As technology becomes entrenched in our lives, businesses are being forced to leverage its power to become more profitable and efficient. According to the third annual IT Portrait of Canadian Businesses Survey conducted by Canadian IT solutions firm, NOVIPRO, artificial-intelligence adoption is on the rise amongst mid- to large-sized companies, with more than one-third (34 per cent) of businesses planning to invest in AI within the next two years. This represents an increase of 48 per cent compared to 2017.
Interestingly, while advances are being made daily, cyber-security remains the Achilles heel for the hotel industry, says the survey, with more than half (57 per cent) owning confidential information on their clients, and, of these, nearly four in five (79 per cent) have already fallen victim to a cyber attack. Perhaps most troubling is the lack of processes in place to manage a cyberattack, with one quarter (25 per cent) of businesses without a recovery plan in place and nearly half (49 per cent) citing they wouldn’t write a note to clients in the event of a data breach.
“While it’s wonderful to see Canadian businesses continue to advance and adopt new technologies, like AI, it’s important that companies are properly equipped to manage these new technologies so they become an asset, not an issue,” says Yves Paquette, co-founder, president, and CEO of NOVIPRO.
The survey also shows that, while all provinces continue to plan on major tech investments in AI in the next two years, not all businesses are in sync. Surprisingly, Ontario businesses are planning the fewest number of investments at 35 per cent, compared to Atlantic Canada (48 per cent), Quebec (42 per cent), British Columbia (42 per cent) and the Prairies (41 per cent).
As the labour shortage continues to be a growing challenge in Canada, respondents from the travel-and-tourism industry plan to invest in AI to increase their productivity (50 per cent) and improve customer experience (50 per cent).
In addition to AI, the survey sheds light on the current state of cybersecurity amongst Canadian companies. While 28 per cent of Canadian businesses admit they’ve been victims of cyberattacks in 2018, only 25 per cent of Ontario businesses were victims this year, compared to 34 per cent in 2017.
Editor’s Note: Thirty years ago, the topic of cybersecurity wasn’t on most people’s radar, as technology was still in its infancy. Take a journey back to the year Hotelier was born with this 30th-anniversary special retrospective look starting on page 11. Enjoy the memories and help us celebrate this special milestone. Happy reading and happy birthday to us.