Skip to content

Creating Digital Opportunity for Canada

April 2018

Creating Digital Opportunity for Canada

Executive Summary

The pace of the digital revolution is accelerating. A critical feature of this revolution — and one propelling the acceleration — is the rapid spread of mobile devices, cloud computing, and data analytics, which has shifted the focus of innovation from hardware to software and data.

From the early days of analog computers, cellular phones, and other pioneering devices, the focus has turned to less tangible and visible — but no less ground-breaking — software-based technologies that drive many of today’s commercial success stories. The leading edges of the digital economy are now platform-based business models, digital networks, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, massive data sets, social media algorithms, and smartphone apps, among others.

This shift has laid the groundwork for faster, smaller, cheaper, and more accessible products and services, which are having a profound impact on the global economy. They are altering the basis of competition by lowering barriers to entry in an array of industries, thereby spawning a new generation of platform firms, far nimbler than the giants that have long dominated these sectors.