Taking a gamble - and convincing the board to come along for the ride - is often one of the hardest parts of a CIO's job.
The finalists in our Retail CIO of the year category showed that taking the less-travelled path can often pay the highest dividends.
One decided to build his own search engine after being unable to find exactly what he needed and being unwilling to pay for anything less than perfect. His effort is now reaping more dividends than ever expected as other companies scramble to license his platform.
Another was faced with the challenge of his business' rapid and immediate expansion and systems that were unable to cope, and took the gutsy decision to tackle the problem internally and avoid a mammoth outsourcing deal.
While dealing with all the standard IT required to service a massive annual event hosting over 643,000 people, our third finalist also took to social analytics to help him predict spikes in traffic and determine when and where he would have to shift and provision workloads.
Please join us in congratulating:
Ajay Bhatia - Carsales
Carsales CIO Ajay Bhatia identified a pressing need for the company to build its own world-class search engine rather than continue to persevere with licensing expensive software from third parties. He leveraged the company's breadth of software development talent to take a gamble on a year-long quest to build a unique search engine that is now generating carsales additional revenue after being licensed to etailers the world over.
Paul Keen - Dick Smith
Legacy transformation by stealth
Paul Keen is nominated as a finalist for the second time in three years after a creative business case was made to replace Dick Smith's legacy systems "by stealth". Keen's enterprise architecture background shone through, proving that when using cloud infrastructure, small teams can achieve big things.
Samir Mahir - Tennis Australia
Australian Open 2014
Samir Mahir has worked with Tennis Australia's long-standing technology providers to deliver a Big Bang of new digital products and services during the 2014 event, many of which drove significant revenues for the sports administrator.
Special thanks to our sponsors: The Australian Computer Society, Dimension Data Learning Solutions, Samsung, Brother, Intel and Dynatrace. Winners will be announced at the 7th CIO Strategy Summit to be held in February at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.