2015 InformationWeek Elite 100 Honors Nation's Most Innovative Users of Business Technology

Results of the 2015 Elite 100 research finds data-driven decision-making and mobility are top innovation priorities

Apr 29, 2015

LAS VEGAS, April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- UBM Tech's InformationWeek released its annual InformationWeek Elite 100 ranking of the most innovative US-based users of business technology. The rankings and research results were announced Tuesday evening during the annual InformationWeek Conference, held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. For complete coverage of the 2015 InformationWeek Elite 100, please visit: informationweek.com/elite100.

The underlying theme of the 2015 InformationWeek Conference and Elite 100 awards program focused on "IT Without Borders" – how the most astute IT executives are tearing down traditional borders inside their companies and putting next generation technologies such as data analytics, cloud, social, and ubiquitous networking at the center of every function in the organization.

"You get the breakthrough ideas by mixing really painful business problems with a practical understanding of what's possible with today's emerging tech. Getting that result takes a lot more than a once-a-year hackathon or off-site meeting," said InformationWeek Conference Co-Chair and InformationWeek Editor Chris Murphy.

Murphy added, "We hear how every company is a technology company today, but it's not really true. Too many still keep IT in its corner. The 2015 InformationWeek Elite 100 shows companies making tech a part of all they do, and doing so across a huge range of industries."

The top ten companies in the 2015 InformationWeek Elite 100 rankings are:

  1. UPS
  2. Boeing
  3. Jet Propulsion Lab, California Institute of Technology
  4. Avnet Inc.
  5. The Weather Company
  6. FedEx Corp.
  7. ConocoPhillips
  8. Allstate Insurance Co.
  9. University of Pennsylvania Health System
  10. Pfizer Inc.

Business Innovation category winners are:

  • Agility: PayPal 
  • Analytics: Esurance Insurance Services Inc.
  • Collaboration: Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
  • Customer Experience: CVS Health
  • Mobility: Intermountain Healthcare
  • Productivity: Atlantic Health System
  • Tech-Enabled New Product: WEX Inc.
  • Workforce Performance: Dollar General Corporation

During the event, Interop and InformationWeek also announced the first ever IT Hero Award, which celebrates leadership and service within the tech community. Enterprise managers nominated individuals who demonstrate the ability to collaborate and adapt in a changing technology landscape. This year's winner is Diana Tullio, CIO, Standard Register. Inside Standard Register, her leadership included guiding the company during a major acquisition and integration. In the community, she is helping nurture a Dayton-area tech association, including a new event encouraging and supporting women in tech. 

Highlights of InformationWeek's 2015 Elite 100 Executive survey include: 

  • Analytics and a focus on the customer dominate the InformationWeek Elite 100 companies' innovation strategies for 2015. 77% reported they will use data analytics to help in decision making and 46% will introduce products led by IT for customers, 43% will engage customers in new ways.
  • Mobility and cloud computing are two top areas of focus for the Elite 100. Three-quarters of respondents (75%) have already rolled out mobile apps for their customers.
  • The majority currently have many data analysis strategies in place. 70% are doing daily or at-will analysis of revenue; 70% are providing dashboards to more than 20% of employees to monitor key metrics, and half (50%) are providing dashboards to more than 50% of employees.
  • Companies are taking several approaches to encourage IT collaboration with business units. 83% reported that business unit leaders are on tech steering committees. More than two-thirds (68%) encourage agile development with business unit guidance, and 65% said agile development teams have business unit members. Nearly two-thirds (64%) embed IT pros within the business units.
  • IT budgets will stay healthy in 2015. Two-thirds (66%) of Elite 100 companies plan to increase IT spending this year compared to 2014, and of those planning to increase budgets, 40% expect to increase spending by 5% or more. 

"The conflict between generating big ideas and managing the onslaught of business realities is where the magic of the Elite 100 lies. The companies in this list combine a unique understanding of their customers' needs with the inspiration of what's possible in technology," said Brian Gillooly, InformationWeek Conference Co-Chair and VP, Event Content and Strategy, UBM.

Under this year's theme of "IT Without Borders," the 2015 InformationWeek Conference featured discussions and presentations from leading technology visionaries and CIOs, including:

  • Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics and author of "The Long Tail" and "Makers: The New Industrial Revolution," offered his insights into how drones, robotics, and other automated technologies are impacting our businesses and lives like never before, as well as how they integrate with enterprise IT.
  • NBA CIO Michael Gliedman discussed how he and his team of 100 IT professionals are helping teams analyze player performance, improve their operating efficiency, and enhance the fan experience through the creative use of data analytics, video, mobile apps, social networking, and other cutting-edge technologies.
  • ConocoPhillips CIO Mike Pfister and Advanced Analytics Program Manager Richard Barclay discussed how their IT organization is building a platform to enable the use of advanced analytics and forms of artificial intelligence like machine learning and neural networks.
  • Walmart CIO Karenann Terrell explored how Walmart has moved from a technology group that focused on operational support into one that helps the entire business experiment and innovate. Terrell's goal is for IT to help Walmart become a "borderless enterprise," one with the real-time collaboration tools to quickly connect people inside and outside the company to meet business challenges.
  • AstraZeneca CIO David Smoley shared how he is leading IT from 70% outsourced down to about 30% over three years, championing the broad goal of being "twice as good at half the cost." The AstraZeneca IT team has been adding talent around the world, adopting agile techniques, and getting closer to customers so technology can play a leading role in improving operations and driving innovation.
  • CIO Bill Martin described how Royal Caribbean's IT organization has changed to take on more customer-facing, digital innovation.

The InformationWeek Conference gathered the nation's top business technology executives – a "who's who" in technology purchasing power – including IT leaders of 20th Century Fox Studios, AmericanWest Bank, Capital One, Chevron, City Of Baltimore, Eli Lilly and Company, FedEx, Martin Marietta, Old Dominion Freight Line, Penn Medicine, Penske Truck Leasing, Raytheon, Safeguard Properties, Toyota Motor Sales, and University of Minnesota.

This year's InformationWeek Conference was sponsored by:  CA Technologies, VMware, Comcast Business, OpenMarket, Riverbed, ServiceNow, Surescripts, NetScout and SAS. The conference was co-located with UBM Tech's Interop Las Vegas.

To download the 2015 InformationWeek Elite 100 research report, including exclusive profiles, research and the full list of winners, please visit informationweek.com/elite100.

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