Digital Adoption Speeds Growth

Insights from 2023 BDC Digital Adoption Survey

· Research

A recent Business Development Canada (BDC) national survey on digital adoption in Canada found that while Canadian businesses invest more in technology than five years ago, only 5% are digitally advanced, with most women-owned businesses less likely to be so.

A company needs a digital culture and digital intensity to become digitally mature. Digital culture includes leadership and strategy, staff training and expertise, and how a business uses technology. Digital intensity refers to a business's tools to improve processes or offer a better client experience.

The survey found that digitally advanced businesses perform better, are more resilient, and are innovative. They're far more likely to invest in growth and technology, with 9 out of 10 Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) investing in digital technology last year, with an average investment of just below $120,000. Digitally mature companies have higher sales, are more likely to export, and are more likely to innovate. They're also more resilient, with 52% of digitally advanced companies growing more than 10% last year compared to only 7% of latecomers.

Businesses that are not investing in technology risk falling behind and becoming obsolete. Digitally advanced firms are ten times more likely to complete or accelerate the launch of new goods or services. Moreover, businesses that are more digitally advanced perform significantly better. Moving up the digital maturity ladder by just one category, from latecomer to beginner, makes a company 81% more likely to grow rapidly.

Investing in digital technology pays off for Canadian SMEs. The pandemic has accelerated the shift toward digital adoption, and the survey shows that Canadian businesses must invest more in technology to become digitally advanced, innovative, and resilient. It's time for entrepreneurs to take action and start their digital journey.