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Alliant Energy CIO and other Wisconsin executives recognized as top business technology leaders

MADISON - Computerworld, has named Wisconsin's Alliant Energy Chief Information Technology Officer, David Cagigal as a 2010 Premier 100 IT Leader award winner.
David Cagigal
Cagigal joins three other Wisconsin executives, Shaleen Devgun, vice president, strategy, planning and architecture, Schneider National, Green Bay, James Krueger, CIO, Hydrite Chemical, Watertown, and Scott Ranson vice president, CIO, Brookdale Senior Living, Milwaukee. The publication selects 100 men and women who foster ideas and creative work environments, envision innovative technology approaches to business problems and effectively manage IT strategies.

According to the publication, this year 100 honorees all share a common perspective that they desire to deliver practical innovation, during a struggling economy, while at the same time running the business in light of market conditions and sustaining a productive culture.

The four honorees from Wisconsin join executives from brand name companies including Johnson and Johnson, Wells Fargo, Motorola and Proctor and Gamble, who also received recognition.

Cagigal was quoted in the article about the award as stating that his management philosophy is to "Show people the way through delivering value and continually improve on it." Scott Ranson's management philosophy was stated as "Always be willing to do what it takes to get the job done right. I live by that and mentor people by it."

Cagigal who also serves as Conference Co-Chair for the Fusion 2010 CEO-CIO Symposium (produced by WTN Media) said in an interview with WTN News, “Alliant Energy has deployed over 500,000 Smart Meters in Wisconsin since April, 2008. Information Technology is collaborating and partnering with Alliant's Operational Technology Group, which will also introduce consumer technology in the home, as Smart Grid strategies mature.
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We are firmly aware of the need for governance across the enterprise to maximize our investments. This calls for practical innovation of technology solutions that deliver short-term value while continually investing in long term positions.

For example, we will develop a customer portal to provide our customers with information regarding their consumption patterns in the short term, while the industry researches and develops standards and communication protocols for a home area network (HAN) to connect home displays, appliance, thermostats, etc. Ultimately, this project will benefit all of us, as we better understand consumption patterns and the impact of pricing to reduce peaks of consumption that will also reduce emissions thereby improving our environment."

Cagigal added “I firmly believe CIOs succeed when they engage with external sources of information including WTN and the Fusion Symposium. While CIOs have their opinions regarding opportunities to achieve business value through mature technology solutions, it best to evaluate others successes and failures through these external sources. Comparing ourselves to ourselves monthly does not take us to the next level.

So, what's next for these extraordinary business leaders and IT strategists asked Computerworld? “Virtually all of them say they will maintain a strict focus on business value, innovation and, yes, hard work. But what they see more than anything else is an opportunity to put their teams' hard work and innovation from 2009 to the test in a slowly-but-surely improving economy.”

Computerworld's methodology states that it accepts nominations from across the industry -- from vendors, IT users, public relations and marketing professionals, Computerworld readers and past Premier 100 honorees. Eligible nominees include CIOs, chief technology officers, senior vice presidents, vice presidents, IT directors and managers from a cross-section of user and vendor companies and their IT divisions, including but not limited to professionals in network management, database management, Web management, help desk operations, application development, project management, contract management or procurement.

Nominations for the 2010 list were collected in April and May 2009. Computerworld received more than 1,000 nominations. It's editors then invited the nominees to complete a comprehensive management/leadership questionnaire online during June and July. The candidates were asked about a range of topics, including their backgrounds, work experiences, special accomplishments, leadership styles, technology priorities and strategies, and other details about the IT environments they have fostered at their organizations. We received more than 200 complete, qualified surveys.

Nominated individuals were asked to provide three references each: one from a direct manager, one from a direct report and one from a professional acquaintance. Computerworld's editors contacted references for each finalist, and the references' responses were incorporated into the evaluation process.

Using Computerworld's IT Leader Index, which is a measurement of how closely an individual matches our definition of an IT leader, a panel of Computerworld editors and outside judges evaluated the completed questionnaires. Judges evaluated only those nominees outside their own industries.

Computerworld defines an IT leader as someone who guides the effective use of information technology to improve his organization business performance. Computerworld's other characteristics of IT leaders include

• Promotes an IT vision that supports the company strategy.
• Identifies strategic opportunities provided by IT.
• Thinks beyond short-term tactical needs to long-term strategic goals.
• Understands business needs and profit/loss responsibilities beyond the IT department.
• Ties technology and innovation to specific business needs and goals.
• Uses technology to help his organization gain an advantage over its competitors.
• Takes calculated risks but has contingency plans in place.
• Learns from failure and uses such experiences to improve IT processes and products.
• Hires inquisitive people who like to explore and are innovative.
• Creates work environments that are positive and rewarding to employees both inside and outside of work.
• Encourages staffers to be innovative and come up with ideas.
• Motivates with recognition and opportunities, not just money.
• Compares best practices with those of peer organizations.
• Leverages technology vendors as partners.
• Develops the leadership skills of employees in the IT organization.
• Is viewed as a leader by other executives and by the IT staff.

The Judges

• Christopher Barron, vice president and CIO, CPS Energy (2009)
• Tim Waire, vice president and CIO, Constellation Energy Resources (2009)
• Manjit Singh, vice president and CIO, Chiquita Brands International (2009)
• Ian Patterson, CIO, Scottrade (2008)
• Jerome Oglesby, chief technology officer, Deloitte Services LP (2009)
• Mark Showers, CIO, Reinsurance Group of America (2007)
• Gary R. Wilhelm Sr.,business and financial systems manager, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (2009)
• Steve Romeo, vice president of IT, Breg Inc. (2009)
• June L. Randall, CIO, Miami-Dade County Police Department (2009)
• Chris Saneda, senior vice president and CIO, Virginia Credit Union

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