InfoWorld Technology Leadership Awards FAQ

All you need to know about the most prestigious award in the IT industry. Given the volume of inquiries we receive, note that we will not respond to inquiries that are answered below:

Is there a fee to enter the Technology Leadership Awards?

No.

Can I get an extension of the submission deadline?

No. We strongly suggest you submit several days before the deadline, with all information verified and approved so you don't risk being unable to meet the deadline due to last-minute issues.

To enter, do I need to do anything besides fill out and submit the online nomination form?

No. If the nominee becomes a finalist, however, a high-quality, 300-dpi headshot may be requested. It might be prudent to create that picture soon, if it does not already exist.

What sorts of accomplishments or background are most likely to earn an Technology Leadership Award?

First and foremost, InfoWorld looks at nominee accomplishments during the 12 months previous to the nomination deadline. Previous winners have typically led major IT initiatives that had substantial effect on the business (including government and education) -- involving consolidation, adoption of new technology, wholesale improvement of IT processes, or other outstanding acts of IT planning, execution, and leadership. The development of significant technology innovations, including the use of existing technology in novel ways or novel situations, also can lead to the nominee winning an award. Work that has a positive effect on the larger IT community, such as contribution to the development of standards, also can be a criterion for a nominee to win. (In the nomination form, you specify the type of leadership for which the nominee should be considered and assessed.) Note that leading a successful technology deployment effort is considered a routine activity and therefore by itself is insufficient to win a Technology Leadership Award; what we look for in such nominations are difficult circumstances and problems -- or major new insights and opportunities -- that clearly required extraordinary leadership and inventiveness. Winners are judged on individual merit by the editors based on subjective criteria; there is no scoring system.

What titles must nominees have to be eligible?

Any title is acceptable. The key is the nominee's activities that demonstrate technology leadership, not the title that he or she holds. Thus, nominees can be anyone from a tech support analyst or programmer to a CIO or chief innovation officer.

What are the differences among the four categories for these awards?

In all cases, entries about products or services you offer to customers (that is, vendor offerings) are ineligible. The TLAs honor work done within a company (including vendors) to manage or operate itself better through the use of technology leadership. Likewise, entries that boil down to "we hired someone to do it for us" are ineligible as the key technology leadership was outsourced.

The Business Management category honors IT leaders who actively aid the business do the business better, leveraging their knowledge of the business gained in their IT roles. It typically involves value-creating activities that increase revenues, differentiate the company in the market, and other "front-end" activities. That proactive aid may or may not involve technology, but if it is about creating back-end efficiency, then the entrant should select the IT Management category instead. If the entrant is in the technology business (a software, hardware, or IT services business) and the leadership involves a product or service delivered to customers, the entrant should select the Technology Creation/Enhancement category instead.

The IT Management category honors those IT leaders that make IT itself run better, such as for greater efficiency, cost savings, responsiveness, and so forth within IT operations and the technologies that IT manages or delivers.

The Technology Creation/Enhancement category honors IT leaders who create or significantly enhance technology itself, such as for new products and services. These leaders may be in technology companies, but they may also be in nontechnology companies that come up with technological innovations for use internally or by customers. Note that entries about the creation of a commercial technology product or service are ineligible; our Technology of the Year and Bossies awards honor such products and services. But technologies developed to better serve the company's employees and existing customer offerings (excluding commercial offerings sold to IT organizations) are eligible.

The Technology Deployment category honors those IT leaders who have successfully led particularly difficult deployments within their organizations; that difficulty might include political, managerial, scope, and technological hurdles. Note that basically choosing a tool or relying on a vendor or consultant to deploy a solution does not rise to the level of meriting an award.

What mistakes do entrants typically make that disqualify their entries?

The most common mistakes are: 1) waiting until the last minute to submit and discovering internal approval is delayed beyond the awards deadline; 2) submitting nominations for efforts that occurred more than two years ago (these are not lifetime achievement awards) or that are still in progress; 3) writing descriptions of more than 125 words (longer descriptions are usually incoherent or larded with self-praise), 4) submitting thinly disguised product pitches; 5) miscategorizing the entry; 6) failing to review the entry before submission (you can save it and return later to complete the submission); 7) submitting several copies of an entry (we thus may pick the wrong one); and 8) focusing on company boilerplate descriptions rather than actually focusing the text on the entrants' relevant activities and context (what we use to judge the entrant).

Are nominees from technology vendors acceptable?

Yes, with some limitations: These are not product awards, so entries designed to promote a vendor's product or service will be discarded. Vendor-developed technologies that are made public are eligible for the Technology Creation category, though technologies made open source to create a services business around them will be treated as if they were commercial offerings and made ineligible. Entries focused on consultant and outsourcer efforts are not eligible; the customer companies must be the primary leaders of any deployments or innovations. Internal technology efforts at vendors, such as IT-oriented projects, are welcome in the other categories.

Are nominees outside the U.S. eligible for consideration?

Yes. However, entries must be submitted in English, and if the nominee is interviewed by InfoWorld's editors, the nominee should be reasonably proficient in English or provide a translator.

May I submit multiple nominees?

Yes, if they led different projects or efforts. If they were involved in the same project or effort, pick one nominee for that project or effort.

May vendors nominate customer technology leaders?

Yes, though you should have that person's permission in case there are issues around publicizing his or her efforts. Also, those who fill out the nomination form would be well advised to have a working knowledge of the nominee's specific relevant activities. Block copies of bios or poorly written entries lacking in detail or that are marketing spiels for the vendor typically hurt the nominee's chances. Focus on the actual effort and why it is worthy of an award for the chosen category. Remember that entries that focus on your product or service, rather than on your customer's own technology leadership, will not be considered.

Can a nominee win a Technology Leadership Award two years in a row?

No. Note that anyone who won a 2012 Technology Leadership Award is not eligible for a 2013 Technology Leadership Award.

How do I know my submission was successful?

You will receive an email confirmation of your awards submission. If you experience technical difficulty, please contact InfoWorld Awards Support.

If a nominee is interviewed by an InfoWorld reporter, does that mean the nominee has won?

No. It simply means we had questions that weren't answered fully in the nomination form.

What is the approval process for the awards descriptions published by InfoWorld?

None. InfoWorld does not permit approval of its content by anyone. If your firm or your client's firm requires approval for anything published about it, do not submit yourself or your client for an award.

In the Technology Leadership Awards article posted online, are the award winners listed in hierarchical order?

No. They are listed in alphabetical order. It is not a greater honor to be listed first rather than last in the Technology Leadership Awards feature article.

Is there a physical award?

No. Winners do have access to a high-resolution InfoWorld Technology Leadership Awards logo, which can be used for promotional opportunities. And you can contract with the YGS Group to create a physical award if you like as described on our marketing page.

Is there an award ceremony?

Not at this time.

How can I use the award, InfoWorld logo, and/or profile writeup in press releases, on Web pages, etc.?

Once the winners have been announced, click here for all InfoWorld Technology Leadership Awards marketing resources.

Still have questions?

For other questions pertaining to the Technology Leadership Awards, please contact Executive Editor Galen Gruman.

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