IT heads at CLP, Lockton and PolyU named CIOs of the year

IT heads at CLP, Lockton and PolyU named CIOs of the yearThe Hong Kong CIO Awards has reached its fifth year. Aiming to identify IT leaders who demonstrate outstanding vision and execution, the awards program is organized by Computerworld Hong Kong and CIO peer network CIO Connect. Winners were announced on March 16, during Computerworld Hong Kong's CIO Leadership Forum 2016.

Selected by a panel of judges led by the panel chairperson Alistair Russell, senior VP at CIO Connect, this year's winners are CLP Group's Andre Blumberg, Lockton's Suk-Wah Kwok and Gerrit Bahlman from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU).

Awarded in the Large Enterprise CIO Category is Andre Blumberg, IT director of CLP Group was singled out for his "well-balanced performance, led by solid business benefits, use of cost effective technology and people development," according to the judges. "Andre's vision and capabilities can take CLP's operations to a higher level of leadership in the industry."

"It is a tremendous honor to receive this award," said Blumberg. "I appreciate the company's efforts in creating a positive environment for IT professionals seeking the opportunity of a challenging and rewarding career in an exciting industry undergoing digital transformation."

Meanwhile, Suk-Wah Kwok, regional CIO Lockton Companies scooped the prize in the Medium Enterprise CIO Category. She was identified by the judges as a passionate and dedicated CIO. "She is able to make bold yet well thought-through decisions on innovative technologies, properly balancing risk and reward," the judges commented.

"First I'd like to thank the judges for giving me the award," said Kwok. "One thing that I have learned to be a truly innovative CIO is that you need to have courage to try new things and not afraid to fail. It was only when I felt that I am not afraid to lose my job, that I was set free and started to enjoy what I am doing."

Aiming to differentiate achievements of the CIOs from the government, the Public Sector CIO Category was introduced last year. The Award of this category goes to Gerrit Bahlman, IT director at PolyU.

"I have had lots of fun [throughout my IT career]. But the fun does not end here," said Bahlman in his Award acceptance speech. "The IT industry had lost a lot of talents after the bust of the dot-com bubble at the turn of this century. We have been struggling ever since 2000," he said.

"Our society has changed immensely over the past 10 years. We are at the start of an exponential curve of change. It is no question in my mind that we have to get lots of young people into IT." Some of the IT roles that will be in great demand, said Bahlman, are data scientists and security professionals.

Judging process and criteria
These awards were created specifically to put the spotlight on IT leaders in Hong Kong and Macau with submissions accepted only if the nominating CIO is based in these two cities. Past winners have come from Manulife, Airport Authority Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Broadband Network.