What are some of the biggest challenges facing businesses and organizations in Canada when it comes to digital adaptation, and how is the CDAP addressing these challenges ?

Staying Ahead of the Curve: Exploring the Role of the Canada Digital Adoption Programme in Overcoming Digital Transformation Challenges Experienced by Canadian Businesses

The majority of small companies in Canada made it through the pandemic, but their road to recovery is still far from done. To put the crisis behind, businesses have to deal with its aftereffects, which include debt accumulation, supply-chain interruptions, and labor shortages. Additionally, the emergence of new entries and larger rivals is a looming concern as businesses attempt to adapt to change. Operations are now carried out with the support of technology, from purchase to distribution to aftersale care. 

When it comes to digital adaptation, McKinsey stated that 70% of all digital transformation programs fail due to employee resistance and lack of support from management. Only 16% of employees believe their company's digital transformation efforts benefit or are long-term.

Some of the biggest challenges faced by organizations in Canada in the digital landscape include:

  1. Inadequate digital experience: Digital transformation requires an expert’s knowledge to spearhead the process. With the sudden shift of brick and mortar companies to the online space, it is a common issue that companies don’t have the specialist to guide them through the changeover.
  2. Limited access to digital infrastructure: During the initial days of the pandemic, Canada did not have robust telecommunication networks. Furthermore some businesses, especially in rural or remote areas, may have limited access to digital technology and infrastructure.
  3. Cost: For SMEs adopting and implementing new digital technologies alone can be costly. Many companies may not find it economically viable to invest in tools and software without financial support. 

The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) addresses these challenges by providing funding and resources. Specifically, the CDAP aims to:

  1. Creating vision and strategy through digital literacy: The program offers digital advisor and supports the business to create a strong plan towards digital transformation. Moreover with the new found literacy, SMEs would have a clearer vision of how to integrate technology to achieve their goals. 
  2. Better client-supplier management: With the use of the CDAP utilities different aspects of the business such as inventory, client management and supply chain logistics can be revamped.
  3. Increase the number of SMEs that have access to digital infrastructure: The CDAP would get small and medium-businesses into the digital fold by providing funds to implement new technology. Thereby a significant proportion of businesses that once strayed from digitalization will be absorbed into the transformation.
  4. Give financial support to help offset the costs of adopting and implementing new digital technologies
  5. Higher productivity and profitability by leveraging on digital tools: More digitalization would reduce the costs from manual entry and human error. Furthemore, with a digital presence SMEs can now reach wider sets of target audiences, giving them the ability  to diversify their user base.

SMEs are the economic backbone of Canada. Given the value they provide to fostering the country, CDAP would be a crucial prelude to the digital transformation of how small company owners approach their business operations.