AstraZeneca, PPD, Medidata shine in IT leader list

A contract research organization, four drugmakers and a clinical trial solutions provider all appear on the 2011 Computerworld list of the top 100 IT Leaders. The information chiefs at these companies are "innovators who have delivered measurable business value."

Robert Petrie is VP for IT at contract researcher PPD in Wilmington, NC. He oversaw a corporate-wide implementation of digital signatures that had an ROI of less than six months, based on shipping costs alone.

Richard Williams is AstraZeneca's former global CIO. He deployed collaboration and social networking tools not just across the company, but to key partners as well. He also realized a one-year ROI on telepresence studios that he created in AZ's major hubs: U.S., UK and Sweden. Travel savings drove the return.

James Attardi, VP for IT at Medidata, says virtualization is the most important technology to the solution provider's business. He's a SaaS and cloud believer. And he's brought smartphones and the iPad into the Medidata IT stable.

Rounding out the pharma honorees: Larry Pickett of Purdue Pharma; Ruth Thorpe, Novartis; and Michael Haas, Johnson & Johnson.

- here's the list
- see the story