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As President of the CIO Association of Canada, Vancouver chapter, and on behalf of our board and members, I would like to extend to all of you a warm welcome to the International CaseIT competition.  We have seen year over year how the students work very hard to make it a success, so we are excited, as the local CIOCAN Chapter, to again support CaseIT.

We consider our sponsorship of CaseIT a win-win partnership and solid investment to help students think about their path to be the next generation of senior IT leaders and CIOs; and that’s why the CIO Association of Canada, as a founding sponsor has supported this competition for twelve consecutive years. We provide economic support, but also senior IT leaders and CIOs that understand that the business they are part of rely heavily on them to drive business transformation, so are perfect to lead discussion panels and as judges.

This year’s theme “Cognitive Analytics” is a great follow up to 2014’s Big Data and 2015’s Internet of Things themes, as we now have machines with complex algorithms that learn and are capable of making lighting fast decisions and take action.  Look at Wall Street’s systems making decisions for transactions that need to be done within 5 microseconds, or the competition may beat you. Compare this to the time needed to click a mouse: 500,000 microseconds, or the average time it takes a human to blink: 350,000 microseconds.

Without advances in technology, -which has reduced the cost of performing a million transactions per second from $42 Million in 1984, to $42 thousand in 1997 to 8 cents by 2015-this would not be possible.  Cognitive analytics, the algorithms that drive them and the affordability of the technology have started to radically change the way we conduct business.

It’s a bright future if you are writing great algorithms. Computer Science, engineering and MIS University graduates are key in this new economy where they can immerse themselves in new startup companies, technology companies or even traditional ones where they can contribute or lead in the creation of algorithms for cognitive analytics.

We look forward to CaseIT 2016’s Competition and to many more years of affiliation.