Canadian organizations’ digital strategy is less coherent than global counterparts

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Canadian organizations are not immune to digital disruption.

Some industry sectors such as banking may be protected by government regulations, as well as public-sector organizations in fields such as education and health care. Yet Canadian customers and citizens see and expect services on par with what they see and often experience in other jurisdictions, the US in particular. If Netflix or Amazon can deliver superior customer experience, will customers expect less from their Canadian equivalents? If Apple or Alibaba/Ant can deliver innovative digital financial services, why can a Canadian bank not do the same?

Preliminary data from our research on digital disruption preparedness suggest that Canadian organizations are less clear about their digital strategy and may have a fuzzy view of the challenges ahead, with a less coherent strategy compared to their global peers. As well, with a planning horizon of more than two years (an average of 2 to 5 years), Canadians perhaps feel less urgent about digital disruption than their global peers, where the planning horizon is well under two years. Surprisingly, 15% of the respondents simply don’t know the planning horizon, and when coupled with the 9% who don’t know if their organization is adequately preparing for disruption, a more worrisome picture begins to appear.

An earlier note on this research suggested that Canadian organizations were far less prepared than global organizations, but now with more data we see this is not exactly true. However, there is an uneasy sense that big disruption awaits those organizations that lack a clear and near-term plan for their digital strategy.

Ron Babin portraitRon Babin, PhD, is program director of SEEC’s Centre of Excellence in Disruption and Transformation, The full text of the preliminary survey results report is available on the centre’s web page.


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