Canadians are technology followers, not leaders: report

by Liam Britten | Research

A new report by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) shows that Canadian businesses are not very forward-thinking when it comes to technology, and, on a whole, spend far too little on machinery, equipment, and software to improve workers’ productivity.

The study’s author note that there has been an “investment gap” between Canada and the U.S. for years, and this investment gap has only grown. In 2009, for example, the difference between spending on machinery, equipment, and software grew from 37.2 per cent to 40.5 per cent. The CSLS says that this low level of spending is negatively affecting economic productivity.

Findings like these are backed up by other studies. For example, the Council of Canadian Academies in 2009 released a report that says Canadian businesses are more likely to follow the lead of U.S. counterparts instead of innovating themselves.

“The ICT investment picture is consistent with the view that Canadian businesses on the whole ... are technology followers, not leaders and are reluctant to adopt new practices until they have been well proven south of the border. In today's fast paced world that strategy is unlikely to work as a well as it once did,” the report said.

The low level of investment isn’t just hurting the productivity of businesses, says The Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity; it’s affecting consumers’ pocket books. In their June 2010 report, they assert that the average Canadian household would have $12,200 yearly in additional disposable income if the gap was closed.

The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) has a free copy of the CSLS report available here.

Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) is the voice of the Canadian information and communications technologies (ICT) industry. ITAC represents a diverse ICT community spanning telecommunications and internet services, ICT consulting services, hardware, microelectronics, software and electronic content. ITAC's community of companies accounts for more than 70 per cent of the... more

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Liam Britten

Liam Britten

Liam Britten is a writer and editor with a journalism background operating out of Vancouver. In addition to his work at Techvibes, he has been published in student publications across Canada, as well as local newspapers such as The MapleRidge-Pitt Meadows TIMES and The Langley Advance. An aficionado for the finer things in life — such as video games and sports — Liam is plugged into the tech... more

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