OPEN DATA Study to Benchmark Movement By Communities, Organizations, to Unrestricted Data Content: IT WORLD CANADA, CATA, i-CANADA: Study focuses on impacts of Open Data for budgets, efficiency, flexibility, futures planning
August 28, 2012

Toronto, August 28, 2012  --  An Annual Syndicated Study from IT World Canada and i-Canada on the opportunities arising from the Municipal Rush to Open Systems is being launched at the i-CANADA Summit in Montreal on October 21, 2012, according to ITWORLD CANADA President and Group Publisher Fawn Annan.

Open Data has been identified by governments around the world as one of the most important technological benefits of the digital age,” said Ms. Annan.  “It promises to have major impacts on every stakeholder group within the community, and, as such, worthy of intense study and clear understanding.”

This will be the first in-depth compilation and analysis of the state of open data in Canadian municipalities, which includes the gaps and opportunities with such adoption.

Chair of the Open Data Study is Berry Vrbanovich, Immediate Past Chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities: “Open Data is one of the key tools through which a community’s citizens can benefit from the activities of their municipal government.  By stimulating the creation of applications that harness municipally-collected information, Open Data provides   --  at no cost to the city or organization --  useful windows onto community activities. “

Lou Milrad, expert on Open Data and Executive for the Open Data Study, advised that “the goal of the Study is to provide a comprehensive benchmark for comprehension of the status, impact, best practices, and momentum of the Open Data movement on the Canadian community environment. This includes public sector impacts, business-government interaction, degree of use, areas of strengths and weakness, and a comparison framework of international adoption. Publishing the study on an annual basis will provide both a snapshot and a trajectory, showing time-now and the path of progress.

“There are 28 communities in Canada that are currently engaged in Open Data initiatives.  Six of the ten largest- Canadian cities have open data portals today:  Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Nanaimo, North Vancouver, Windsor, London, Medicine Hat, Prince George (BC), Township of Langley, Surrey BC, Montreal, and Mississauga.  Other cities such as Victoria have passed motions or are implementing open data portals.  These cities have a combined population of 8.8 million people. They are among global leaders in the use of Open Data.

“Understanding the dynamics of this group alone will prepare organizations to take advantage of the national movement to Open Data across the country.”

Barry Gander, Co-Founder, i-CANADA & EVP, Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), stated that the Study will help accelerate the adoption of Open Data in Canada:  “This will have the important side-benefit of tightening the link between citizens and institutions, and will help rebuilding public confidence in government and business.”  i-CANADA is working with some 50 communities to aid their transformation into “Intelligent Communities”, so they can enjoy the economic development, job growth, and social prosperity now available in the world’s leading knowledge-age municipalities.

The adoption of Open Data policies will affect the entire community, moving beyond direct interactions from various publics to the Public Sector organizations, but extending as inter-relationships to the information exchanges between those publics themselves. Some illustrative stakeholder groups that are affected by the interactions include:


••Health Care



••New Media


••Service Organizations


Of these groups, a few are especially critical to the adoption of Open Data:

LEGAL:  The issues from Open Data that might result in law suits or other litigation are a major heartburn issue for communities, and an impediment to fast adoption of Open Data. This puts the Legal issue on the front burner for Open Data suppliers such as IBM and Microsoft, as well as legal firms.

FINANCE:  The security aspects of Open Data solutions are a concern to banks and other financial institutions. Also of concern is the question of the longevity of suppliers of Open Systems, which are often relatively new arrivals in a field where business models are not mature.

Value of Strategic Recommendations

The use of Open Systems and Open Data is at an inflection point in Canada - the majority of citizens in this country will soon be exposed to these tools through their municipal Public Sector eco-system.   Sellers wishing to respond to market change, will need to understand the Strategic  Recommendations for: 

        ••The reason some systems are chosen and others not;

        ••The kinds of systems that are expected to be on the priority purchase list;

        ••The expectations from the Public about the uses of these systems and data;

        ••The municipal best practices in the use of the systems; and

        ••The profiles of the municipal buyers and the services they seek. 


        ••Market-critical information on current and future spending plans;

        ••Insights into Open System and Open Data trends;

        ••Real-time surveillance and updating of municipal intentions;

        ••Connection with the municipal, provincial and federal participants: the leaders

and decision-makers in the top communities across Canada (CIOs, AMDs/DMs,

Economic Development Executives, Mayors) who will be directly engaged in the Study;

        ••Business insights into communities’ business and social plans;

        ••Awareness and branding through media programs aimed at both the regional and national levels;

        ••National Summit Report profile with high-level strategic visibility and association;

        ••A list of key software applications, both from the grassroots and from companies;

For a copy of the Open Data Study prospectus, please contact Mirza Baig, ITWORLD CANADA, at:

About the i-CANADA National Summit

The i-CANADA National Summit is organized by the i-CANADA movement, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), and it partners and will take place in Montreal on October 21st, 2012.  The i-CANADA Summit participants includes Premiers, Mayors and CEOs, who will advise on the creation of super-regions across Canada, from round-ups of Regional meetings, and discuss the progress of programs devoted to championship cities, ultra-high-speed networking, urban innovation, new finance models through PPPs and Crowdfund investing, First Responders and LTE networks, and Open Data.  A keynote speaker is Mayor Ron Loveridge from Riverside CA, winner of this year’s “Most Intelligent Community if the Year Award”, from the Intelligent Community Forum in New York. 

The i-CANADA Summit is being held the day before the WCIT 2012 Congress in Montreal, in 3,000 delegates from around the world will hear from 100 prominent speakers . 

For more about the i-CANADA Summit and the WCIT event, see:

For information about i-CANADA see:


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