Richard Corbridge of Ireland's Health Service Executive has been named leader of the 2017 CIO 100, a celebration showcase of CIOs and technology executives driving transformation at their organisations, alongside Atkins Chief Digital Officer Richard Cross and NHS trust Salford Royal Group's Rachel Dunscombe.

[View the 2017 CIO 100]

Perennial CIO 100 member Corbridge, in his role at Ireland's health service, was recognised for being a technology- and business leader driving a transformation agenda in Ireland with the patients and digital at its core.

Cross is recognised as a high-flyer for a second year running in his role at construction company Atkins, while former CIO at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust Dunscombe, now Director of Digital at the broader Salford Royal Group, was also placed in the highest echelons for helping secure the hospital's recognition as the most digitally mature organisation in the NHS.

CIO 100 - Digital leadership

CIO UK Editor, Edward Qualtrough, said: "Some of the themes among the 2017 CIO 100 leaders were those driving an innovation agenda, embracing digital and startup ecosystems, and having a positive influence outside of what might be considered the traditional CIO remit. These trends were particularly prevalent in industries facing severe disruption or economic constraints where CIOs are more likely to be leading initiatives in product, technology and disruptive business model innovation.

"The CIO 100 panel was impressed with the transformation agenda at HSE, and particularly the positioning of Richard Corbridge as the CIO being a key driver of this and being able to demonstrate having a positive impact on patient experiences and the patient journey."

Corbridge said: "For the last five years I have been part of the CIO 100, that is something I am extremely proud of. The role of CIO is something I believe passionately in and to be part of this group, to achieve membership to this rag-tag group of pioneers, leaders, misfits and general try hard, well-meaning human beings; well it means a huge amount to me.

"The CIO 100 is a unique network of the most influential CIOs from the UK consisting of digital leaders from a hugely diverse group of business areas, from private and public sector and from experiences that transcend background, gender, age, ambition and ultimately even the concept of what a CIO is. And that is why the CIO 100 the important."

CIO 100 - Change is the new normal

CIO 100 panel member Jayne Nickalls, a non-executive director on a number of organisations and the first Chief Executive of Directgov, stressed the theme of the best CIOs being leaders of change and innovation.

Former Thomson Reuters CIO Christine Ashton, a fellow CIO 100 judge, said that the 2017 CIO 100 reflected the pace of change happening in the industry. "Change is increasingly the 'new normal'," she said.

Corbridge added that leading the 2017 CIO 100 was an acknowledgement of his team in Ireland, as well as broader network of CIOs in the NHS and healthcare sector.

"Other CIO 100 people matter; it's a new network that now makes a difference," Corbridge said. "Joanna Smith, Dunscombe and Rachel Murphy are part of the CIO 100 and they make sure that what a CIO does in health is above and beyond the norm and needs to be recognised and shouted from the rooftops of every hospital.

"An award like the CIO 100 calls out one hundred people and each one represents a team. It's not about the person, the CIO, or the number in the CIO 100 - it has to be about the team that the CIO works with, for and around. This recognition is for the team, and I'm proud to collect it for them."

CIO 100 judge Ian Cox said: "Corbridge, Cross and Dunscombe are providing leadership beyond the IT function and having a clear impact across their organisations.

"And in the case of a number of the other public sector CIOs including Leeds City Council Chief Digital Officer Dylan Roberts, they are also providing leadership beyond their organisations and working with partners and within ecosystems to improve the quality of service delivered to citizens, patients and residents."

CIO 100 - Innovation leadership

Trevor Didcock, CIO 100 leader in 2012 as easyJet CIO and on the judging panel for the second year, said: "This year's CIO 100 provoked plenty of debate and some surprising results. Digital transformation is now taking place across all sectors with CIOs fostering and leading innovation in products, channels and collaboration with the startup community."

Qualtrough said: "As a CIO with added Chief Executive responsibilities with eHealth Ireland, Richard Corbridge and the positioning of the CIO at HSE Ireland are the definition of what many commentators and well-meaning industry advisors believe the CIO role should be: a board-level operator and strategic customer-focused business executive with a dose of technology leadership.

The CIO 100 is a showcase of CIOs as business leaders that deliver change, IT projects and customer benefits through information and technology, as well as a recognition of the unique and challenging roles CIOs play in their organisations.

Qualtrough added: "I would like to thank all CIOs who took part in the initiative which we hope will be of benefit to all CIOs and equivalents as a community. My appreciations and gratitude also extend to the CIO 100 panel for their input, insight, experience and expertise and without whom the CIO 100 would not be possible."