APEX Business-IT Global Case Challenge is supported by a distinguished group of business-IT professionals and industry experts who are invited to serve as competition judges. Their professional evaluation of the relative strengths of each team’s performance at each stage of the competition determines the final outcome.
While the credibility of the competition rests on the judges’ commitment to be fair and unbiased, the judging process is fundamentally subjective as well, since each judge filters the teams’ presentations through the lens his or her personal expertise and experience. Because we make a great effort to select judges whose perspectives are aligned with our values, this subjectivity is a strength of APEX Business-IT rather than a weakness.
In the spirit of encouraging the judges to bring the full weight of their experiences to bear on the judging process, we do not attempt to define a narrow set of judging criteria other than those provided in the case materials themselves (i.e., to what extent did the team solve the problems presented in the case?). However, to foster transparency and set expectations appropriately, we highlight the following points to both judges and competing teams:
- APEX Business-IT challenges each team to think, analyse and innovate in the realm of information systems as well as in the realm of business. The ability to effectively integrate these two complementary realms is emphasized throughout the competition.
- Teams are encouraged to develop thorough and clearly thought-out solutions. In addition to addressing the issues presented explicitly in the case, these solutions should consider the changes required to implement the proposed solution, the resources required to implement the proposed solution, the strategic impact on the relevant stakeholders, the costs / benefits of alternative approaches, the risks involved, and ways to mitigate them.
- Although the competition case may contain fictionalized elements, teams should develop solutions that are realistic and flexible. They should consider the ability to implement the proposed solution in the real world (which is more complex, messy, and uncertain than it may seem in the case), and the ability to balance the tensions and interdependencies between technology, business and organisational issues.
In each round, the judges will be asked to evaluate each team on the depth of their analysis, the quality and creativity of their solution, and the effectiveness of their presentation.