I urge you to familiarize yourself with an excellent (short!) paper summarizing the latest research and recommendations from ICTC on technology, innovation and financial enablers with respect to the Canadian economy. We have it “hot off the press” from our founding president, Dr. Catherine Boivie, who sits on the ICTC Board. ICTC has delivered current and projected uptake figures for digital adoption in four categories: mobile apps; mobile technologies; cloud computing; and digital platforms and devices, and has encapsulated their impact. “Not only are they ushering in a new ICT paradigm, they are redefining organizational capacity and creating new opportunities for productivity gains.” (p4.) Taking advantage of these opportunities will require capital and trained talent. With regard to funding, ICTC defines and advocates exploration of the potential for innovative funding mechanisms such as “crowdfunding”, the “patent box” tax regime, which is gaining some traction in the UK, and programs for the reduction of trade barriers. Competition in the global marketplace is critical if Canadian companies are to succeed. With regard to talent, ICTC has long been seeking solutions for the mismatch between industry needs and the skills of the workforce. The growing adoption of disruptive technologies exacerbates this mismatch, and highlights the increasing urgency for training and education to ameliorate. ICTC advocates early education in STEAM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) , with explicit reference to business and the economy, and is piloting some grass roots programs to help graduates make the transition to career positions.
Members of the CIO Association of Canada are well placed to help raise awareness of these issues, statistics and programs within their organizations and amongst their business associates. We are also in a position to bring some on-the-ground experience to the table, as all the industries concerned in the ICTC paper are represented amongst the CIOCAN Membership. Since CIOCAN voted late in 2013 to support the Digital Adoption Campaign jointly led by ICTC and CATA, we have published a few articles and blogs, and promoted the research from both organizations. Next step is to get CIOCAN ideas, responses, feedback to the table. We will soon be announcing a panel, webinar in which the principals from CATA and ICTC will confer with a panel of CIOs to shed further light, and gain further traction on these issues. We’re looking for panelists – and we need your ideas. This paper is the ideal starting point for CIOCAN commentary.