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Relaunch MTL: information technology must be at the heart of a major transition in every part of the economy

Montréal, December 7, 2020 ‒ The Strategic Forum on Information Technology held as part of the Relaunch MTL movement, powered by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and its partners, took place this morning at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Éric Caire, Minister for Government Digital Transformation, took part in the event. During the Forum, close to 350 participants interacted with over 25 panelists about the many business opportunities that place their sector at the heart of the city’s economic relaunch.

During the event, information technology industry partners identified significant challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. For participants, access to skilled labour is the most serious challenge among those that affected the sector before the crisis. This issue continues to have major repercussions, even during the pandemic.

During the Forum, participants were invited to identify priority efforts for this strategic sector to stimulate the relaunch of the economy. Among the avenues for action affecting the sector, the one that most concerns participants is ensuring better alignment between technology startups and large companies. Plus, participants want to play an active role to stimulate innovation and accelerate the digital shift in every sector of the economy. Actors from the sector also believe that governments must place greater emphasis on accelerating technological innovation and the implementation of digital infrastructure. The promotion of local expertise in promising subsectors that are in demand should also be among government priorities.

This prioritization of solutions initially presented in the Action Plan to Strengthen the Information and Communication Technology Sector, jointly developed by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and Numana, with content partner KPMG, is the result of a collaborative exercise conducted during the Forum. The action plan noted that the sector has benefitted from the growth of specific subsectors, such as health care technology, automation, cybersecurity, the digital client experience, e-commerce, and the digital transformation.

“In recent months, we observed a growing need to have an agile, high-performance information technology sector,” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “Remote working, telemedicine, and distance learning are just a few examples of uses of technology that have tested the robustness and reliability of networks and raised certain urgent needs. Information technology must be central to a major digital transition in every part of the economy and ensure long-term economic growth. In the coming months, the Chamber will continue to support Numana to follow up on the recommendations from sector actors for the recovery.”

“While information and communication technology (ICT) does not solve everything, it has greatly helped businesses adapt to a new reality,” said François Borrelli, president and CEO of Numana. “In the turmoil, the ICT ecosystem demonstrated its ability to respond quickly, in many aspects of our lives, including health and work. We face major challenges, such as the race for talent that slows the growth of many companies, but the future is nonetheless promising for ICT in Quebec as increasing numbers of companies are transforming and digitizing.”

The enhanced action plan, following a collaborative session held as part of the Forum, will soon be available on the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal website. While awaiting the updated version, you can find the action plan here.

About the Strategic Forum on Information Technology
The Strategic Forum on Information Technology, which is part of the Relaunch MTL movement, is jointly developed by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and Numana, and presented by CGI, in cooperation with Centech and TELUS.

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