Minister Moore’s Digital Canada 150 launch Friday is a strong step toward increased technology adoption by Canadian enterprises and government, and is well-aligned with the call made by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), the CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN) and CATAAlliance late last year.
The heads of all three organizations congratulate Minister Moore on his call to action to “position Canada among the world’s leaders in adopting digital technologies” that will be well-served by initiatives to:
• Invest $200 million to help small- and medium-sized businesses adopt digital technologies, and a $300 million VC boost for digital companies;
• Invest $40 million to support 3,000 internships in high-demand fields;
• Increase funding for the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program to $100 million; and,
• Provide $36 million in funding to provide repaired/refurbished computers to libraries, not-for-profit organizations, and Aboriginal communities.
The Government of Canada’s new Digital Canada 150 plan has five pillars, including a thrust to ensure that “Canadians will have the skills and opportunities necessary to succeed in an interconnected global economy.”
The commitment to initiatives that increase the supply of digitally skilled workers and capital dovetails with the joint campaign launched last fall that sees the three organizations (ICTC,CATA,CIOCAN) cooperating to:
Raise awareness of the benefits and importance of adoption these technologies through widely disseminated leadership interviews;
Determine the right set of public policies to boost digital technology adoption with recommendations for enterprises and policy-makers to capitalize on opportunities and minimize costs and risks; and,
Develop community-based pilot projects to help share best practices across all sectors of the economy.
This initiative was undertaken to address declining innovation metrics in Canada, and to enhance the foundation for future economic gains. Recent ICTC research finds that small- and medium-sized enterprises are comparatively low adopters of emerging technologies such as cloud computing, supply chain apps, and mobile platforms. An infusion of capital and support for developing the necessary skills to work in emerging occupations will assist in boosting Canadian productivity and innovation. A 1% increase in enterprise mobility alone would translate into a $2.5 billion contribution to the Canadian economy, for instance.
ICTC President and CEO Namir Anani says the initiatives will give Canada a strong comparative digital advantage on the world stage. “Canadians with the skills to develop new technologies and work with emerging platforms are in increasingly short supply. Further, innovative companies face barriers raising the capital necessary to develop and commercialize world-leading technologies. Today’s announcement by Minister Moore will help address both the skills and capital challenges. We look forward to working with the Department in any capacity we can to ensure today’s announcement is fully leveraged by educators, industry, and policymakers,” he says.
According to Gary Davenport, President of CIOCAN, our association of working CIOs is well positioned to provide the benefits of their collective experience in thought leadership, change management, and business process strategy to SMEs as they seek ways to enhance business results through their technology platforms. Whatever we can do to help will be good for the IT Industry, and good for the Canadian economy.
"This (the Minister's announcement) is a step in the right direction" said CATA CEO, John Reid, adding "Boosting Canada's digital prowess will result in the creation of jobs, increased efficiency, cost reductions, revenue generation and faster innovation."
To learn more about the Digital Adoption Canada Campaign, and for further digital economy skills and policy reading, please see the following:
The Digital Adoption Canada Campaign for Canada now launched at http://www.cata.ca/Media_and_
Canada’s CIOs set to drive the digital adoption campaign: CATAAlliance and ICTC welcome partnership with CIOCAN at
ICTC submission to Industry Canada consultation on Innovation: Advancing Canada’s Comparative Advantage
To arrange an interview with Namir Anani or Gary Davenport, please contact:
Jeff Leiper | Vice-President of Strategic Communications, Research and Policy
and/or contact CATA CEO, John Reid, at firstname.lastname@example.org