ARN ICT Industry Awards 2021

The Best of 2021

ARN salutes the winners of the 2021 ARN Innovation Awards and thanks the sponsors who brought us these awards.
We bring you the Best of 2021.

Celebrating the best of 2021

By the time the ARN Innovation Awards gala dinner event on 9 December at ICC Sydney rolled around, it had been more than two full years since the Australian channel community had come together in person to celebrate its top talent in the industry’s premier awards event.

Of course, in 2020 the ARN Innovation Awards were held virtually, thanks to the ongoing disruptions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

And while the virtual awards event provided an engaging and innovative new format with which to feature and celebrate the Australian IT industry, the sheer joy of being able to physically all be in the same place at the same time remained absent.

Judging by the turnout at ICC Sydney on the evening of this year’s event, it is clear that I wasn’t the only one to miss that in-person contact.

The 2021 ARN Innovation Awards – hosted according to stringent COVID-safe guidelines – saw well over 700 champions of the Australian IT channel community descend on Sydney's Darling Harbour to cheer on more than 35 winners and two new inductees into the ARN Hall of Fame.

To say that the energy and excitement in the Grand Ballroom at ICC Sydney was palpable would be an understatement. It was so thick you could almost slice it.

Amid the banter, reunions, conversations and reminiscences, it seemed at times as though nobody was too bothered by who would win awards on the night, with the prospect of simply being able to get together in one place after years apart taking precedence.

For a community that has always placed such a high value on face-to-face interaction and real-world relationships, this was a big deal.

That said, when the winners and highly commended were revealed during the awards ceremony, the community rallied in support of the excellence of their peers – as it has done every year since the awards were first conceived.

The 2021 awards program showcased the very best of what the local channel has to offer, not just to others in the industry, but to all Australians, everywhere.

This year’s winners were the individuals and organisations that have kept the country running throughout what has been one of the most universally disruptive periods in recent history.

However, it wasn’t just the winners of the 2021 ARN Innovation Awards that have been on the frontline, keeping Australian businesses going amid unprecedented challenges – even if these outstanding individuals and businesses represent the pinnacle of such efforts.

No, every finalist, nominee and, indeed, the entire Australian IT channel across the country has borne witness to such efforts. And we commend you.

Your collective skill and dedication was reflected in the volume and quality of nominations for the ARN Innovation Awards in 2021. This year’s winners were selected from 315 finalists that made the shortlist from a pool of over 195 organisations and more than 470 nominations.

Indeed, this year marked a significant expansion in reach, support and market appeal, outpacing a best effort of over 200 finalists in 2020 to position the Innovation Awards as the leading technology awards program for customer innovation and ecosystem excellence in the Australian channel.

To mark this milestone, the 2021 ARN Innovation Awards program has gone far beyond simply acknowledging and celebrating the finest the industry has to offer, following up the awards event itself with a first-of-its-kind industry initiative aimed at granting all shortlisted partners in 2021 exposure to more than 210,000 potential customers nationwide.

This goal is being accomplished thanks to a digital marketing alliance with the end-user media brands of IDG – CIO, CSO and Computerworld – which together will work to raise the brand awareness levels of transformative partners delivering innovative solutions and services, based on the finalist submissions for the Innovation Awards in 2021.

Because, if there’s one thing better than celebrating the Australian IT channel, it’s helping it to flourish now and into the future.

On behalf of the entire ARN team, I congratulate all the winners, highly commended, finalists and nominees that made this year’s Innovation Awards such a memorable event.

Leon Spencer