Digital Transformation in Canada: A Threat and an Opportunity

While awareness among Canadian businesses of the opportunities of digital technology has reached critical mass, only 38% are acting on that knowledge, suggests new research from IDC Canada and SAP Canada.

A study of several hundred Canadian executives at large and mid-sized organizations found that, alongside those already executing digital strategies, 50% are planning and building their strategy and 12% are still determining their plan. Compared to last year, awareness of the digital economy among executives has increased from 49% to 89%.

“The good news is that most Canadian executives have now grasped the urgency of embracing digital technology, so this is not just another story of doom and gloom for Canadian businesses,” said John Graham, President, SAP Canada. “The new cause for alarm, however, is that nearly two-thirds are still in planning mode, and I would suggest that in 2017 that means they aren’t moving fast enough.”

Digital, as both an opportunity and a threat, is hard to ignore. According to the report 76% of executives already see non-traditional companies invading their competitive space. For contrast: in 2015, 66% of executives did not see the digital economy having an immediate impact on their business.

“Our study shows that organizations really paid attention to the digital transformation message in 2016, but this year they need to turn that thinking into doing,” says Tony Olvet, IDC Canada. “Canadian leaders must also take a broader view of digital transformation and competition, look beyond Canada and outside of their industry.”