Canada playing catchup in retail predictions and analytics: IDC

Canada is lagging behind in the adoption of big data and more innovative use of analytics in event and trend predictions, especially compared to the US, according to market research firm IDC.

Tony Olvet, group vice president of research domains at IDC Canada, said that analytics and predictions have use cases outside of climate or weather changes to include interpreting shopping and retail patterns.

“That’s where Canadian retailers really need to catch up,” he told CDN.  “We’re way behind in retail innovation and e-commerce in terms of the ability to compete on a North American if not global marketplace in shopping and shipping goods.”

Olvet made these statements in reference to the his group’s predictions for next year, which say that Canadian retailers will need to embrace trends like the Internet of Things (IoT) in order to compete with digital juggernauts like Amazon, who IDC predicts will further increase its presence in Canada by setting up its first data centre “in the next 12-18 months.”

It’s not all bad news, however, as the researcher also conceded that Canada is ahead of most countries in LTE network access and overall coast-to-coast rollout.

According to Olvet, this is a big step from only a decade ago, when Canada was viewed as behind the rest of the world in wireless.

“Being able to have near-ubiquitous high speed connectivity for everything from smartphone access to internet of things applications in the field, that’s a great place to start for Canadian businesses,” he told CDN.

This will serve ISP’s well as they push their own over-the-top internet video offering – such as Rogers and Shaw’s Shomi – to compete with the likes of Netflix and Google Play in a market that IDC is forecasting to “blow past digital cable and IPTV” and arrive at 9.5 million Canadian subscribers next year.

Other IDC predictions for 2015 include:

  • Consumer interest in wearables will spread thanks to the release of Apple Watch and increase consumer category shipments 70% year over year to 1.2 million by end of 2015.
  • Chinese smartphone vendors will continue to see double digit growth in 2015, taking significant shares from the Canadian market.
  • Companies that invest in mobile enterprise apps will have a distinct edge over those who do not.  There’s also a push to produce more enterprise-oriented apps such as those released recently through the IBM-Apple partnership.
  • The desktop market will be buoyed by ultra-portability in the form of USB or puck-sized plug and play desktops that will drive new uses and will grow to nearly a third (28%) of the Canadian desktop market with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17%.
  • Half of IT jobs will completely change by 2020.  Expect the start of turmoil in the next year.
  • Security tops the list of priorities with over 4 million records projected to be exposed in 2015.
  • IoT spending in Canada is set to reach $25 billion across all industries.
  • Vancouver, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal and Toronto will leverage of IoT to capitalize on SmartCity investments.
  • Banking will be done primarily through mobile, with clients changing their approach to client interaction.
  • The Growth rate of IoT analytics will be “three times the growth of traditional analytics over the next 3-5 years” in Canada.
  • Half of new IT investments will go directly through line of business.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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