Coffee Briefing November 22, 2022-Upskilling employees can save businesses over $45K; Reformation to open high tech store in Toronto; Visa partners with RBC; and more

Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada’s editorial team!

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What’s new this week

Upskilling employees can save businesses US$46,634: ILX Research Group

Source: ILX

New research by consulting and training company ILX group found that upskilling and retaining employees can address the concerns and save the costs of hiring new IT staff.

“Research we conducted in 2022 with senior business, HR (human resources) and L&D (learning and development) professionals revealed a few reasons why organisations value training employees through upskilling, reskilling and cross-skilling programmes,” said Russell Kenric, managing director of ILX Group

The research showed that  replacing an IT leader costs US$46,634, while upskilling an existing IT manager costs US$14,067. Additionally, if the salary stays the same for the upskilled employee or new hire, organizations choosing to upskill rather than replace could save between 70-92 per cent on average.

The report also highlighted the growth in the uptake of accredited training courses, including APM accredited project and programme management certifications.

We’re not surprised by this trend. These certifications are instrumental in supporting organisations to accelerate their digital transformation programmes, continually innovate; increase efficiencies and optimize their operating models.” said Kenric.

Reformation set to open a high-tech Canadian flagship store in Toronto

Source: Retail Insider

Los Angeles-based clothing brand Reformation announced that it is opening its first Canadian flagship store in Toronto, sometime in December.

Representatives of the company said that the new store will feature “a tech-driven retail concept”, delivering a first of its kind customer-centric experience to allow customers to have “virtual meets physical experience” while shopping in-store.

The showroom will have touch screens throughout, to allow customers to send clothes, in their desired colour and size, from the store’s in-stock collection to their ‘magic wardrobe’. After selecting everything they want to try on, they can head to a high-tech dressing room with customized lighting options where the clothes will be waiting. If they require another size or color, they can indicate this on the personal touchscreen that is available in the change room and the garment will be brought to the customer.

The new store will be located at 87 Yorkville Avenue, and will be the brand’s second-largest flagship store to date (the largest can be found in London U.K.’s Covent Garden and also opened in 2022.).

Visa brings Installments enabled by Visa to eligible RBC credit card holders

Source: Newswire

Financial company Visa and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced a new collaboration to provide personal credit cardholders with the option to use Installments enabled by Visa when shopping at participating merchants across Canada, in-store and online.

Installments enabled by Visa, launched last year in Canada, allows eligible Canadian cardholders to convert a qualifying purchase into smaller, equal payments made over a defined period of time.

Eligible RBC personal Visa credit cardholders can leverage their existing credit to benefit from Installments without submitting applications, completing credit checks or downloading a new app.

“At RBC, we’re committed to reimagining the everyday banking and payment experience for Canadians and merchants to meet their evolving needs,” said Leah Napier, vice president of retail cards at RBC. “Our collaboration with Visa to enable credit card installments at the point of purchase is one of the many ways that we’re delivering on that promise.”

Amazon brings Alexa to senior living communities across Canada

Source: Amazon

Amazon Canada announced that it will be bringing its voice-AI (artificial intelligence), Alexa, to senior living communities across Canada with the launch of Alexa Smart Properties, powered by a set of technologies that property owners can use to deploy and manage Alexa-enabled devices at scale.

Alexa Smart Properties seeks to enable senior living residents to keep in touch with their loved ones, connect with their community, and access community news, using Alexa via an Amazon Echo device in their room. Family members can also easily get in touch with residents through Alexa calling. Additionally, residents can request property information and request smart home actions, such as turning lights on and off.

Administrators can leverage Alexa skills to communicate more efficiently and tailor resident experiences with customized community information like activity schedules, meal menus, and more.

Alexa Smart Properties will debut in Orleans, near Ottawa, Ontario with Amazon Canada solution provider Connected Canadians (a nonprofit organization that promotes digital literacy skills amongst seniors) within senior living community Bruyère Village.

Sherbrooke researcher wins Mitacs Award for developing automated technology that detects heart disease

Source: Mitacs

University of Sherbrooke researcher, Thierry Judge has earned the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation—Master’s for developing a technology that automates and speeds the process of contouring ultrasound images of the heart, a necessary step in diagnosing heart disease that up until now has been manual.

Toronto-based non-profit national research organization Mitacs, will present the award to Judge today at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

The new technology, called CRISP, is also designed to identify when results generated by emerging artificial systems are incorrect or uncertain. CRISP is currently being tested by Oxford, U.K.-based Ultromics Ltd., a leader in AI for echocardiography.

“The ultimate goal is to build trust in AI systems, so that we can free up time for clinicians to see more patients and spend more time on patient care instead of manual tasks,” said Judge. “We know these AI systems will fail sometimes. The goal of my research is to accurately identify when they do.”

More to explore

Redefining human resources with analytics: author of Humanizing Human Capital shares her insights at ITWC Analytics Unleashed

Companies around the globe are in turmoil as the talent gap continues to widen, workers resign en masse, and unionization efforts intensify following post-pandemic trends such as the ‘Great Resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’.

Info-Tech report flags seven trends CIOs need to anticipate in 2023

Info-Tech Research Group has released its 2023 Tech Trends report, containing what it described as seven data-driven trends and findings based on a survey of 813 industry professionals, the bulk of whom worked in IT departments.

Montreal-area city hit by ransomware: Report

A Montreal-area city was hit by ransomware over the weekend, according to a Quebec news service.

Deloitte announces winners of 25th annual Technology Fast 50 program and unveils insights from winning executives

Today, Deloitte Canada announced the winners of its 25th annual Technology Fast 50 program, as well as the Enterprise Fast 15, Clean Technology, and Companies-to-Watch awards. The program seeks to highlight the innovation and growth of Canadian tech companies, and has recognized over 1700 companies over the past 25 years.

Google to pay US$391 million for misleading Android users on location tracking

Google has agreed to pay US$391.5 million and to be more upfront with consumers about its privacy and data capture practices in a settlement with 40 U.S. states.

Some in Ontario broader public sector are “struggling” with cybersecurity: Panel chair

The poor state of cybersecurity of some of Ontario’s school boards, child welfare agencies, municipalities, and hospitals worries the head of the province’s expert panel that just evaluated the condition of the broader public sector.

Channel Bytes November 18, 2022 – BetterCloud reveals the state of SaaSOps; ConnectWise wins big; Toronto firm named QA Testing Management Team of the Year; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Switch to memory safe languages, NSA urges developers

Application developers can reduce the odds of their code including memory vulnerabilities by changing to a modern language, says the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

Dell Technologies expands multicloud data protection capabilities

Today, Texas-based Dell Technologies announced additions to Dell PowerProtect Data Manager, the company’s data protection software, as well as a new component in its APEX Data Storage Services, that seek to help protect organizations from the growing threat of cyberattacks, simplify IT operations and support Zero Trust principles.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Hashtag Trending Nov. 22 – Windows 11 ads; Gaming industry revenue drops; FCC updates broadband maps

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

Cyber Security Today, Nov. 21, 2022 – New ransomware strains found

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances (Hosted by Direction Informatique)

If you live in Quebec, or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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