Canadian businesses struggle to keep pace in tech race, KPMG survey reveals

Canadian companies are falling behind their global counterparts in the race to adopt crucial digital technologies, risking their competitive edge and financial stability, states the 2023 KPMG Global Tech Report. Despite prioritizing advancements like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), a survey of 150 Canadian businesses reveals they are hampered by limited resources, underscoring the urgent need for strategic investments.

Resource crunch and strategic challenges

In the face of economic challenges, 76 per cent of Canadian respondents admit they are forced to achieve more with reduced budgets, a large increase from the previous year. This financial strain is particularly acute in the financial services sector, where 84 per cent of businesses are feeling the pinch. Kathy Penner, partner and national leader in technology enterprise solutions at KPMG in Canada, stressed the importance of targeted technology investments geared toward specific outcomes, such as competitive advantage and cost containment, in light of ongoing recession concerns.

Embracing cost-effective solutions and cutting-edge tech

To curb costs, 79 per cent of Canadian businesses plan to expand their usage of XaaS solutions, using cloud computing to provide essential services. The survey highlights that artificial intelligence (55 per cent) and machine learning (55 per cent) lead the charge in short-term business goals, closely followed by robotics (48 per cent) and edge computing (42 per cent). Notably, quantum computing has emerged as a critical technology for 46 per cent of financial services businesses, showcasing its growing importance in the sector.

Digital transformation challenges and opportunities

While 47 per cent of Canadian organizations reported profitability increases of six per cent or more after two years of digital transformation efforts, less than half have yet to witness substantial gains. Sanjay Pathak, partner and national leader of KPMG’s technology strategy and digital transformation services, emphasized the need for companies to optimize their technologies, post-adoption. 

“Those results show the significant impact these technologies can have on your bottom line when effectively deployed,” Pathak said. “But the fact that more than a third (36 per cent) of Canadian organizations have not yet realized any gains from their digital transformation efforts suggests they need to rethink their strategies to ensure they are taking full advantage of their technology capabilities after the implementation stage.”

Canadian businesses are grappling with limited resources as they strive to keep pace in the rapidly evolving tech landscape. The survey highlights the urgency for these companies to make intentional, well-informed technology investments to secure their foothold in the market and ensure sustained growth amid economic uncertainties. 

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Breanna Schnurr
Breanna Schnurr
Breanna Schnurr is a recent journalism graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University. She loves writing about all things data, travel, tech, lifestyle and subculture. You can reach out to Breanna via [email protected].

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