The Real IT Awards –  RITA

thomas paton

Thomas Paton

Consultant, Boost Awards

Awards spotlight – The Real IT Awards (RITA)

Ask any member of the Boost team what words are synonymous with the Real IT Awards (RITA) and in return you can expect the following: ‘prestigious’, ‘credible’, ‘challenging’, ‘trusted’. The reason RITA has gained our collective respect is because the scheme is not only well established – having been consistently rewarding outstanding IT teams and projects since 2004 – it is also rigorous when it comes to recognising only those businesses that are truly award-worthy.

As a result, it’s hardly surprising that heavyweight organisations such as PepsiCo, Hermes, comparethemarket, RBS, and Network Rail have chosen in previous years to put their submissions before the panel of judges.

Speaking of the judging panel, it’s important to note that as well as welcoming submissions from organisations in all sectors, RITA prides itself on its independent judging panel, which is composed of technology experts from a range of industries. All these merits combine to make the prospect of winning a RITA trophy both challenging and highly rewarding.

If you think that you or your team has what it takes to rise above the competition, read on to find out more about how you can enter this year’s scheme.

What we learned from the Real IT Awards 2019

When the competition is high, it pays to have some ‘insider’ knowledge – so here’s what I’ve been able to glean so far:

a) Operational Efficiency’ was the most popular category in 2019: The added competition will make a win here especially sweet. However, if you suspect that your story meets the criteria of another category equally well, your chances could improve by opting for the less-popular option.

b) The most popular new category was ‘Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Project of the Year’: Reflecting the wider trend of growing investment in emerging technology, in 2019 this category drew a raft of high-quality submissions, many of which exemplified just how exciting and innovative AI/ML projects can be.

c) Winners use quantitative data: Browse through the list of 2019 trophy-winners and you’ll notice that each of them, irrespective of category, was able to demonstrate success in measurable terms. Granted, a compelling narrative is important, but quantitative data is downright undeniable. If you’re in any doubt, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, Does my entry contain at least one pound-sign and one percent-sign? If the answer is no, then expect to go no further than the shortlist.

rita awards

“Last year’s RITA was attended by more than 420 industry experts from 68 organisations. Best haul on the night was PepsiCo who went home with three awards.”

 

How to enter

If you have a story of IT best practice that you think deserves recognition, and you would like to join the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland, Oxford University and Arsenal F.C. at the award ceremony, then go to The Real IT Awards website to download your entry form today. Thankfully, the entry process for RITAs could not be more straightforward. Simply download the entry form from the website, select a category, complete the entry form (max. 3800 words), and submit it by emailing the completed form to events@citf.tech before the 31 January 2020 deadline. Remember, this year’s scheme comprises 24 categories (divided into four areas), qualifying organisations are welcome to submit in multiple categories and, best of all, entries are completely free of charge!

The award ceremony

If the RITA 2019 award ceremony was anything to go by, those attending the 2020 ceremony can expect to be one of hundreds of IT professionals from many of the largest organisations in the sector. Thus, not only does the ceremony give entrants a chance to have their teams recognised on a grand stage in front of their peers, it also represents an excellent networking opportunity. Wondering who was there last year? Then take a look at the impressive full list of 2019 attendees.

The Real IT Awards 2020 ceremony will be held on the 7th May at the Hilton London Bankside, which is situated only moments from popular London landmarks such as The Shard and the Tate Modern.

The categories

In 2020, The Real IT Awards will be offering 24 categories, which are divided into four key areas: Operational, Project, Innovation, and the CITF Membership Award (overall winner). In the following section, I’ll list and summarise each category.

Organisational

Enterprise Team of the Year

If your multi-functional team has worked inclusively to achieve tangible business benefits, then this category could be perfect for you. Judges will be looking for evidence of best practice, an inclusive and positive culture, and evidence of how governance frameworks are utilised.

Product Team of the Year

Ever the popular category, this award will recognise a tech product team that can evidence the successful delivery of a product through effective teamwork. Judges want to know how the team was established, what methods were deployed to ensure a one-team approach, and how the team ethos impacted product delivery.

Partnership of the Year

This winners of this category will be an in-house technology team and either a single or multiple supplier that together have demonstrated how to establish and maintain an effective partnership. Judges want to know how the partnership met and surpasses business objectives, and will expect to see evidence of collaboration, governance and business achievement.

Diversity and Inclusion in Action – New

New for 2020, this category intends to reward a team that is building a working culture where all are respected and treated fairly. Judges will be expecting to see how diversity and inclusion have been embedded in the work culture, plus all the ways in which access to resources and opportunities are equal and open.

rita awards winners 2019

Project Team of the Year 

Did you form a team with the express purpose of delivering a new product? If so, explain to the judges how your high-performing team was able to deliver the project successfully.

Legacy System Migration 

If you and your team have successfully migrated a legacy system, tell the judges how this has since transformed the wider business for the better. Have workflow issues been rectified? Did you gain user buy-in? Did you meet your budget and timeline objectives?

Project awards

Project of the Year (total budget >£250k and <£250k)

Quantitative evidence of how your technology project has delivered excellent value to the customer is paramount in these two categories. Judges will expect clear strategy, effective project management and delivery approaches and, crucially, high levels of customer satisfaction. There are two categories available dependent on your total project budget being above or below £250k.

Best Technology ‘For Good’ Project – New

This category will recognise an organisation that is using technology to bring about positive social change. Have you increased access to key services or information? Have you fostered communication or collaboration, or even developed a product that has enhanced the quality of, or increased access to, care?

rita awards winners 2019

Operational Efficiency

Last year’s most popular category, entrants in this award will be recognised for evidencing all the ways that they have improved efficiency for the customer. Key point: pre- and post-project data will be vital to success.

Delivering Excellent Customer Experience

Only those clients who are demonstrably customer-centric need apply for this award. Did you pre-empt your customer’s needs? Did you modify your product or service to cater to changing requirements? What have you done to deliver that ‘wow’ factor and ensure excellent customer experience?

Continuous Service Improvement

Submissions in this category should show how a team has: a) collaborated to continually improve customer service, b) created an ‘continuous improvement’ culture, and c) seen their efforts rewarded by achieving organisational objectives.

Turning Data into Insights

Judges are expecting to be shown how your team has successfully used data to drive improved decision-making. What was the situation before you began harnessing data, and why did you feel you needed to make a change. Evidence of success might include (but is not limited to) cost savings, increased turnover, or improved market share.

it industry awards

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Project of the Year 

Entrants in this category will have successfully deployed AI or ML within an organisation with the goal of addressing productivity and efficiency, automating business processes, or revealing hitherto hidden insights through data analysis. Top tip: Lead with the quantitative evidence, but don’t remember to tell a concise and compelling story.

Excellence in Application Modernisation 

This category is designed to reward those who have transformed their organisation’s application landscape in order to keep their business agile and adaptive. Describe the situation before the change, why change was imperative, the nature of the implementation, your success to date, and your plans for the future.

Innovation awards

Best Use of New Technologies

Only pioneering technologies are of interest to the judging panel here. You’ll need to demonstrate the business impact of the product/project, as well as describing why the technology in question is transformative.

Innovative Use of Cloud Technologies

This award will only reward truly innovative applications of cloud technology that drive business performance. The judges want to see how you have used cloud technology to increase your customer base, revolutionise business operations, maximise revenue streams and stimulate productivity.

Modern Technology Infrastructure

Are you driving your enterprise forward by utilising state-of-the-art technology infrastructure? If so, tell the judges how you’ve optimised expenditure, managed workflows, improved customer service, and enhanced computing, storage or time-to-market in both secure and dependable ways.

Product Innovation

The judges will only reward entrants who can demonstrate exemplary product innovation. Have you successfully implemented a new product, or overhauled an existing product? If so, the judges want to hear about it.

it industry awards table

Inspirational Team of the Year – New

New for 2020, this category will recognise a team that not only leads by example, but has shown outstanding commitment to product delivery and the advancement of the business and its people. This is your opportunity to impress the judges with your inspiring values and behaviours.

Best Use of Technology to Drive Sustainability – New

Another great new addition, this category is designed to reward an organisation whose products, services or processes are having a net-positive impact on the environment. This may have been achieved via the sustainable use of resources, the application of green methodologies, or simply by encouraging company-wide energy saving measures. Judges expect to see evidence of leadership, innovation, and a commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Transformation of the Year – New

Another of the new categories for 2020, the judges will be rewarding entrants who have revolutionised their business using technology. Tell the judging panel about the work you have done, why it has fostered excellence in your workplace, and how it has led to significant change. Submissions that cover themes such as customer, employee or process transformation are welcome, among others.

Best Disruptive Team of the Year – New

This new category is for those who have caused a major stir in their market place. Have you and your team dispensed with normal practices and stunned your competitors? Have you embraced new ways of working that are causing ructions in your sector? Judges will be rewarding evidence of fresh perspectives and innovative practices, as well as honest reflections on failures and opportunities for learning. Definitely one to watch come awards night!

it industry awards trophies

CITF Membership Award

This separate membership award will be given in recognition of outstanding contribution to CITF. There will be no submissions by entrants for the category.

Next steps?

Has any of the above piqued your awards interest? Can you can think of an example of IT best practice that you’d love to share? Or perhaps this article has left you feeling bewildered and you don’t know the first thing about putting together an award submission? Whether you are super confident or lost at sea when it comes to awards, every entrant has something to gain by collaborating with Boost Awards. We are a team of highly experienced award experts and collectively we have helped businesses win over 1,300 awards, which includes winning entries for the Real IT Awards. If you would like to tap Boost Awards for some specialist award consultancy, details of our award entry writing services can be found here. Be warned, though, with popular schemes like RITAs we get booked up rapidly, this is partly because we never write competing entries. This means if you tell us the category you’re interested in winning, we help you and only you to win it.

Get in touch today if you would like to have a discussion about our services, pricing or all the ways in which Boost can add value to individual entries or your overall award strategy. You can contact the team via our contact form or email us directly via info@boost-awards.co.uk.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thomas

Boost – a helping hand entering awards

Boost Awards is the world’s first and largest award entry consultancy, having helped clients – from SMEs to Multinationals – win over 1,300 credible business awards. Increase your chances of success significantly – call Boost on +44(0)1273 258703 today for a no-obligation chat about awards.

(C) This article was written by Thomas Paton and is the intellectual property of award entry consultants Boost Awards. Images used with the kind permission of CITF, who sponsored the content. 

boost award entry writers

The Real IT Awards –  RITA

thomas paton

Thomas Paton

Consultant, Boost Awards

Awards spotlight – The Real IT Awards (RITA)

Ask any member of the Boost team what words are synonymous with the Real IT Awards (RITA) and in return you can expect the following: ‘prestigious’, ‘credible’, ‘challenging’, ‘trusted’. The reason RITA has gained our collective respect is because the scheme is not only well established – having been consistently rewarding outstanding IT teams and projects since 2004 – it is also rigorous when it comes to recognising only those businesses that are truly award-worthy.

As a result, it’s hardly surprising that heavyweight organisations such as PepsiCo, Hermes, comparethemarket, RBS, and Network Rail have chosen in previous years to put their submissions before the panel of judges.

Speaking of the judging panel, it’s important to note that as well as welcoming submissions from organisations in all sectors, RITA prides itself on its independent judging panel, which is composed of technology experts from a range of industries. All these merits combine to make the prospect of winning a RITA trophy both challenging and highly rewarding.

If you think that you or your team has what it takes to rise above the competition, read on to find out more about how you can enter this year’s scheme.

What we learned from the Real IT Awards 2019

When the competition is high, it pays to have some ‘insider’ knowledge – so here’s what I’ve been able to glean so far:

a) Operational Efficiency’ was the most popular category in 2019: The added competition will make a win here especially sweet. However, if you suspect that your story meets the criteria of another category equally well, your chances could improve by opting for the less-popular option.

b) The most popular new category was ‘Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Project of the Year’: Reflecting the wider trend of growing investment in emerging technology, in 2019 this category drew a raft of high-quality submissions, many of which exemplified just how exciting and innovative AI/ML projects can be.

c) Winners use quantitative data: Browse through the list of 2019 trophy-winners and you’ll notice that each of them, irrespective of category, was able to demonstrate success in measurable terms. Granted, a compelling narrative is important, but quantitative data is downright undeniable. If you’re in any doubt, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, Does my entry contain at least one pound-sign and one percent-sign? If the answer is no, then expect to go no further than the shortlist.

rita awards

“Last year’s RITA was attended by more than 420 industry experts from 68 organisations. Best haul on the night was PepsiCo who went home with three awards.”

 

How to enter

If you have a story of IT best practice that you think deserves recognition, and you would like to join the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland, Oxford University and Arsenal F.C. at the award ceremony, then go to The Real IT Awards website to download your entry form today. Thankfully, the entry process for RITAs could not be more straightforward. Simply download the entry form from the website, select a category, complete the entry form (max. 3800 words), and submit it by emailing the completed form to events@citf.tech before the 31 January 2020 deadline. Remember, this year’s scheme comprises 24 categories (divided into four areas), qualifying organisations are welcome to submit in multiple categories and, best of all, entries are completely free of charge!

The award ceremony

If the RITA 2019 award ceremony was anything to go by, those attending the 2020 ceremony can expect to be one of hundreds of IT professionals from many of the largest organisations in the sector. Thus, not only does the ceremony give entrants a chance to have their teams recognised on a grand stage in front of their peers, it also represents an excellent networking opportunity. Wondering who was there last year? Then take a look at the impressive full list of 2019 attendees.

The Real IT Awards 2020 ceremony will be held on the 7th May at the Hilton London Bankside, which is situated only moments from popular London landmarks such as The Shard and the Tate Modern.

The categories

In 2020, The Real IT Awards will be offering 24 categories, which are divided into four key areas: Operational, Project, Innovation, and the CITF Membership Award (overall winner). In the following section, I’ll list and summarise each category.

 

Organisational

Enterprise Team of the Year

If your multi-functional team has worked inclusively to achieve tangible business benefits, then this category could be perfect for you. Judges will be looking for evidence of best practice, an inclusive and positive culture, and evidence of how governance frameworks are utilised.

Product Team of the Year

Ever the popular category, this award will recognise a tech product team that can evidence the successful delivery of a product through effective teamwork. Judges want to know how the team was established, what methods were deployed to ensure a one-team approach, and how the team ethos impacted product delivery.

Partnership of the Year

This winners of this category will be an in-house technology team and either a single or multiple supplier that together have demonstrated how to establish and maintain an effective partnership. Judges want to know how the partnership met and surpasses business objectives, and will expect to see evidence of collaboration, governance and business achievement.

Diversity and Inclusion in Action – New

New for 2020, this category intends to reward a team that is building a working culture where all are respected and treated fairly. Judges will be expecting to see how diversity and inclusion have been embedded in the work culture, plus all the ways in which access to resources and opportunities are equal and open.

rita awards winners 2019

Project Team of the Year 

Did you form a team with the express purpose of delivering a new product? If so, explain to the judges how your high-performing team was able to deliver the project successfully.

Legacy System Migration 

If you and your team have successfully migrated a legacy system, tell the judges how this has since transformed the wider business for the better. Have workflow issues been rectified? Did you gain user buy-in? Did you meet your budget and timeline objectives?

 

Project awards

Project of the Year (total budget >£250k and <£250k)

Quantitative evidence of how your technology project has delivered excellent value to the customer is paramount in these two categories. Judges will expect clear strategy, effective project management and delivery approaches and, crucially, high levels of customer satisfaction. There are two categories available dependent on your total project budget being above or below £250k.

Best Technology ‘For Good’ Project – New

This category will recognise an organisation that is using technology to bring about positive social change. Have you increased access to key services or information? Have you fostered communication or collaboration, or even developed a product that has enhanced the quality of, or increased access to, care?

rita awards winners 2019

Operational Efficiency

Last year’s most popular category, entrants in this award will be recognised for evidencing all the ways that they have improved efficiency for the customer. Key point: pre- and post-project data will be vital to success.

Delivering Excellent Customer Experience

Only those clients who are demonstrably customer-centric need apply for this award. Did you pre-empt your customer’s needs? Did you modify your product or service to cater to changing requirements? What have you done to deliver that ‘wow’ factor and ensure excellent customer experience?

Continuous Service Improvement

Submissions in this category should show how a team has: a) collaborated to continually improve customer service, b) created an ‘continuous improvement’ culture, and c) seen their efforts rewarded by achieving organisational objectives.

Turning Data into Insights

Judges are expecting to be shown how your team has successfully used data to drive improved decision-making. What was the situation before you began harnessing data, and why did you feel you needed to make a change. Evidence of success might include (but is not limited to) cost savings, increased turnover, or improved market share.

uk it industry awards

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Project of the Year 

Entrants in this category will have successfully deployed AI or ML within an organisation with the goal of addressing productivity and efficiency, automating business processes, or revealing hitherto hidden insights through data analysis. Top tip: Lead with the quantitative evidence, but don’t remember to tell a concise and compelling story.

Excellence in Application Modernisation 

This category is designed to reward those who have transformed their organisation’s application landscape in order to keep their business agile and adaptive. Describe the situation before the change, why change was imperative, the nature of the implementation, your success to date, and your plans for the future.

Innovation awards

Best Use of New Technologies

Only pioneering technologies are of interest to the judging panel here. You’ll need to demonstrate the business impact of the product/project, as well as describing why the technology in question is transformative.

Innovative Use of Cloud Technologies

This award will only reward truly innovative applications of cloud technology that drive business performance. The judges want to see how you have used cloud technology to increase your customer base, revolutionise business operations, maximise revenue streams and stimulate productivity.

Modern Technology Infrastructure

Are you driving your enterprise forward by utilising state-of-the-art technology infrastructure? If so, tell the judges how you’ve optimised expenditure, managed workflows, improved customer service, and enhanced computing, storage or time-to-market in both secure and dependable ways.

Product Innovation

The judges will only reward entrants who can demonstrate exemplary product innovation. Have you successfully implemented a new product, or overhauled an existing product? If so, the judges want to hear about it.

uk it industry awards table

Inspirational Team of the Year – New

New for 2020, this category will recognise a team that not only leads by example, but has shown outstanding commitment to product delivery and the advancement of the business and its people. This is your opportunity to impress the judges with your inspiring values and behaviours.

Best Use of Technology to Drive Sustainability – New

Another great new addition, this category is designed to reward an organisation whose products, services or processes are having a net-positive impact on the environment. This may have been achieved via the sustainable use of resources, the application of green methodologies, or simply by encouraging company-wide energy saving measures. Judges expect to see evidence of leadership, innovation, and a commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Transformation of the Year – New

Another of the new categories for 2020, the judges will be rewarding entrants who have revolutionised their business using technology. Tell the judging panel about the work you have done, why it has fostered excellence in your workplace, and how it has led to significant change. Submissions that cover themes such as customer, employee or process transformation are welcome, among others.

Best Disruptive Team of the Year – New

This new category is for those who have caused a major stir in their market place. Have you and your team dispensed with normal practices and stunned your competitors? Have you embraced new ways of working that are causing ructions in your sector? Judges will be rewarding evidence of fresh perspectives and innovative practices, as well as honest reflections on failures and opportunities for learning. Definitely one to watch come awards night!

uk it industry awards trophies

CITF Membership Award

This separate membership award will be given in recognition of outstanding contribution to CITF. There will be no submissions by entrants for the category.

Next steps?

Has any of the above piqued your awards interest? Can you can think of an example of IT best practice that you’d love to share? Or perhaps this article has left you feeling bewildered and you don’t know the first thing about putting together an award submission? Whether you are super confident or lost at sea when it comes to awards, every entrant has something to gain by collaborating with Boost Awards. We are a team of highly experienced award experts and collectively we have helped businesses win over 1,300 awards, which includes winning entries for the Real IT Awards. If you would like to tap Boost Awards for some specialist award consultancy, details of our award entry writing services can be found here. Be warned, though, with popular schemes like RITAs we get booked up rapidly, this is partly because we never write competing entries. This means if you tell us the category you’re interested in winning, we help you and only you to win it.

Get in touch today if you would like to have a discussion about our services, pricing or all the ways in which Boost can add value to individual entries or your overall award strategy. You can contact the team via our contact form or email us directly via info@boost-awards.co.uk.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thomas

Boost – a helping hand entering awards

Boost Awards is the world’s first and largest award entry consultancy, having helped clients – from SMEs to Multinationals – win over 1,300 credible business awards. Increase your chances of success significantly – call Boost on +44(0)1273 258703 today for a no-obligation chat about awards.

(C) This article was written by Thomas Paton and is the intellectual property of award entry consultants Boost Awards. Images used with the kind permission of CITF, who sponsored the content. 

boost award entry writers

boost award entry writers

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