Officially, InfoWorld’s CTO Awards honor “the 25 most influential” individuals holding that position. But we have another agenda, too. We seek to highlight the achievements of those who reflect InfoWorld’s readership: senior IT managers who scan the horizon for promising new technologies and find singularly effective ways to implement them.
As you read about this year’s crop of award winners, you’ll find they are divided along these lines. The “influential” types, in the traditional sense, come in two varieties: Some, such as the amazingly prolific Ravi Aramilli, work as CTOs for IT vendors and have focused -- recently and throughout their careers -- on cultivating new technologies; others, such as Pradeep Sindhu and his Infranet Initiative to raise public network QoS, have led initiatives that have significant impact both inside their organizations and beyond, helping to drive new standards or to marshal the resources of diverse organizations toward some greater goal.
But you’ll also find little-known CTOs who, like the majority of our readers, remain focused on scouting, evaluating, and implementing technologies that simply make IT organizations run better and more cost effectively. Such achievements, we submit, are vastly underrated.
Take Life Time Fitness CTO Brent Zempel, who helped his company vault to the top by leading the development of a member management system that is the envy of other health club chains. Or Health Care Services Corp. CTO Addison McGuffin, who pressed the lofty principles of SOA (service-oriented architecture) into action as he completely revamped the delivery of insurance services to customers. Forget about the timeworn cliché about “aligning IT with business goals.” These CTOs have internalized their companies’ business objectives to such a degree that their technology development is on the forefront of business development.