Realizing a need for future CIOs to gain real-life job experience, the Chief Information Officers Association of British Columbia (CIOABC) recently held the first graduate-level case competition in western Canada.

Taking top spot was a team from Simon Fraser University’s Specialist MBA Program. Team members Masud Chand, Avin Wadhwani, Majid Ghorbani, and Vishal Raniga shared the $5,000 grand prize.

Eight teams of four entered the two-round, single-elimination competition. Second and third-place teams took home $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

“The winning team used the case study to demonstrate how the role of the CIO is expanding,” said Catherine Tough of sponsor SAP Canada. “Senior IT executives are increasingly involved in management decisions and projects that span the entire organization, going beyond pure IT.”

In the first round of the competition, teams analyzed a current IT management problem and prepared findings and recommendations for review by a judging panel consisting of four elected CIOABC members. The three teams with the highest overall scores were invited to Vancouver to participate in the final round. In this round, the finalists presented their results to the judging panel and fielded questions.

“The case competition format allows next-generation CIOs to apply theory to real-life business situations, working as a team under pressure,” said Jim Williams, president of CIOABC and Director of Information Technology at A&W Food Services.

For the 2005 case competition, interested teams should visit www.cioabc.ca and click on the case competition link to find additional information and registration details.