Special Report: Best Places to Work in IT 2017

Welcome newcomers! Meet the 19 organizations new to the Best Places ranks

Kudos to the 19 organizations appearing on Computerworld's list of the Best Places to Work in IT for the first time.

Health Catalyst
Credit: Health Catalyst
Welcome to the club

Some are small and nimble, barely out of startup phase. Others are large and well-established in their fields. Whatever their size, specialty or location, these 19 organizations, presented in alphabetical order, are debuting on our Best Places to Work in IT list this year thanks to a combination of competitive pay, generous bonuses, comprehensive benefits, challenging IT assignments and superior employee satisfaction. Welcome to the list, freshman class of 2017 -- you've earned it!

Aires
Credit: Michael Ray Photography
Aires

No. 22 Small
Top 10 Rankings: No. 3 for career development

This international global mobility company, headquartered in Pittsburgh, emphasizes technological development, and 10% of its employees are dedicated to IT. The company supports IT employee career growth with a generous professional development budget and lunch-and-learn training sessions. Aires offers competitive benefits that include an annual bonus for achieving the yearly profitability goal, an employer 401(k) match, a new work-from-home policy and paid time off for volunteer work. Additional perks include monthly birthday celebrations, summer and holiday company picnics, payday popcorn and on-site yoga classes.

BCU
Credit: Adam Bialy
BCU

No. 11 Small
Top 10 Rankings: No. 8 for benefits

IT workers at this credit union, headquartered in Vernon Hills, Ill., can take advantage of a range of career-development tools, including a formal mentoring program, tuition and certification reimbursement plans, leadership development programs, an internal certification program, and employee resource groups where employees can come together to brainstorm and share information about defined topics. On-site benefits include a game room, massage and manicure services, a hair stylist, a fitness center and flu vaccinations. During the summer, BCU's management team hosts monthly cookouts, where the managers themselves cook and serve the food.

Cloud for Good
Credit: Cloud for Good
Cloud for Good

No. 4 Small
Top 10 Rankings: No. 10 for training, No. 10 for retention

Intangible rewards are abundant at Cloud for Good, a preferred Salesforce partner specializing in software and services for nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education. IT employees at the Asheville, N.C., company gain a sense of satisfaction from helping nonprofits deploy IT systems and seeing the impact that technology has in furthering their missions. Cloud for Good's benefits package includes unlimited paid time off, health insurance, a 401(k) match and more. The company has a social responsibility program through which it gives 1% of its profit and 1% of its products to charity and encourages employees to volunteer in their communities.

DigiCert
Credit: Sara Drury
DigiCert

No. 24 Small
Top 10 Rankings: No. 7 for training

This Lehi, Utah-based certificate authority provides scalable systems for securing web servers and internet of things devices with encryption technologies or user ID and authentication tools. DigiCert IT employees work in a flexible environment that supports work/life balance. A culture of accountability prioritizes results more than time spent in the office, and the company offers generous employee and dependent care benefits to help IT staffers manage major life events. Members of the IT team are eligible to take advantage of travel incentives through which they can go on trips to relax and recharge while exploring new cultures and places around the world.

Dignity Health
Credit: Sandra Vincent
Dignity Health

No. 46 Large

IT workers at Dignity Health say they're proud to work for a healthcare system committed to providing excellent care, delivered with compassion, for people in need. Employees are empowered to think creatively to deliver new, better ways of accomplishing goals. The San Francisco-based organization strives to cultivate an environment that promotes human kindness and encourages people to practice kindness as part of their everyday activities. A peer recognition program called Making a Difference gives employees an opportunity to recognize each other for outstanding achievements and acts of kindness.

Health Catalyst
Credit: Health Catalyst
Health Catalyst

No. 17 Small

IT team members at Health Catalyst, which specializes in healthcare business intelligence, are united in their mission to transform healthcare, and they excel in data warehousing, analytics and outcomes improvement. Flexible work schedules and unlimited paid time off help employees of the Salt Lake City company maintain work/life balance. Wellness benefits include reduced medical premiums, a monthly fitness reimbursement, an on-site gym, a free Fitbit device, a mobile app for tracking activity, monthly fitness challenges and healthy snack food in the break rooms.

 

Illumina
Credit: Illumina
Illumina

No. 6 Midsize
Top 10 Rankings: No. 7 for benefits

This San Diego company develops, manufactures and markets integrated systems for the analysis of genetic and biological data, and one of the perks of working there is a program through which employees can benefit from that technology. Illumina's Employee Sequencing program offers testing for predisposition to wellness, undiagnosed diseases and cancer.

kCura
Credit: Kerry Conway
kCura

No. 15 Small
Top 10 Rankings: No. 7 for retention

Clear communication, accountability and a commitment to professional growth make this Chicago-based vendor of e-discovery software appealing to IT pros, who are given access to new technologies as part of their daily work. Managers are encouraged to schedule monthly two-way feedback meetings with their employees, and workers keep their skills fresh via career mapping, coaching sessions and attendance at workshops and professional conferences. Each kCura department receives a yearly budget for training that is well above the industry average -- roughly equal to $3,000 per team member.

MSC Industrial Supply
Credit: Deborah Young Studio
MSC Industrial Supply

No. 35 Large

MSC Industrial Supply gives its IT employees opportunities to develop professionally by taking on new challenges. The Melville, N.Y.-based distributor of industrial products provides hands-on training as well as formal learning and development opportunities through its MSC University program. The company uses custom applications, best-of-breed commercial software and cloud-based services -- an approach that enables tech professionals to leverage their expertise and enhance their skills. MSC offers IT staffers a competitive compensation package and financial benefits that include annual bonuses and discounts on purchases of company stock. Other perks include a robust employee recognition and rewards program and a flexible scheduling policy.

NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association)
Credit: Jessica Ramberg
NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association)

No. 21 Small

At the National Collegiate Athletic Association in Indianapolis, 10% of IT staffers' time is dedicated to researching innovations and pushing new technologies out to the organization. The CIO meets with every IT employee one-on-one for lunch at least once a year to exchange ideas, and the annual Penguin award program honors an employee who took a significant risk, whether it was successful or not. Efforts to foster camaraderie include a Star Wars Day celebration and an annual retreat. And, yes -- employees receive free tickets to NCAA tournament games.

Nutanix
Credit: Nutanix
Nutanix

No. 19 Midsize

This San Jose, Calif., developer of software-defined enterprise cloud technologies values its IT employees as advisers, partners and collaborators. Rather than being asked to police corporate standards, IT is called upon to support disruptive technologies and try them out with teams throughout the company. Business roles aren't rigidly defined. For example, Nutanix doesn't have a dedicated team to run AV equipment during companywide meetings, so IT stepped up and team members learned about conferencing technologies to support events. Employees are kept apprised of technology changes upstream, allowing them to adapt quickly, and they get to meet regularly with managers to discuss their career options.

Oxya
Credit: Laurie du Boullay
Oxya

No. 28 Small

This Jersey City, N.J., firm, which provides technical services, managed services and cloud solutions for SAP users, celebrates the successful completion of IT projects with team lunches. Other team-building activities include bowling outings, game nights and other quarterly events. Oxya reimburses employees' commuting costs up to a certain amount depending on how "green" their journeys are. In addition to offering generous medical and dental benefits and a minimum of 21 days of paid time off per year, the company treats employees to breakfast on their birthdays.

Pax8
Credit: Jeremy Yoder
Pax8

No. 7 Small
Top 10 Rankings: No. 3 for retention, No. 6 for training

Culture is king at this B2B cloud services distributor in Greenwood Village, Colo., where IT employees have the opportunity to work with smart, motivated colleagues in a collaborative, supportive environment. Because people in all of Pax8's departments use and need the applications developed by the tech department, IT pros are able to see the immediate effects of their work, and that's a morale-booster. An open time-off policy lets employees manage their own workdays, while opportunities for social interaction, including a home-brewing group, numerous other clubs and outdoor activities, help keep the mood light.

Portland State University
Credit: Chase Gilley
Portland State University

No. 34 Large

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Portland State University in Oregon has a supportive, engaging and fun work environment. The tone is set with a welcoming onboarding process for new employees and grows stronger as people advance in their careers and take advantage of perks like regular opportunities to share ideas with leadership. The OIT Leadership Team, which uses management guru Daniel Pink's concept of AMP -- Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose -- as a guiding principle, provides workplace flexibility and supports ongoing career development and collaboration. Regular social outings foster a sense of camaraderie among OIT staffers.

Power Home Remodeling
Credit: Gabby Barrantes
Power Home Remodeling

No. 14 Midsize

Power Home Remodeling thinks of itself not so much as a home-improvement company, but as a team of tech-enabled home advocates. Business technology is a key priority for the Chester, Pa.-based company -- so much so that its new 125,000-sq.-ft. corporate headquarters facility was designed by the CIO to ensure a tech-friendly flow. To foster innovation, Power Home Remodeling hosts four tech conferences a year at different locations around the country. At those events, members of its business technology (BT) team are able to collaborate with one another and connect directly with end users.

Ultimate Software
Credit: Khristine Ponce
Ultimate Software

No. 1 Midsize
Top 10 Rankings: No. 1 for benefits, No. 2 for career development, No. 2 for retention

Continuous innovation is a priority at this Weston, Fla., provider of cloud-based human capital management (HCM) software. IT employees are offered a variety of leadership and enrichment programs, and they have access to an innovation lab where they can explore new technologies. Diversity initiatives include a community group for LGBTQIA employees and their allies, and a group for women in leadership positions. Ultimate Software offers 100% employer-paid health coverage; a 40% employer 401(k) match, with no cap; significant maternity, paternity and adoption leave; two paid days off per year for volunteer work; on-site yoga and Crossfit classes; and massage and acupuncture services. (Read more about Ultimate Software.)

United Solutions Co.
Credit: Moore Communication Group
United Solutions Co.

No. 26 Small

The Tallahassee headquarters of this organization, which provides technology and financial services to the credit union industry, features a world-class data center supported by a dedicated team of technology professionals. IT staffers are encouraged to pursue continuing education, particularly Cisco and Citrix certifications, and the company is committed to promoting from within. Tech workers appreciate the opportunity to work collaboratively with new technologies to better serve customers. Health benefits include Fitbits for all employees, walking challenges and reimbursement for gym membership fees and other fitness-related expenses.

Workiva
Credit: Workiva
Workiva

No. 13 Midsize

This Ames, Iowa, developer of cloud-based enterprise software strives to foster a collaborative, entrepreneurial environment where tech workers can define their own roles and help determine company processes and productivity. Workiva supports employees who pursue continuing education and certification opportunities, and in addition offers an internal professional development conference called Link, a weeklong event where tech teams present their latest projects and innovations to their colleagues, teach one another new skills and share best practices. The company's high-tech offices feature top-of-the-line design, premium amenities and open floor plans that foster creativity and collaboration.

Worthington Industries
Credit: Worthington Industries
Worthington Industries

No. 4 Large

Officials at Worthington Industries believe that people are the company's most important asset. Reflecting that mindset, this metals manufacturing company in Columbus, Ohio, offers generous paid time off, a profit-sharing program and on-site amenities such as a medical center, a pharmacy, a fitness center and a barber shop offering $8 haircuts. The CIO meets with IT employees every other week to hear business updates and celebrate successes, and individual employees work with their managers on personal career-development plans. In addition to offering in-house and online training opportunities, Worthington has a tuition-reimbursement program and covers certification costs.

Read the full Best Places to Work in IT report!