As we enter an era of extreme dynamism and unprecedented innovation, I am absolutely convinced that a new and higher level of IT leadership is required. The modern enterprise expects IT to deliver real business value and contribute significantly to revenue growth in ultra-competitive markets. Failure is simply not an option.

From my perspective, IT leaders must embrace the challenges and opportunities of the new era, or fall by the wayside. Successful IT leaders must be fully integrated, multi-role C-suite players; they must be stellar communicators; they must know how to create and sustain crucial partnerships across the C-suite; and they must win the war for talent by attracting, hiring and retaining the best and the brightest of our industry.

Make no mistake: The Big Shift is happening. It's here, it's real and IT leaders need to up their game. The reality of the shift was apparent to me and to everyone else attending the 2014 San Francisco CIO Executive Leadership Summit. I've never seen a more perfect alignment between content and real-world business challenges.  

The summit captured the pivotal moment in our rapidly evolving industry. Leadership excellence is not only necessary - for many organizations, transformational leadership will be a decisive competitive advantage.

In keeping with that belief, we were honored to present the final four Transformational CIO awards. Earlier in the year, awards were presented at the Phoenix CIO Executive Leadership Summit and the CIO Summit of America in New York City. This year's award winners are:

  • Ramón Baez, SVP & Global CIO, Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Ashwin Ballal, Ph.D., VP &, CIO, KLA-Tencor Corporation
  • Roger Gurnani, EVP & CIO, Verizon
  • Bruce Hoffmeister, Global CIO, Marriott International, Inc.
  • Hunter Jones, VP & Division GM, Drilling Systems, Cameron
  • Timothy McCabe, SVP & CIO, Delphi
  • Janet Sherlock, SVP & CIO, Carter's
  • Deanna Wise, EVP & CIO, Dignity Health

The annual Transformational CIO Leadership Awards honor top performing Chief Information/Innovation/Technology Officers who have excelled in Leadership, Innovation, Transformation, Industry Give-Back, Management of Extreme Growth and Legacy Leadership. The awards are based on extensive in-depth research conducted over the course of numerous meetings, interviews and conversations with the HMG Strategy team. I am especially proud of the awards, since they give us an opportunity to recognize the transformational leaders and key innovators in our industry.

I strongly believe that we are experiencing a golden age for information technology and that now is the absolutely perfect time to be an IT leader. The old model is broken, and a new model is emerging.

Together, we are taking a momentous and important journey. Together, we are envisioning and creating the future of IT leadership. Collaboration is the key to innovation, and there's no better place to find the true spirit of collaboration than at an HMG Strategy CIO Executive Leadership Summit.  

Our global network of senior IT executives is unparalleled in terms of experience, excellence and transformational innovation.  Check ourschedule of upcoming events to find the next summit near you, and please plan to attend. I look forward to seeing you, and working together with you, shaping the future of our amazing industry.