The Digital Working Group, formed at the Sommet économique régional in June 2015, tabled its report this month after two years of research. The group was composed of several notable people in the region coming from business, training, governance and the arts. Our president and CEO, Claircy Proulx, provided valuable insight.
The digital era reaches into all spheres of society and is the fourth phase of the Industrial Revolution. It hasn’t only had an impact on technology; it extends to areas normally considered little or not technological, such as skills, culture, and human resources. Businesses, and even all parts of society, will have to shape it.
The mandate of the Digital Working Group was to identify the needs of small and medium-sized businesses as to the integration and use of digital technologies and to analyze the training available to make sure it is meeting needs. The group was also mandated to analyze the advantages in rural areas for creating business partnerships between digital specialists and SMBs.
Twelve recommendations, grouped under five categories, were presented in the report:
- The provincial and federal governments should provide funding to cover 99% of the populated rural areas and the main lines of communication with mobile and fixed high-speed Internet.
- Promote to businesses the importance of digital technologies as to their benefits for productivity and innovation, as well as best practices and best business models for integrating digital technologies.
- Offer professional coaching to businesses so that they can do a digital diagnose or audit and put into place an action plan for their digital transformation.
- Immediately start to better promote “short-term” training and adapt it to client’s needs.
- Integrate 21st century skills into all “long-term” training and optimize the program review mechanism so that they can be integrated as soon as possible.
- Promote jobs in the digital field, especially to young girls.
- Establish a digital round table in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean.
- Financially support the implementation of the regional creative hub.
- Fund the implementation of digital hubs throughout the area.
- Fund a regional park for shared technological equipment.
- Map the digital ecosystem of the area.
- Support the structuring and/or emerging digital economy sectors.
To learn more, you can read the report here.