The winners of the Excellence in IT Awards 2016 were announced in front of a crowd of 700 professionals at a gala event in Wellington last night.
The award ceremony is a joint effort between eleven New Zealand tech companies, including the Institute of IT Professionals, NZ Software Association, GOVIS, InternetNZ, NZRise and many others.
Paul Matthews, chief executive of IITP, says the judges had a difficult task in choosing the winners.
“We had a tremendous amount of interest and the finalists were all of very high calibre, as you would hope in an industry like ours. It really wasn’t an easy job to single out the winners, something that is a sure sign of the vibrancy and quality of the people who work in the IT world," Matthews says.
IT Project Excellence Award
Nick Kumarich & NZME Technology Delivery Teams
Judges' comments: With no disruption or milestones missed, the judges were seriously impressed with the exemplary project management and multi-talented team that oversaw the highly successful technology merger.
Excellence in IT Education
Michael Trengrove from CodeClub Aotearoa
Judges' comments: Michael’s commitment to the cause, and drive that has seen rapid scaling of the project, really impressed the judges. Engaging nearly 1000 volunteers, the project is the very definition of excellence in IT education.
Excellence in Health Informatics
Dr David Hay Orion Health
Judges' comments: David demonstrates a breadth of understanding of the Heath sector and has dedicated his entire career to bridging the role of clinician (he is a GP by training) with technology, with stunning results.
Excellence in Software
Judges' comments: The judges especially liked the team’s great technical leadership in its early adoption of crowdsourcing, and continuing to look for new opportunities to develop the product.
Simon Baker, CricHQ CEO, says, "It's a real thrill to have been recognised for what we think is a great product. Our work to digitise cricket has been going great guns over the last twelve months but it's really only the beginning for us. With this award as encouragement we're looking to really push on and cement ourselves as leaders in a market with so much growth potential.
"The other nominees in our category - Fulton Hogan and PosBoss - are also doing great work and it's a testament to how the tech sector is taking off in New Zealand that there are such high calibre nominees across all categories."
Excellence in Public Sector IT
Information Services Group at the Whanganui District Council
Judges' comments: The Judges were impressed with the clearly articulated strategy and delivery of multiple projects that has seen Whanganui awarded in the Top 7 Intelligent Communities in the world in 2016. Well done to a great team.
Excellence in IT Service Management
Brent Logan from the Canterbury DHB
Judges' comments: The service management changes implemented by the DHB saw massive improvement in customer experience, call logging and account lockouts, and served as a catalyst for the rest of the organization to pursue excellence.
Young IT Professional of the Year
Thomas Mitchell from Hunchbuzz
Judges' comments: All the finalists were amazing, but the judges found Thomas’ can-do attitude and sense of social responsibility humbling for someone in their early 20s. Operating at the intersection of innovation and entrepreneurialism, Thomas is an inspiration.
Mitchell commented that "The tech sector in New Zealand has so much potential. It could be huge here and to be recognised as being part of that is such a wonderful privilege. NZ Rise is an amazing group of wonderfully talented people and companies focused on growing the Digital and Technology sector, so to have the top two awards come from the one industry group is a real testament to the co-chairing of Victoria and Don Christie."
New Zealand IT Professional of the Year
Victoria Maclennan from Optimal BI
Judges' comments: The judges felt Victoria was the epitome of the technology advocate, working at all levels to elevate the development and use of technology in New Zealand. She walks the walk and yet remains incredibly humble throughout. We’re very proud to recognise Victoria as the 2016 New Zealand IT Professional of the Year.
Maclennan made her own comments, saying that all other nominees are equally deserving.
"Michael Trengove from Code Club Aotearoa and Murray Wills from Maxsys both do incredible work. Both of them would have earned the award. I'm absolutely delighted to have won. I hope that a woman winning the supreme award can encourage more women into the tech sector. We're getting better but there's still more room to improve," says MacLennan.