Canada’s opportunity to be a Cloud leader

KPMG released some news yesterday that Canada has a 14.9% cost competitiveness advantage over the US in the digital industries sector. This is due to the “lowest effective corporate income tax rates”. So I have to ask the question, why aren’t we seeing more tech companies setting up base here in Canada, especially with cloud looming?

It’s not for the lack of qualified employees. There is a huge workforce available for this sector, especially if you look at Burlington or Waterloo Ontario. Additionally, we have pretty relaxed immigration laws that allow for businesses to start up here in Canada and recruit from a global candidate pool.

The climate in Canada is also a boon for cloud. If you look at organizations like Rack Force, they figured out that the cool climate found in Canada is a perfect place to host a data centre. It’s the cornerstone of their “green” advantage. We also are immune to a lot of the natural disasters that unfortunately happen to the rest of the world.

Thirdly, we have a ton of organizations in Canada that can benefit from cloud services. Canada is primarily made up of mid-market customers who are struggling to figure out what to do with cloud and how to transform their business. There is tons of blue sky for the creation of services targeted towards this market.

Additionally, we also have some of the strictest privacy guidelines which makes outsourcing to another country a nightmare for all organizations. What better reason to see Canadian expansion (as we see with some of the bigger cloud enterprises) or new business startups. Your market is already captive, so setting up new services that reflect successful ones from other countries is a great opportunity.

The key roadblock that seems to come up with this type of conversation is that Canada is lagging behind in technology adoption. It’s true, us Canadians are pretty conservative when it comes to trying something new. However, we are also the country that spawned huge innovative organizations such as RIM and Nortel (think Patents). So there is a great opportunity for Canada to become a cloud leader, we just need the right ecosystem, and that will come from tech corporations investing in local talent.

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