The SearchCIO 2013 IT Leadership Awards recognize the contributions and innovations of IT professionals at enterprise companies. We put out a call for nominations of individuals who have excelled in six categories: cultural innovation, technological advancement, business value, green IT, IT engagement and customer experience.
Finalist Deepak Agarwal, CIO for the Palm Beach County School District in Florida, hits the mark in more than one of these categories. Despite five years of regular school budget cuts, Agarwal has introduced many types of innovation while shoring up and consolidating the IT infrastructure. His consolidation of technology pockets throughout the organization, for example, reduced costs by approximately $6 million, or 30% of the IT budget. His early adoption of Google's cloud computing platform for email and apps saved another 16% of the budget. Through all this, IT has earned near-perfect customer satisfaction ratings from the district's 22,000 employees.