Three Organizations Publish Roadmap for Canada's Digital Economy: Rachel Levy Sarfin at IT Canada: CATA CEO Perspective
August 28, 2014

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Recently, the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), the CIO Association of Canada and CATAAlliance released a roadmap to identify the catalysts for digital adoption in Canada and address all of the components of the country’s business ecosystem. The roadmap is based upon research that ICTC has been conducting over the past two years that explores the contributions of emerging technologies to Canada’s economy.

John Reid, president and CEO, CATAAlliance, offered deeper insight into the organizations’ recommendations to improve Canada’s digital economy...

Reid acknowledged that implementing this advice might be easier said than done. “One of the key barriers is the lack of technology understanding within the organization,” he said. “SMEs often lack dedicated technical staff, or even in medium and larger-sized enterprises in which talent has been trained for an earlier environment, there is often a lack of specific emerging technology expertise. Business leaders and their staff may have a cursory understanding of how to use technology such as desktops or even tablets and smartphones but lack an understanding of awareness about how these technologies can be married with business needs to innovate. Other hurdles include access capital and other resources needed for growth as well as cultures that are not open to change.”

How can these barriers be overcome? “You need a staff member who asks the right digital questions and is able to help integrate the new technologies for competitive advantage,” Reid responded. He predicted that this situation will improve in coming years. “We see a future where all organizations will have digital officers as part of their management team,” Reid explained.

Reid emphasized the importance of the government’s role in increasing the speed of digital adoption in Canada. “There are two forces that will affect the speed of adoption; awareness of the benefits of digital adoption, leading to a culture that embraces innovation and change; and, financial incentives that add another advantage to adopting new technologies for boosting productivity and competitiveness,” he remarked. “Suitable incentives will accelerate the process of adoption to a tipping point where Canada as a nation will boost its lagging innovation adoption metrics.”