by July 23, 2013 0 comments

Introduction

Nobody can deny the relevance of IT for enabling business growth today. It has become a crucial part of every organization today. However, leveraging IT in the right manner to bring benefits to the organization is a fairly complex task requiring visionary thinking, selfless drive to innovate, a lot of passion for technology, sleepless nights, and of course fire in the belly. While the organization enjoys the benefits of technology, the IT project heads, CIOs who’re behind those implementations in the right fashion go unnoticed. They remain the unsung heroes.

To give credit where it’s due, PCQuest instituted the Best IT Implementation Awards ten years ago. They were created with the sole objective of setting up a platform for recognizing the gut-crunching efforts put up by IT heads and their teams across organizations in the country.

In the first year, we received only 11 valid project nominations. Though the number was low, the nominations were from some of the most prestigious organizations in India. From thereon, there was a steady rise in the number of project nominations every year. Today, we receive 250+ IT project nominations, out of which we end up evaluating about half of them. So far, we’ve evaluated 2000+ IT projects from all types and sizes of organizations in India, be it the SME segment or large enterprises, public sector, or the Indian govt. This speaks volumes about how the Indian IT industry has grown, and not to mention the recognition of the Best IT Implementation awards as a key platform to honor the efforts of the project heads.

The Call for Nominations

To kick start this year’s awards process, we started seeking public nominations of IT implementation projects in organizations; projects that people think are worthy of winning an award. We sought the public nominations through various mediums and avenues – mailers, advertisements in the magazine and all sister publications of CyberMedia, banners on our network of CyberMedia websites, special invitation to the previous years’ participants, various SME associations, all reputed IT products and service providers, PR firms, etc. At the end of this exercise, we received about 200 nominations this year. We were thrilled to see the variety of IT projects implemented this year, and knew it right from the outset that choosing winners this year will be a challenging task.

Short-listing of Eligible Projects

Soon after we closed the public nominations, our team took up the task of vetting out ineligible projects. In other words, the projects that did not meet the Nomination Rules (Read: http://bit.ly/BestITrules) had to be knocked off. These included redundant or incomplete entries, projects deployed for other countries, etc. At the end of this process, about 25 projects were knocked off, and we were left with 175 projects that moved to the next round.

New Categories

One key criteria this time was that the project should have completed its implementation in 2012 and should have been delivering results for at least 6 months ending March 31, 2013. However, we noticed that there were quite a few interesting projects that finished implementation at the borderline of our criteria. Hence, this time, we decided to include them and evaluate them separately under a new award category of ‘Promising Projects’.

We also noticed quite a few entries on enterprise mobility related projects, and given that it is a hot area today, we decided to identify the Best Mobility Project this time.

Lastly, this time, we have also introduced a special award category to recognize companies for the overall number of IT projects and the types of projects that they’ve deployed, to recognition their IT leadership and vision. These are applicable for companies that have deployed more than one project.

Apart from these, we had our regular set of awards for Max Business Impact, Social Impact, Ingenuity, Scale, E-Gov, and of course the Overall Best IT Projects.

Soliciting the Detailed Audit Form

The public nomination form captured the very basic details of the projects, such as, name of the project, brief description, project head’s details, timeline of implementation, type of IT project, etc. While this facilitates vetting out the ineligible projects, this information is not enough to evaluate the projects for the awards.

So the next step was that of soliciting a detailed audit form from the shortlisted eligible projects. We contacted the person who nominated and the project head to send in the details about the project. At this stage, like last year, we had a nominal nomination-processing fee, as suggested by the participants over the years, which among other things discourages non-serious projects to move forward, and thus helped the PCQuest team spend time and effort on outstanding projects. The objective of the detailed audit form is to capture the minutest details of various aspects of the project – including financials, which are kept confidential but help us in evaluating the projects better. At the end of this stage, we received audit forms for 95 projects, which qualified as the semi-finalists.

Internal Audit of Semi-Finalists by PCQuest Team

Having received the audit forms, every member of the PCQuest team was assigned a set of projects to audit. Each and every form was studied in-depth by each of the team members. In cases where more details were required or some details were unclear, the team members made contact with the respective project heads and got it sorted out.

The task in hand at this stage was to gauge the impact of the project upon the organization based on five broad parameters: Business Impact, Social Impact, Ingenuity, Scale, and Complexity. Each of these parameters had a unique set of sub-parameters such as cost saving, productivity gain, reach, technology used, etc. The team members scored each of the projects on all these parameters with scores where 0 indicated not-applicable, 1 indicated minimum/negligible, 2 indicated medium, and 3 indicated substantial.

Once the scoring was complete, the entire team had to make a case for the project and justify the scores given to each of their respective project, to the Editor along with the other team members. It’s only upon agreements in majority that the scores given to each project was frozen as final.

At the end of this exercise, we had a list of 25 finalists. These were the projects that were to be presented in front of the jury.

Presentation of the Finalists to the Jury

Like every year, we formed the panel of jury of industry experts to choose the winners. We had the following jurists this time:

– Jury Chair: Dr. N. Vijayaditya, Ex-Controller of Certifying Authority, Ex-DG, NIC, Govt. of India
– Akhilesh Tuteja, Executive Director, KPMG
– Manoj Chugh, Global Head Business Development, Mahindra Satyam
– Pradeep Gupta, CMD, CyberMedia India Ltd
– Prashantveer Singh, CIO, Bharti Infratel
– Sunil Kapoor, Director, Fortis Healthcare
– Thomas George, President, CMR India

At the jury meet a case as to why a particular project should win the award, was made to the jury; where each project was championed by the PCQuest team member who was involved in evaluating, auditing, and making contact with the project stakeholders, etc. All aspects of the projects were presented to the jury, who scored the projects on the aforementioned parameters. With all the presentations made, the jury then deliberated on which projects were worthy of winning, and under what category. All of the winners of the awards were collectively decided by the jury members.

That said, in the following pages, you will see coverage of the semi-finalists, the finalists, and special feature of the winners.

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