Southern Company has been named as one of CIO Magazine's "Bold 100" companies for 2005. Of the 100 companies honored by the magazine, Southern Company is among only six energy companies and six Georgia-based companies named to this year's list.
Each year, the CIO 100 Awards honor companies that demonstrate excellence and achievement in a chosen theme. Companies named to this year's Bold 100 list have demonstrated leadership in technology and shown a "willingness to assume significant risk for the sake of great reward."
In addition to being impressed by the business discipline of Southern Company's Information Technology organization, CIO Magazine mentioned two specific IT initiatives that have resulted in improved customer service: Southern Company's automated service response system, which handles scheduling, dispatching and resource management; and natural voice recognition technology, which is now incorporated in the company's customer service function.
"The annual CIO 100 Awards are respected nationally among those in the Information Technology field for identifying innovative technology leaders in a variety of industry groups, so we are pleased with this honor," said David Ratlciffe, Southern Company chairman, president and CEO. "Southern Company's IT group includes hundreds of talented employees who are dedicated to helping our company take costs out of the business, run operations more efficiently and serve customers better. This honor is a tribute to their efforts."
CIO Magazine describes the process for choosing the CIO 100 honorees as "systematic and very competitive." Each year, the magazine selects a new theme that is current and of value to its readers. Once the theme is selected, editors develop an online application for companies to submit that will identify several aspects of their achievement. Applications are solicited through advertising, newsletters and e-mail.
Editors also collect recommendations from their own in-house experts to recommend and nominate organizations distinguished for their accomplishments in the chosen theme. These nominees are invited to apply as well. Teams of editors and writers make initial recommendations about each entrant. They then debate how each company stacks up against the others in terms of the depth and breadth of their practices, their creativity, specific measurable results and goals achieved.
CIO Magazine and CIO.com are published by CXO Media Inc. to meet the needs of Chief Information Officers and other information executives. The magazine is read by more than 140,000 CIOs and senior executives who oversee annual IT budgets in excess of $175 million. CIO.com serves over 12 million pages annually.