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Increased Digitalization and Automation Needed to Support the Recovery

Date: March 11, 2021

Atlantic Canadian companies should prioritize investments in digitalization and automation or risk falling further behind their competitors 

For Immediate Release


March 11, 2021

HALIFAX – Digitalization including remote working, ecommerce and cloud-based platforms and automation has become more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our latest report, released today, explains the significance of investments in these technologies for the region’s recovery and long-term prosperity.

Improving competitiveness in the face of lower demand for products and services and higher operating costs due to the pandemic is important. However, in recent years Atlantic Canada has fallen behind in the adoption of advanced and emerging technologies.

“Atlantic firms must examine the business case for and prioritize investments in digitalization and automation.” says Patrick Brannon, lead author and Director of Major Projects. “New financing options can support technology adoption boosting productivity and reducing employee exposure to COVID-19 and the risk of future shutdowns.”

Governments should raise the awareness of available programs and help firms understand the benefits of investing in digitalization and automation.

Improving the technology skills within the organization is crucial when adopting new technologies.  This may include training existing employees, hiring recent graduates or immigrants, collaborating with post-secondary institutions and government, and consulting with technology experts.

“The current supply of workers available to support the transition to a more digital economy is lacking and must be improved,” says Brannon. “Governments should strengthen employment and training programs to support increased investments in digitalization and automation.”

The need for improvements to rural broadband has become increasingly apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. This must continue to be a priority for government. It will support businesses who have workers at home and enable rural companies to have more confidence investing in digitalization and automation technologies. Cybersecurity must also be improved as businesses become more digital and rely on internet access for automation and other technologies. 

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Please click here for a copy of the full report.

To schedule an interview with report author, Patrick Brannon, APEC, please contact: 

Erica Parrill 
Communications Manager, APEC 
Email: erica.parrill@apec-econ.ca
Mobile: 902-877-2159

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