If I could put my finger on a single theme that came out of the creation of the 2015 CIO 100, it is the customer. It is this very reason why the CIO remains and will continue to be critical to organisations that thrive in today’s disruptive economy.

The customer, whether on a high street such as 2015 CIO 100 leader Anna Barsby at Halfords, making use of a service, inside your physical property, arriving at your web service or transacting with your organisation via a third party is hitting your technology touch points, or interacting in ways that can impact your organisation. And what do all these touch points and interactions mean? They mean just one single and critical word – information. Information is power, and it’s an opportunity for any organisation in any sector to mine and use for its own sustainability.

Just as the early industrial revolutionists realised that the constant natural flow of water down becks, valleys and streams was a free and replenishing power source that could optimise and increase the efficiency of organisations, so too is today’s ability to understand the needs and behaviour of the customer. Just as I am daily surprised that this green and pleasant land with a regular supply of water is not harnessed again, any organisation that does not harness the power of information that it is collecting is unsustainable.

At various levels every business technology leader in the CIO 100 is delivering transformation that will impact the customer.

The CIO 100 naturally flows from a group of CIOs in the top quartile that clearly transform the organisation with a strong sense of customer value and interaction down to necessary operational transformation that ensures the organisation can satisfy the needs of its customers.

It is interesting to note that there are many in the 2015 CIO 100 that are relatively new in their roles. There is strong evidence in their submissions of a transformation journey that is being charted or has just begun. The 2016 CIO 100 may be impacted by delivery achievements of these CIOs to watch.

The CIO 100 is subjective and is intended to celebrate the role and opportunities CIOs offer organisations, while providing a platform for our community and the wider business world to see the difference a CIO makes.

This is the 2015 CIO 100. You are the 2015 CIO 100.