Design Engineering

Emerging technologies essential but under invested in by Canadian companies: KPMG Research

By DE Staff   


Canadian firms under invest in disruptive technologies compared to American counterparts

(Image credit: CNW Group/KPMG LLP)

According to a report by KPMG industry analyst firm HFS Research, seven out of 10 Canadian technology executives say that emerging technologies are essential to their organization’s future survival.

However, the company’s Enterprise reboot report also found those Canadian firms are investing in disruptive technologies (e.g. 5G, AI, blockchain, edge computing, cloud, process automation, and smart analytics) to a lesser degree than their U.S. peers. U.S. companies currently spend on average US$17 million per technology – 30 per cent more than what Canadians spend.

“We’re starting to see a sea-change in how the C-suite views technology because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with over four in five Canadian CEOs now prioritizing technology investments,” says Stephanie Terrill, business unit leader, management consulting, KPMG in Canada. “Canadian CEOs recognize they need to make the right investments to help them build resilience and emerge stronger from this crisis.”

KPMG’s recent Global CEO Outlook found that 84 per cent of Canadian CEOs are now prioritizing their technology investments to meet growth and transformation objectives, and the vast majority (92 per cent) say COVID-19 has accelerated the digitization of their operations.


The Enterprise reboot report notes that CTOs in Canada say that the main barriers for investing in emerging technologies are fear the technology won’t work, challenges in changing the organizational culture, and the lack of talent or skillset in implementing the technology to achieve business outcomes.

The report also finds that Canadian and American companies differ in their digital transformation objectives. Canadians cited “cost reduction” and “improving decision making” as their top reasons for investing in emerging technologies. By contrast, their U.S. counterparts identified “future survival” and “business model transformation” for investing in emerging technologies. On both sides of the border, “improving brand value” was a common goal.

Six in 10 (63 per cent) technology executives in Canada believe the combined use of emerging technologies is much more beneficial than using any of these technologies in isolation. But, that’s below the 75 per cent of U.S. respondents who see a benefit in the power of multiple technologies.

The report also finds that hybrid or multi-cloud, which refers to the use of both private and public cloud services, will become the predominant app, data, and computing infrastructure over the next five years. Six in 10 (61 per cent) respondents in Canada hold this view, compared to 70 per cent in the U.S. And, more than half (56 per cent) of respondents in the U.S., U.K., and Germany called cloud migration “an absolute necessity” due to COVID-19, underscoring the growing importance of cloud transformation.

The research also points out that for Canadian companies, one of the most-important advantages for deploying the cloud is so-called “containerization” in which software code is packaged or encapsulated into a “container” that is separate and portable from the host operating system and can run uniformly and consistently across any platform or cloud, free of issues.

Between March and June, KPMG International and HFS Research surveyed 900 technology executives at enterprises with more than US$1 billion in annual revenue across nine countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S. In Canada, 48 technology executives were surveyed in March and April during the COVID-19 economic lockdown. Survey data was supplemented by qualitative interviews with enterprise leaders who oversee the investment and adoption of emerging technologies in their organization.


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