Belfast Telegraph

Novosco chief one of the big winners at the first Belfast Telegraph IT Awards celebration

Roisin Byrne, Hays Recruitment, with Patrick McAliskey from Novosco, winner in the IT Professional of the Year category
Roisin Byrne, Hays Recruitment, with Patrick McAliskey from Novosco, winner in the IT Professional of the Year category
Seamus Wilkinson, Version1, with Darren Broderick from Liberty IT, winner in the Young IT Professional of the Year category
Prof Gillian Armstrong, Ulster University Business School, with Dr Liz O’Sullivan from Allstate, winner in the IT Woman of the Year category
Neasa Quigley, senior partner, Carson McDowell, and Sarah Little, INM Publishing, with Chris Wallace from Rapid 7 and team, Overall IT Company of the Year
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

The head of homegrown IT firm Novosco, which has now been sold to a multinational business, has been named IT Professional of the year in the first Belfast Telegraph IT Awards.

Patrick McAliskey was one of the big winners on Friday night in the inaugural Belfast Telegraph IT awards, proudly supported by law firm Carson McDowell.

Dr Liz O'Sullivan, senior manager for security, innovation, strategy and analytics at Allstate, was IT Woman of the Year, while Darren Broderick of Liberty IT was Young IT Professional of the Year.

The judging panel said Dr O'Sullivan "stood out as a technical and innovative leader who has an international reputation for excellence across cyber security, strategy and analytics."

And they praised Mr McAliskey, saying: "Patrick has been the driving force behind Novosco and his outstanding leadership skills have enabled Novosco to develop into a world-class organisation, employing almost 300 people.

"Patrick's focus on innovation across all areas of the business, including developing and motivating his people, has been instrumental to the success of the business, and he is a worthy winner of IT Professional of the Year."

Novosco was sold to German firm CANCOM for £70m last month. The Belfast IT services provider was founded by Mr McAliskey and John Lennon. Speaking at last night's event, Sarah Little, publishing director at Belfast Telegraph publisher INM (NI), said: "The IT sector in Northern Ireland has grown exponentially in the last few years. At the moment one in nine of all advertised vacancies is in the IT sector.

"Around 28,000 people in Northern Ireland are already employed in an IT role. We have over 1,200 IT companies here including 100 global technology leaders.

"As a result, we felt it was time that the sector - its companies and its people - were celebrated. Our faith in the initiative has been rewarded with a huge number of entries and a sell-out crowd."

Neasa Quigley, senior partner at sponsor Carson McDowell, told attendees: "The fact that these awards are taking place at all is testament to the reputation of NI as a hub for technology talent and innovation, a reputation that you have all helped to establish.

"It is your hard work and cutting edge expertise that has helped to ensure that Northern Ireland is recognised as one of the best places in the UK to work in technology."

Medical testing firm Randox Laboratories in Crumlin was one of many non-IT companies to be honoured for its use of IT, and won IT Project of the Year.

Professor Karen Rafferty, head of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's University Belfast, was chairperson of the judging panel. She said: "It's been an honour to lead the panel of judges in the first Belfast Telegraph IT Awards. We were delighted to have the opportunity to honour some of our longest-established IT firms, and to recognise the achievements of fast-growing, newer companies. The breadth of winners reflects the diverse range of IT companies out there, including the long-established firms like Allstate and Liberty IT, whose longevity has helped cultivate a culture of innovation in the sector."

The winners at inaugural IT Awards

Overall IT Company of the Year

Winner: Rapid7

Best ‘Not for Profit’ Sector IT Project of the Year, sponsored by Continu

Winner: Action Cancer

Best Use of Cloud Services, sponsored by 5Nines

Winner: OBBI Solutions Ltd

Digital Project of the Year, sponsored by Codec Systems

Winner: Rapid7

Cyber Security Project of the Year, sponsored by Novosco

Winner: Allstate

Mobile App of the Year, sponsored by Carson McDowell

Winner: Henderson Technology

Best Place to Work in IT, sponsored by Vanrath

Winner: Expleo

Small Supplier of the Year, sponsored by Allstate

Winner: Fathom

IT Project Team of the Year, sponsored by Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors

Winner: Randox Laboratories

Small IT Team of the Year, sponsored by NI Cyber

Winner: Locate A Locum

IT Team of the Year, sponsored by Refreshed By Us

Winner: Codec

Young IT  Professional of the Year, sponsored by Version1

Winner: Darren Broderick, Liberty IT

IT  Woman of the Year, sponsored by Ulster University Business School

Winner: Dr Liz O’Sullivan, Allstate

IT Professional of the Year, sponsored by Hays Recruitment

Winner: Patrick McAliskey, Novosco