Myth busting: Seven reasons not to submit a Digital Transformation Award nomination

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Digital Transformation Awards - engraved nomination

The nomination deadline for the national Digital Transformation Awards is rapidly approaching, but as journalists exposed almost daily to the creative talents in tech, we know there are a number of powerful Canadian initiatives have yet to be nominated.

This week we brought together a panel of our writers to try and determine what’s holding organizations back from claiming their share of the spotlight in front of a national audience. Here’s our list – and some suggestion on how to overcome them by the May 31 deadline.

1) I’ve never heard of these awards before.

That’s legit. As this is only the second year for the Digital Transformation Awards, they haven’t got an Oscar-like rep yet, but we’re working on that. Our awards are about recognizing companies that have used technology to flip their business model or dramatically change their customer experience. There are five awards with nominations open to public, private and non-profit organizations.

2) I’m not sure they’re really credible. There’s so many awards programs and so much hype

ITWC created the Digital Transformation Awards to cut through the noise. Organizers believe Canadians need to see case studies of successful companies carrying out digital transformation as a kind of reassurance that digitization is more than a passing fad: it is something companies – and maybe your competitors – are succeeding at, and it’s time to stop kicking the tires and get on the bus.

While the legitimacy of the awards is backstopped by ITWC, a technology publisher more than 30 years of experience, the program is also supported by a broad cross-section of technology organizations that includes the CIO Association of Canada, IDC, the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), SIM Toronto, the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster, iCanada, and the FinTech Growth Syndicate.

Judges are senior tech and business leaders. They include: former CIOCAN president Gary Davenport; IDC General Manager Lars Goransson; Ryerson University associate professor Ron Babin; Corinne Charette, senior fellow, Concordia University; Tandet Group senior vice-president Corey Cox; and SmartOne Solutions President Ted Maulucci.

The 2017 winners include a major bank, a major city, a mining company, a regional insurance company, and a non-profit educational organization.

3) Digital Transformation is such a buzzword. The awards probably don’t apply to what my company is doing

Recent research from IDC suggests that by 2020, 75 per cent of all firms will be digitally transformed, reducing the potential market share of non-transformed businesses by 50 per cent. If you’re not transforming, you might have a bigger problem than an award application.

Perhaps the problem with phrase digital transformation is that it has become the go-to expression to explain anything in technology from AI and deep learning to the addition of an iPad in the ordering process at a restaurant to make service faster and friendlier.

As awards organizers, we are okay with that. We’re not okay with people who think about digital transformation exclusively as a complicated, expensive, and completely disruptive adventure that is only worth noting when it has wiped out some legacy model with some new and previously unheard of technology that can be run from your smartphone.

Digital transformation is an innovation journey. The changes can be incremental. The Digital Transformation Awards can recognize and honour those powerful steps … if you submit a nomination.

We want to make sure everyone, big or small, public, private or non- profit, has a shot at winning. We have five categories of awards so there is one for every company. This year we added a Digital Transformation through AI category as a nod to the growing importance of this tool.

4) Nomination forms can be sooo complicated. I don’t have the time

We respect that, which is why we’ve made this a very simple process. Just tell us how you’re successfully using technology to change your business or your customer experience.

Here’s the nomination form. You can fill it out now and you don’t need to read the rest of this article.

5) I’ll fill it out later. They always extend the submission deadlines.

I can’t say this hasn’t happened. I can say it won’t happen this time. Our judges need time to evaluate the submissions, and we need time to produce a three-minute video with the winners and to get the awards engraved. So why not just do it now and enjoy that hallowed moment when you boldly strike one more item from your To-Do list?

6) Submitting awards for my company really isn’t my job.

If you’re not comfortable making a submission on behalf your company – or a client company that could benefit from a little spotlight – send the link to this story to the person most likely to be in charge of marketing. When your company – or a client company – is presented the award on August 14 at the Digital Transformation Awards, you can bask in the reflected glory of the moment.

7) I don’t have wall space for another certificate or award that’s going to collect dust

That’s our thinking too, so we created an award that is a very unique piece of art etched with the winning company’s name and logo inside. It’s a beautiful piece of crystal that puts Old Mr. Wall Plaque to shame. There are no more than five given out annually so you can say our award winners are very proud to display their prize. Just ask the City of Toronto. Theirs is the first thing you see when you enter the Licensing and Standards office.

The key is to win one first – and that requires a nomination before May 31.

We look forward to your nomination and the chance to honour your organization at the awards ceremony on August 14.

In case you missed it earlier, here’s the nomination form again.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Steve Proctor
Steve Proctor
Steve is Vice-President Marketing and Communication with ITWC. He spent 25 years in progressively senior positions as a journalist and editor with the Halifax Herald, with his final ten years as Business Editor. He has published two books and his freelance articles have appeared in national and regional magazines. He has led social media and communication efforts for two crowdfunding ventures and written and directed numerous dinner theatres for charitable endeavours.