Awards aim to raise profile of top tech projects


20 Jul 2005

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A new awards scheme has been launched to reward the innovative use of IT within commercial and public sector organisations in Ireland.

Called the Inspired IT Awards, the event will recognise heads of IT and their teams for their strategic role in helping to drive competitiveness within their companies and for technology projects that help to create business value for an organisation.

According to iReach, the Dublin-based industry research firm that is organising the awards, many indigenous and multinational companies based in Ireland rely on technology to gain competitive advantage. It estimates that Irish-based organisations will spend close to €4.2bn on IT and telecoms this year.

“IT buyers need to have more of a voice and recognition within their own organisations that there is a business value and not just a cost associated with IT; it’s not just about keeping the lights on,” said Oisín Byrne, managing director of iReach.

Entries are now being invited for the awards, which are open to commercial and public sector organisations of all sizes in the following industries and categories: financial services; manufacturing and pharmaceuticals; retail and distribution; travel and transport; telecommunications, media and technology; and government. A further three overall Inspired IT Awards will be selected from the entries across any of these six categories. These are: Inspired SME project of the year; Inspired IT project of the year and Inspired IT person of the year.

The nominated technology projects should be primarily, but not necessarily solely, managed in Ireland. They should be applied primarily in this country and should demonstrate business value. Organisations are allowed to nominate their own projects or they can be nominated by a third party within an industry category. One company can submit multiple projects for consideration.

The awards are free to enter and the deadline for entries is 5pm on 23 September, 2005. The shortlist will be announced on 3 October. The awards have the backing of several industry associations and development agencies, including AIM Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the IDA and the Irish Computer Society. BT Ireland is the primary sponsor for the event.

There will be two stages for judging of entries for the announced awards. The first involves a review board comprising the heads of the main IT industry representative bodies – the Irish Computer Society (ICS) and the Association of Information Managers (AIM) – along with two chief information officers (CIOs) from Irish organisations. The panel includes Rory Donnelly (president of AIM), Jim Friars (CEO of the Irish Computer Society), Deirdre McDonagh (IT director of Enterprise Ireland); Martin Wickham (CIO of BT Ireland); and Brona Kernan (CIO Ryanair). The review board will select a shortlist of award nominations for presentation to the selection board, which will be made up of two CIOs and two CEOs from Irish-based organisations.

The final awards ceremony will be held in the Burlington Hotel on 26 October 2005. More information is available online, as well as entry criteria and online entry, at www.inspiredawards.com.

By Gordon Smith