Canada - Information and Communications Technology (ICT)Canada - Communications Technology
OverviewCanada’s technology sector is a major economic driver and is outperforming much of the rest of the country’s economy. According to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the technology and innovation sectors have grown faster than any other on the exchange since 2013 and over the last few years, Canada has developed into a hotbed of tech entrepreneurship. The Canadian ICT sector is highly trade dependent, importing US$34 billion in goods and exporting US$11.5 billion around the world in 2017. The United States is the second largest supplier of ICT goods to Canada, at $6.4 billion the top market for Canadian ICT exports with $7.8 billion in 2017. In 2017, total imports of ICT goods were led by the provinces of Ontario (US$24.1 billion), British Columbia ($3.5 billion), Quebec (US$2.5 billion), and Alberta (US$1 billion). The Canadian ICT market expects to continue growing through 2019.
Leading Sub-SectorsAccording to Miller Thompson LLP, 2017 saw an increase from 2016 in the alarming number of Canadian organizations (both public and private) that have become victims of malicious cyber-attacks and data breaches. Thus, cyber security is one of the top concerns in government and enterprise organizations in Canada.
2017 was the year Canadian businesses began to equip themselves for digital transformation. In a report conducted by the SAP Center for Business Insight, it was found that just under 20% of businesses have completed digital transformation programs, while another 58% piloted initiatives. The rest are still trying to determine their digital transformation strategy.
Hybrid Cloud architectures/technologies including Big Data and Analytics are also reshaping the digital economy in Canada. When organizations use these technologies to modernize core systems and the technology stack, traditional business products become reimagined as services. Thus, the application of these technologies are rapidly changing business models and technologies.
Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) is still in the early stages of adoption in Canada. IDC Canada estimates that although VR adoption will see initial uptake in the Canadian market in the short term, the combination of AR and VR hardware in both consumer and commercial will drive the overall market by 2020. Moreover, ICTC Canada has predicted that VR and AR are to become a $150 billion global market by 2020, roughly double the size of the desktop PC market today.
Regarding Canada’s strengths, Canada has become a leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Montreal and Toronto taking the lead as exceptional hubs or research and startup activity. Canada is also emerging as a leading crypto nation, ranking third behind the United States and the UK when it comes to embracing blockchain technology.
OpportunitiesCanada is now operating under the National Cyber Security Strategy. Released in 2018, the new strategic framework is supported by a budget of US$380 million over five years, and US$81 million per year thereafter. The framework comes as a response to the increase of cyber-attacks on government agencies and private corporations in Canada.
Within this budget, the Government of Canada promised to make up to US$178 million available over five years, and US$41.2 million per year ongoing, to fund new projects that support Canada’s National Cyber Security Strategy. New investments will allow Canadians to benefit from digital connections in a way that protects them and Canada’s digital infrastructure from cybercrime. These investments could also lead to significant purchases by the government.
More than two-thirds of enterprises are in the early stages of Digital Transformation, but few organizations are advanced. As ICTC Canada points out, there will be considerable expenditure on digital transformation until 2021.
Details on Cyber Security Strategy may be found at: www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/cbr-scrt-strtgy/cbr-scrt-strtgy-eng.pdf
Web ResourcesCanadian Advanced Technology Alliance: www.cata.ca/
IDC Canada: www.idccanada.com/canada/index.html
Information and Communication Technology Council: www.ictc-ctic.ca/
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada: www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/ic1.nsf/en/home
Information Technology Association of Canada: www.itac.ca/
For additional information on this sector, please contact Commercial Specialist Tracey Ford at Tracey.Ford@trade.gov; tel: (613) 688-5406.
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