Canada’s Digital Future: CATA and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Speak Out
October 27, 2009

October 27, 2009

Canada's Digital Future - Survey Cites Need for Canadian Digital Infrastructure Development as Canadian Companies Continue to Lag


OTTAWA- Results from a recent survey conducted by CATAAlliance and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce indicate that Canada needs to significantly increase its knowledge based economy through the promotion and adoption of digital infrastructure development. This survey was sent to all members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and CATA. CATA and the Canadian Chamber's objective in this study was to help ensure that Canadian companies have the opportunity to become world leaders in service innovation through knowledge sharing and access to needed tools and best practices.

For many years, Canadian innovation has been reduced to technology R&D innovation. Today it is not enough to drive success, and the most successful organizations are extending innovation to everything they do in their business with Business and Service Innovation.

"The survey indicates where Canadian companies stand in the area of business and services innovation. In order for Canada to compete globally, the Canadian government and Canadian companies need to strategize their business and service innovation as governments in the US, Europe, and Japan have already begun to do so," says Barry Gander, Executive Vice President, CATAAlliance.

One area in which most Canadian companies fair well, is their on-line presence. An on-line presence is necessary to compete in the global market to extend a company's reach beyond its regional borders. Nearly 94 per cent of survey respondents do have a website for their company. However, only 40 per cent of respondents actually use their company website to promote their products and services. With the onslaught and popularity of web-sites like Amazon and eBay, surprising results also include that only 9 per cent use their web-site for on-line ordering and approximately 13 per cent include access for online payments.

"Without proper investment and dedication to ICT, innovation and protecting intellectual property rights, Canada's productivity will be limited and other nations will continue to surpass us as a destination for both domestic and international business investment. Canada must take back its proper place as a world leader in innovation and invest in our future economic growth immediately," says Shirley Ann George, Senior Vice-President, Policy at the Canadian Chamber.

While IT security measurement concerns continue to grow internationally, the majority of respondents fail to comply with the most basic measures to prevent data theft. Only 21 per cent of respondents use anti-malware software as an IT security measure, 21 per cent use firewalls, 19 per cent use off-site back-up information, 20 per cent use regular back-up of data critical to business operations, and only 18 per cent of respondents utilize secure servers.

While those numbers may seem staggering, many respondents indicated that the lack of broadband access to rural regions in Canada and the public concern over privacy and security have a significant impact on business and service innovations. With these findings the CATAAlliance and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce will offer recommendations to Government and Canadian businesses to facilitate Canada's digital infrastructure development.

++ Action Item: For a copy of the complete survey results please contact Barry Gander at bgander@cata.ca.

Kathryn Anderson at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce - kanderson@chamber.ca or 613-238-4000
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