Last night saw the unveiling of the fifth annual silicon.com CIO50 at an exclusive reception packed with the top CIOs working in the UK today.
Every year, the CIO50 celebrates the most influential and effective CIOs in the UK from both the public and private sector. As the list is compiled from the votes of CIOs themselves, the CIO50 really is a unique measure of the standing of these execs in their own community.
It was a great evening attended by many of the CIOs on the list - watch out for the photos and video from the evening, coming soon. For the CIOs, it was a great chance to catch up with old friends and make some new ones, and for us an invaluable opportunity to spend an evening meeting up with the executives making the big technology decisions today.
I was really pleased that Jos Creese, CIO at Hampshire County Council, topped the list this year. It's the first time the number one spot on the list has been taken by a CIO working in local government.
Previous winners have come from central government and big brands such as British Airways, Network Rail and Royal Mail.
I think having a winner from local government sends a great message out - that innovation and excellence is something local government can aspire to just as much as the biggest organisations.
That's great news and important for all of us. It's local government that we all deal with on a daily basis, and so it's in local government that smart use of technology has the biggest potential for improving everyone's experience of the public sector.
As ever at the CIO50, I was struck by how many different roles the CIO has to fill. While most people see the I in CIO as standing for information, on any given day it might equally stand for innovation, inspiration, imperturbable or ideas. Equally, on a bad day the I in CIO might stand for impatient, impetuous or impossibility. But that's why the role of the CIO is so interesting - at its best it combines a huge variety of roles under one job title.
And that's why the CIO - and CIO50 - is so important to silicon.com, writing as we do about the fascinating intersection of technology and business. So congratulations again to everyone who made the list. You can read plenty more about it in the CIO50 2011 special report.
Steve Ranger is the UK editor of TechRepublic, and has been writing about the impact of technology on people, business and culture for more than a decade. Before joining TechRepublic he was the editor of silicon.com.