At a time when Hollywood assigns golden statues for best movies in the last year, IDC Adriatics rewards the most successful IT projects in private and public sector.
Award for the CIO (Chief Information Officer) of the year in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be assigned for the first time, and that for the best IT projects in private and public sector, based on the key project started and/ or realized within the organization or company during the 2014.
In IT circles, the award has already been named as “CIO Oscar“. The professional jury, in the composition of Semir Ibrahimovic (BBI – Bosna Bank International), Timur Gadzo (ZIS KS) and Faruk Smajevic (VGT Osiguranje d.d.), will decide about the winners.
Award will be assigned on the ceremony which will be held in hotel Sarajevo on 19th February, and on this occasion we talked with the member of jury, IT director in VGT Insurance Faruk Smajevic about the importance of this award for the IT profession, criteria that will guide the jury deciding about the best one and generally about the position and importance of IT director for one company.
The fact that for the first time this award will be assigned for the project realized in BiH as well says a lot about the value of the IDC’s award for the best IT expert. Please emphasize the importance of this initiative with which the IT profession finally gets the recognition deserved a long time ago.
IDC Adriatics, as a branch of the leading world company for the global market research and consulting services in the field of IT by its involvement and leading global experience in researching and analyzing the research results, unavoidable affects the strategic decisions as leading world participants on IT market. Additionally, I can say that the IDC Adriatics, with its involvements influences the directions and speed of development of local IT resources. In that light and as a part of continued presence of IDC Adriatics on the regional market, it is very important that domestic IT community becomes a part of regional and global processes among which this year, for the first time, and after Croatia, we also have in BiH in organized selection and promotion of the best IT managers and projects in 2014.
What are the criteria for the selection of CIO, i.e. what every project has to fulfill?
Innovation in the widest sense is what is expected and what has already been recognized as the key source of competitive advantages but also the transparency and optimization of processes in the public sector. Along with the change management and cost efficiency, IT projects contribute to business results and basically, those are the basic parameters for the evaluation.
Award will be assigned in two categories, private and public sector and basic criteria are partially adjusted to that partition. Innovation, change management and cost efficiency are common criteria while the contribution to business results in private sector is replaced with the influence on transparency for public sector.
In fact, the majority of these criteria is the part of the planning and implementation of every IT solution and every help in the formalization of the project represents the part of our mission as well. I am looking forward to the cooperation, but I have to mention that I am honored that I can give my support.
Since this award is being assigned for public and private sector, where do you expect to get more applications?
IDC Adriatics organizes the annual award assignment for the first time in the following categories: CIO director in BiH which is an excellent chance for the local market to be presented to the local and regional participants but also for the public sector as an important user and implementor of IT projects to candidate its solutions and present achievements which have future potentials of transferring experience and further technologic improvements. A large number of successful and innovative projects will not be evaluated this year, because of certain limitation at the year 2014. Still, they will eventually get their chance in the future. I expect high quality projects because I know we have them so our local IT market as well as our public and private sector are certainly winning.
How do you comment the local IT scene e.g. the development of global trends when it comes to IT technology in BiH?
The IT is without a doubt the most dynamic sector of the human activity and globalization is fully present in it. BiH, as well as the whole region is a part of the European market with very competent and cheap IT resources recognized already.
The local market is not on the world top of consuming the latest technologies but it keeps step and considerably uses almost all actual technologies available at the most developed markets. On the other side, thanks to global trends and considerable development of export of IT services, the local IT market has top competencies and equally participates in the implementation of the most contemporary IT solutions. Some key and recognized global trends (social networks, cloud computing, big data) are already coming to the local market and, along with mobile technologies, certainly represent the key direction and the potential of the development of the local market.
As a person with 15 years of experience in IT management, can you comment on the role of the leading IT director, how did it change with time?
Information technologies have, from being necessary only to specific organizations and their specific parts to the infrastructure role taken the key role in managing innovations and reengineering of business processes in almost all fields of our activities. At first, IT had its recognizable special function and then slowly became the source of innovations and advantages in the domain of concurrence. The necessity of IT services in business processes leads to IT’s total integration in all organizational structures while strategic management of IT becomes a key task of top management.
Why is an IT manager so important for one business company’s activities?
The IT directors in modern organizations have an extremely important role in making strategic decisions related to reengineering business processes and managing innovations as sources of advantages in the world of concurrence. It is above all important that an IT manager has a clear and strategically coordinated vision of organization’s development and that it helps to ensure market differentiation and sources of advantages with the concurrence this organization has. Besides, I would especially like to point out the huge potential and importance that the IT management has in public organizations as key source of improving transparency, cost effectivity and process optimization.
So we can say that the IT directors today have a strong influence on creating business strategies and by that, directly influence the entire development of one business company as well?
Almost all successful examples and case studies of today’s most successful companies point at the key contribution and the strong connection of success and strategic management of innovations as sources of market differentiation and advantages in concurrence in the successful organizations. The CIO (Chief Information Officer) primarily manages innovations (CIO – Chief Innovation Officer) and takes over the role of key source to information that have great impact in creating business strategy and making decisions on development and strategic positioning of the organization. That way, harmonizing business strategy and strategic managing of IT are inseparably connected and represent a unique and key component of sustainable development and the success of the company on the market. By increased investing into IT, along with strategic management, directors become generators of many successful business initiatives, of reengineering business processes, costs optimization, total management of quality, globalization of business etc. and have a direct influence on company’s development.
The number of CIOs who became CEOs is increased lately. Do you agree on the saying ‘Today CIO, tomorrow CEO?
A modern CIO most certainly isn’t just one of the CxOs, which means that director of informatics isn’t primarily dedicated to informatics. Strategic management, innovations, managing business processes, all of that are sectors in which one CIO must give a key contribution to improving the advantages and the sustainable development of the organization. We see that the modern organization insists on key tasks where the roles of CIO and CEO intertwine and the rough difference between them simply disappears. The CEO must actively and with high qualifications participate in the strategic management of the IT and if he, along with all that, has some other competencies too – it is necessary to combine them and promote them.
What would be your message to companies and institutions wanting to apply for the CIO Oscar?
I know there are many projects and directors entirely qualified for participation. Every nomination is certainly very important and this kind of promotion and participation at one of the most important IT events in BiH represents an extraordinary opportunity worth applying for. I once again invite all local participants to contact the remarkable professionals from the IDC Adriatics and to prepare the application together.
Interview by: Seida Bijedić