IT Personality, Visionary CIO winners named
Asher Bohbot, CEO of EOH, has won the IT Personality of the Year 2011, and Sandi Macfie, CIO of Southern Sun Hotels, has scooped this year's Visionary CIO title.
The winners were named at the Computer Society of SA (CSSA) President's Awards Breakfast at the Hilton Hotel, in Sandton, this morning.
Now in its 33rd year, the IT Personality Award was presented by the CSSA, in conjunction with ITWeb, the Gordon Institute of Business Science and Gartner Africa.
The IT Personality award recognises a person who made an exceptional contribution to the local ICT industry over the past year.
IT Personality of the Year
The judges found Bohbot has a laser-sharp focus on rethinking the nature of an organisation and its relationship with employees.
He believes EOH's people are fundamental to the way the company does business - their professional fulfilment, work-life balance, and their ability to contribute equally as part of a diverse workforce are all priorities.
Bohbot's journey with EOH has spanned small beginnings to a top-performing JSE-listed corporate, employing 3 500 people.
“If I could change one thing about the IT industry, it would be to create much closer relationships with government. The government and the IT industry should really work together,” he says.
“I'd like to involve businesses more in the socio-economic challenges of the country - things like job creation and people development are major challenges in the country and I think that our industry can do more.”
Visionary CIO winner, Macfie, is passionate about business, people and innovation. She believes in the strategic value of IT and its ability to transform an organisation, and has demonstrated this as CIO at Southern Sun Hotels since 2000.
Her portfolio recently expanded beyond IT, to include management of various strategic business projects.
This award recognises an executive responsible for IT strategy in an organisation who has demonstrated visionary leadership in using technology to grow business. It was introduced in 2008, and is presented by ITWeb and the CSSA.
Macfie says she actively seeks technology solutions that support and enable the company's vision.
Macfie would like to change the perception that IT is not people-focused. “IT is all about the people - it's about changing people's lives, it's about using technology to make the world better and yet there's this perception that we're not 'people people'.
“We need to move away from trying to sell technology solutions to selling business solutions. Technology is there as an enabler, but we need to talk business. We need to talk about how using technology is going to make a difference to people's lives, whether that's the employees, guests or customers,” says Macfie.
The other IT Personality 2011 finalists were: Darlene Menzies, managing owner, The Development House; Mteto Nyati, MD, Microsoft; Sean O'Connell, CEO, Airborne; and Greg Reis, CEO, Business Systems Group.
The other Visionary CIO finalists were: Andrew Brauer, CIO/CTO, Business Connexion; Bradley Coward, group CIO, Sappi; Rubens da Silva, CIO, Johannesburg Water; and Mayan Mathen, CTO, Dimension Data MEA.
Last year, Mark Levy, joint-CEO of Blue Label Telecoms, won the IT Personality of the Year, while Patrick Monyeki, director on the De Beers Group Services board, scooped the Visionary CIO award.
Click here to read CSSA president Adrian Schofield's address on leadership: