Notable trends in Canada’s IT sector


Mohit Kamboj

Although Canada is one of a cluster of market leaders in the IT sector in the West, many local trends follow greater global trends. The internet bridges gaps that exist in physical borders, so many of the notable trends in Canada follow a broader pattern that you can find south of the border in the US and across the Atlantic in mainland Europe. AI is driving a lot of the current conversation, but there are other elements to consider, too.

Mobile gaming in Canada

As the doors open wider to a mobile gaming world, IT companies are continually engineering ways to assist companies in designing landmark titles. In addition, Canada is slowly beginning to warm to the idea of digital casino gaming.

By keeping the casino and gambling industry taxed and regulated and providing a new avenue of gaming for Canadians to explore, it is growing in popularity. The IT sector is looking closely at developing the technology to help maximize the overall output and quality of casino games in Canada.

It might be a bit late to call this a trend considering it has been picking up pace for many years. However, it continues to grow and is buoyed by growth south of the border; it is definitely still a trend with legs. The IT sector knows it is becoming more important, and it continues paying more attention to it year after year.

Artificial intelligence

So many trends in global IT depend on the investment and speed of development in the AI sector. If you’re somebody on the outside looking in at the Canadian IT sector, it is difficult to grasp just how much the technology is changing and fueling trends. Serviceless and hybrid cloud technology are seeing much more investment and design potential due to AI’s incredible enhancement since the latter parts of 2022. Although the battleground between ChatGPT and Apple is heating up, the overall movement within the industry is a massive pivot toward AI.

AI is producing a domino effect in many sectors, and much of this can be attributed to the sheer volume of cash it generates. Nvidia is an excellent example of how much the rhetoric is changing toward an AI-centric world, surpassing a $1 trillion market cap and quickly closing in on $2 trillion.

Cybersecurity mesh is another trend that is picking up steam in the global IT sector, and with Canada at the forefront of many of these developments, this is another area where Canadian IT companies are paying close attention. Hackers can use AI to exploit particular vulnerabilities in traditional cybersecurity systems.

A range of Canadian IT security providers are now using a mesh-based approach, powered by AI, to ensure that cybersecurity stays ahead of malicious criminals online who are constantly looking to exploit servers and commit crimes.

Could a downturn in investment spell trouble?

Although AI might dominate the conversation, some trends have economists and specialists in the sector sitting up and taking notice. For example, there has been a notable decline in overall investment within the IT sector in the last couple of years.

Although economic factors such as the overall downturn in the West, inflation and supply chain costs have definitely played a part, even relative to other nations in the G8, there has been a significant decrease.

Ultimately, many Canadian IT companies are tightening their belts, cutting down on non-essential costs, and some investments are part of that. If the economy picks up or a serious shift takes place in how IT companies approach new developments like AI, investment could quickly ramp up again. However, the investment trend is downward at the moment, with no signs of it picking back up any time over the next few months.

Canadian IT has a bright future

Figures show that roughly 5% of Canada’s GDP comes from IT services. Although this is an enormous scope and there are still companies that will innovate and make a profit even during the economic downturn, the trend will follow general economic trends due to the size of the sector.

With hundreds of thousands of employees and a significant piece of the Canadian economy, many of the most prominent names in the Canadian IT sector, such as CGI and Constellation, are part of broader trends. Many of these trends are pioneered by the Canadian arm of global conglomerates such as Microsoft.

The US-based company has offices all over Canada, but its most significant presence is in Toronto. Its staggering AI investment over the last 12 months has made it the world’s biggest technology company once again, hence the crossover between prominent IT trends and global innovations.

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