forum. Read More
A little security for Big DataThe issue of security in Big Data often produces divergent schools of thought from IT professionals, says Fortinet. Read More
Datacentre Africa in SA in JuneThe 2nd Datacentre Africa content-driven conference and industry exhibition which will take place in Johannesburg on 26-27 June. Read More
SAP launches Skills for Africa programmeSAP has launched a multi-million Euro skills development programme, “Skills for Africa”, to develop ICT skills in Africa. Read More
Safaricom Foundation gives PCs to Christian Industrial Training Centres - PumwaniChristian Industrial Training Centers - Pumwani will now offer KNEC examined computer courses, following Safaricom Foundation’s donation of 30 computers to the institution. Read More
ICT opens doors for Kenyan slum dwellersA Nairobi based group is equipping high school girls from Nairobi's slums with ICT skills to help them participate meaningfully in building the economy. Read More
North Africa, ME get revised regional solar planAn AfDB/World Bank-supported plan aims to generate more than a gigawatt of solar power across the Middle East and North Africa. Read More
Kenya Red Cross appoints Huawei as communications partnerHuawei and the Kenya Red Cross Society have signed a partnership deal making Huawei the strategic communications partner for KRCS. Read More
FEATURED STORYICT opens doors for Kenyan slum dwellers
A Nairobi based group is equipping high school girls from Nairobi's slums with ICT skills to help them participate meaningfully in building the economy.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHDollar-a-month broadband can change Africa
The Microsoft-led 4Afrika TV white spaces project, taking broadband to rural people for as little as a dollar a month, is now expanding in Kenya and launching in Tanzania.
COMPANY NEWSSamsung puts the spotlight on enterprise solutions
Samsung Electronics South Africa has announced its support of the upcoming Enterprise Mobility Forum.Sage Pastel Evolution: the modern ERP tool for the modern Kenyan business
This week’s Sage East Africa Conference, entitled Innovation Beyond Boundaries, attracted over 100 existing and potential customers to the Sankara Hotel in Nairobi.Connected services boosts company payroll and HR administration in West Africa
Connected Services enables SMEs to extend their desktop payroll and HR with an online solution that eases the growing burden of HR managers and payroll administrators.