Roadmap release: Digital Adoption, Advancing Canada’s place in a global economy: Live News Conference on Line at 10 am July 24th EST
July 24, 2014

24 July 2014...A consortium of the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), CATAAlliance and the CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN) have today released a new manifesto and roadmap urging industry, government stakeholders and educators to invest in the benefits of greater digital adoption, particularly by small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Tune in to our Live News Conference on July 24 at 10 am EST: http://www.cata.ca/Media_and_Events/Events_Calendar/cata_ec07241402.html

The paper outlines the economic and social benefits of digital adoption, and asserts 11 advocacy points to help achieve those. In addition, the partners note that they are currently building a Digital Compass - a one-stop shop for research, resources and case studies for SMEs. Stakeholders wishing to make a contribution to this effort are invited to contact the partners for further details. The Compass will launch fully in late September.

"The global economy is upon us and emerging digital technologies such as mobile apps, digital platforms, and cloud architectures have the potential to create Canadian competitive advantage and boost productivity and innovation - but only if the advanced capabilities of those technologies are adopted by Canadian enterprises in the private and public sectors," says Namir Anani, President and CEO of ICTC.

"Large organizations in Canada often have the capacity to fully embrace technology as a competitive advantage. But, the composition of Canada's industry is one of small and medium enterprises. In fact over 75% of Canada's industry is represented by organizations of less than 10 employees," says CATAAlliance President John Reid. "These organizations have limited resources and find it the hardest to adopt technologies. This paper is intended as a roadmap for such organizations to assist them to understand the catalysts and chart a path forward."

"Just a 1% increase in labour productivity as the result of adopting mobile technology would yield $2.5 billion to the Canadian economy - $8 billion if multiple emerging technologies were well-adopted. Yet, today, just half of Canadian enterprises have enabled mobile solutions across their entire workforce," notes Gary Davenport, President of CIOCAN.

Put simply, technology, in our assessment, is not yet seen as an important enough part of executive and managerial discussions in most Canadian enterprises.

This paper explores in a short space the opportunities that exist to accelerate digital adoption by Canadian enterprises, the challenges to greater adoption, concrete solutions for overcoming those, and suggested next steps. We invite all stakeholders to get involved to make our Digital Adoption Campaign a success.

View the Digital Adoption Roadmap in English here, or in French here.

For further information, contact:

Sarah Coombs

NATIONAL Public Relations
Direct: 416-848-1447
Mobile: 416-729-8550

scoombs@national.ca

For ICTC

Namir Anani | President & CEO
n.anani@ictc-ctic.ca | 613-237-8555 x.166

For CATAAlliance

John Reid | President
j.reid@cata.ca

For CIOCAN

Gary Davenport | President
garydavenport@rogers.com

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The bullets below are a summary of the action items for which ICTC/CATAAlliance/CIOCAN are advocating. Each is explored in greater detail in our full report: Digital Adoption, Advancing Canada's place in a global economy.

Wayposts:

The adoption roadmap paper is the most recent initiative of the Digital Adoption Consortium, following the submission of an advocacy paper in February 2014 to Industry Canada's consultation on innovation. As is advocated for in the full advocacy paper. Once published, the Consortium partners will begin the selection of organizations and case studies to be contributed to a Canadian Digital Adoption Hub - a collaborative, information-rich, one-stop shop for digital adoption learning and resources.

Advocacy points:

  1. Large companies can assist smaller Canadian ones by helping them adopt the technology necessary to integrate into global supply chains, or adopt technologies that strengthen the whole ecosystem.
  2. Canadian enterprises are able to able to avail themselves of excellent programs such as the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit, but a patent box or innovative mechanisms such as crowdfunding could bolster the pool of capital available to innovative, early-stage technology companies that are otherwise not as well served by risk-averse Canadian financial institution.
  3. SMEs should be encouraged to build links with the educational system in schools, colleges and universities to ensure a healthy supply of the skills necessary to create and adopt innovative technologies.
  4. For corporate and business managers, up-skilling and continuous learning will be critical throughout the course of Canadians' professional lives.
  5. More of Canada's populations under-represented in ICT careers (Aboriginal Canadians, for instance, and women) should be encouraged to pursue tech careers to boost the supply of talent available to companies adopting emerging technologies.
  6. At the university and college level, greater use of vocational training including through co-ops and placements should be employed to ensure skills are immediately relevant when students graduate into the workplace.
  7. In a manner similar to how the Government of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program has approximately 250 experienced Industrial Technology Advisors on the ground to coach/advise/educate tech-based SMEs on how to grow their business and develop new technology products and services, the most direct way to help non-tech SMEs is with a dedicated network of "Digital Technology Adoption Advisors".
  8. From high-powered computing to access to open data sources and the training necessary to take advantage of those, policies at research institutions and by governments should consider small business in their operating models and offerings to have the greatest impact for the largest number of Canadians. And, it would help to ensure there is the necessary funding to acquire technologies to enable new offerings in this arena.
  9. Technology training that builds trust in new platforms is well delivered through formal education channels, but the role of not-for-profits such as MediaSmarts working in partnership with industry to delivery media and digital literacy skills is also critical.
  10. Within the formal education system; There is a need for learning to occur outside, as well as inside, schools; The specific competencies required by industry, and by the digital workforce writ large, must be incorporated into curriculum from a relatively early age; Public education must be adequately funded; Parents need to be equipped with digital skills in order to partner in their children's education; Industry players have a role and responsibility to assist schools in teaching digital skills and literacy.
  11. Telecommunications and other infrastructure ricing should continue to be monitored, and the government is urged to take action in instances where high network pricing becomes a hurdle to technology adoption.
  12. The responsibility to articulate the value and bring the discussion from the back office to the boardroom rests with the whole C-suite.
  13. ICTC and its consortium partners are proposing to create a virtual learning hub that will facilitate information exchange such as best practices, case studies, and practical adoption advice.

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++ Action Item: Please opt-in to our moderated Digital Compass Social Media Group today at: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Digital-Adoption-Compass-8138209/about