Saturday, December 10

Posthaste: Canada’s tech sector fuels growth across economy


The booming sector is expected to rise 5.3 per cent in 2022, study says

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Good morning!

Canada’s technology services sector is fuelling growth across the economy and showing no signs of slowing down.

According to a recent study by Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)one in three smaller businesses (30 per cent) is planning on investing in software over the next year as demand for digitization continues to soar.

That’s good news for software developers. The booming sector’s revenue increased at an average annual pace of 9.4 per cent between 2015 and 2020. Revenue is expected to rise 5.3 per cent in 2022 and 22.4 per cent between 2021-24, the study said.

Growth would be even stronger if not for a scarcity of skilled workers. Over half of tech entrepreneurs (55 per cent) are struggling to hire employees, and 29 per cent are having difficulty retaining workers, the report said. To maintain current staff, some companies have already bumped salaries by 20 to 25 per cent.

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“To really benefit, the sector will also need to overcome major challenges, such as a growing shortage of qualified workers and increased threats from cybercriminals,” Dwayne Dulmage, BDC’s national technology lead, wrote in the report.

The big increase in remote work over the past couple of years, along with ever more sophisticated online attacks, represents a growing risk for businesses. In the last twelve months, 16 per cent of smaller companies and 28 per cent of medium-sized businesses have been targeted by cyber-attackers.

Yet, this hasn’t slowed the transition to the cloud. Firms are now offering all types of tech products and tools to users as services over the internet rather than locally or on site.

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In the software market, cloud penetration rose to 37 per cent in 2020 from about 29 per cent in 2018. By 2024, public cloud services are expected to grow by an annual average of 15 per cent.

Deal-making has also been happening at a record pace this year. In the next five years, 3,900 Canadian tech businesses (eight per cent) are expected to be up for sale and one in three (36 per cent) is likely to complete an acquisition.

These acquisitions have tripled the chances of a company experiencing high sales growth. Tech entrepreneurs that made acquisitions in the last decade were three times more likely to experience annual sales growth of five per cent or more over the past year. They also reported increased market share (46 per cent), expansion into new markets (40 per cent), reduced operating costs (39 per cent) and access to better technology (35 per cent).

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“With a robust financing ecosystem, one of the world’s most highly educated workforces, and a wealth of passionate entrepreneurs, Canada’s tech businesses are well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities,” said Dulmage.

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BEZOS’S BIG BOAT Jeff Bezos’s massive new superyacht is nearing completion, but getting it to its owner will require disrupting a historic landmark. The 417-foot-long sailing yacht, code-named Y721, pictured, is being built by Oceanco in Alblasserdam, Netherlands. For the boat to reach the ocean, it will have to pass through Rotterdam and navigate a steel bridge built in 1927 known as De Hef, seen above. The lift bridge’s central span can be raised more than 130 feet into the air, but that’s still not high enough to accommodate the yacht’s three giant masts. The city has agreed to temporarily take apart the bridge’s central section this summer for Bezos’s yacht to pass through, but the shipbuilder, not taxpayers, will foot the bill. De Hef is considered an icon of Rotterdam’s industrial heritage as a shipbuilding hub and news of its partial demolition has caused a stir. — Bloomberg — Photo by Reuters/Piroschka Van De Wouw and Dutch Yachting/YouTube

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  • Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers releases January home sales figures
  • Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, will make a virtual announcement to support electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Alberta, New Brunswick and Ontario
  • British Columbia Premier John Horgan will chair a virtual news conference on a meeting between provincial and territorial premiers
  • Today’s Data: Canadian labour force survey, US non-farm payrolls Earnings: Brookfield Renewable Partners

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Toronto home prices shot up again in January , rising 6.9% on a seasonally-adjusted basis to the fastest monthly gain in five years and bringing the average home price to $1.24 million. But with the robust numbers came a warning that the party won’t last. Higher interest rates as early as next month are expected to dampen the city’s record-breaking surge. The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s forecast for the year to come is that selling prices will average $1.23 million, below January’s. And Canada’s banking watchdog, Peter Routledge, the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, warned recently that prices in the more expensive markets could fall as much as 20% when the housing market’s “speculative fever” breaks.

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Today’s Posthaste was written by Noella Ovid.

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financialpost.com