Open Text CEO predicts coming boom for Ottawa tech sector

Hang in there, baby; if the CEO of Open Text Corp. is right, Ottawa should be in for a revitalization of its technology sector.

Tom Jenkins says that while some companies have folded or left town, Ottawa will soon become a fertile destination for another “cycle” of technology growth. With so many trained professionals in town already working on the products of tomorrow, it’s bound to happen, he says:

“Ottawa has only been through one technology cycle,” said Jenkins. “If you’re in Pittsburgh or Boston, you start realizing that there are these cycles. All those people that worked at Nortel (Networks Corp.) or JDS (Uni-phase Corp.), did they migrate out of the province? No, they are still here.”

He pointed to California’s Silicon Valley as an example of a region that has been through many technology cycles. Each time the region has rebounded thanks to new companies with new ideas.

Jenkins was visiting Ottawa to promote his new book called Managing Content in the Cloud, which details the rise of “cloud computing’’ and the impact it will have on business.

Here’s hoping Jenkins is right. They say that technology sector jobs are “recession-proof,” but that’s cold comfort to anyone in the field who’s struggling these days.

But at least it’s reason to be optimistic. He’s putting his corporate money where his mouth is, because Open Text, originally a product of Waterloo, is opening up offices in Ottawa. And maybe he’s right about the creation of new, innovative products right around the corner. But who’s going to come up with the next big one? Could it be … you?