MIT’s Sloan School of Business is accepting nominations for its fifth annual CIO Symposium Award honoring innovation. The award, which will be presented at MIT’s concurrent May 22 CIO Summit in Cambridge. Nominations are open until March 23, 2012.

This year’s CIO Award co-chairmen, Ray Chang and Al Tedesco, are private sector executives and Sloan alumni.

“We are looking for more than just product or service innovation,” says Chang. “We talk about [identifying] a complete CIO, mentioned upfront in the awards application and we're expecting people to demonstrate key qualities and traits in the answers in the application.”

Among these: Does the CIO have a seat at the table? Is the CIO’s opinion valued, do people consult the CIO, are they engaged with the CEO, CFO and other leaders? Communication, leadership along with the basics of “keeping the lights on” are all considered in the application.

“Oftentimes, when we talk about innovation we think of some cool new software or device,” Tedesco says. “Of course CIOs are looking for ways to add value with technology but they are also very concerned with the people and process aspects.”

Tedesco pointed to a 2011 award finalist, Cliff Gronauer, who was cited for revamping application infrastructure for the Missouri State Police. “In his statements and application he also emphasized that relationships he introduced and a new way of relating to vendors were just as important to success as well as project discipline.”

The application and prior year’s award information is available at

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