ITAC unveils awards, talks business innovation

Ottawa-based, Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), will be hosting an awards program June 14, seeking out enterprises with productivity improvement, revenue growth, efficiency gains and business transformation because businesses in Canada are lagging behind ones in the United States in productivity, according to Bernard Courtois, the CEO and president of ITAC.
The Ingenious Awards will feature five categories for excellence in large public organizations, large private organizations, small-to-medium  private businesses, small-to-medium public businesses and non-for-profit organizations.

ITAC is comprised of multiple technology companies such as Bell Canada, Dell Inc. and Intel Corp. It held a round table at the Toronto Board of Trade in Toronto last week to discuss Canada’s lack of information and communication and to announce the award ceremony to encourage businesses to use technology.

“We know that while there are many, many examples of excellence using technology to innovate or to completely transform organizations,overall in Canada, we are not using technology at the same rate as other competitor nations,” Courtois said. “We also know that the most persuasive way to encourage organizations to use technology is through peer-to-peer exchange of best practices among companies and other organizations. The Ingenious Awards Program provides a mechanism for facilitating that peer-to-peer exchange in a sustained fashion.”

If an enterprise does not invest in current technology and their employees do not know how to use it, the company would lose money as many small businesses and medium businesses are, according to Doug Cooper, the country manager of Intel Canada. Small-to-medium businesses do not train their employees to be well versed in using the Internet causing them to be less productive and less efficient, he said.

“The biggest impact for an enterprise in under investing (in technology and communication) is the ability to acquire sales,” Cooper said. “You can’t be competitive and run your business.”

Enterprises only account for 10 per cent of companies in Canada, while 90 per cent of businesses are small businesses. That percentage of companies has less than 100 people employed, according to Courtois.

“They (small-to-medium businesses) do not have people to do that, no money for consulting,” Courtois said.

The lack of investment in information and communication technology is fundamentally because these smaller companies simply do not have the money to spend on acquiring good technology. Small-to-medium businesses also do not have the money to spend on learning how to better use the existing technology to increase their productivity and overall Canada’s profits, according to Courtois.

Smaller companies can opt for using cloud-based services such as software-as-a-service for an alternative to buying software at high costs, according to Courtois. Cloud-based software can be purchased at relatively low costs, so a company made up of a single individual can access it just as employees of a company of 100,000 employees can access it.

Sixty-seven per cent of companies agree the Internet is essential to a business’ success. However, 82 per cent of employers said training employees how to use the internet was not a priority for them, according to a survey by Angus Reid Public Opinion. Canadian businesses are also lagging behind in comparison to the United States when acquiring and using new technology.
The awards will be presented June 14, in Toronto at a gala dinner. To apply for this awards, companies are required to give a short project description and evidence of how technology has helped to achieve their business goals. Applications are being accepted from now until March 30. For more information visit

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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