By James Maynard, January 3rd, 2014
Canada has demonstrated innovation in technology for over a century. As the industry enters a new era, increasingly met with wireless connected devices and commonly referred to as the Internet of Things, how can Canadian companies lead the world once again?
Canadians are often stereotyped as polite peacekeepers who lack competitive fire and are kept busy minding their own business and affairs. However, now is the time for Canadian companies to be thinking big, and grasping the opportunities available as we enter this era where both people and things will be globally connected.
Change is coming rapidly. By 2020, there will be over 50 billion connected devices around the globe, creating a $14.4 trillion business opportunity. The way we move around, pay for items, communicate or even sleep—nearly everything will be connected and monitored in some way.
Starting a business ready to scale globally is an overwhelming concept. The key for small businesses and tech startups is to focus locally in your launch market, while continually thinking globally. Following and analyzing global trends will help your success locally and build a solid foundation when the time comes to look to enter new markets.
More important, creating a sales model and supporting operational structure that is readily scalable and adaptable to new markets is critical. Do it once. Do it again, and again, and again. Do it the same. Prove that it works. Understand why it works. Then do your research and learn if the conditions are the same in another market and do it there.
Tapping into foreign markets may be easier than you think. For example, it is possible that a Vancouver-based company may experience more barriers to market entry going into Quebec than into Chile. While both Quebec and Chile have a language difference, Chile is in the same time zone as Vancouver, which may align better with your customer service hours and provide operational efficiencies.
For most Canadian wireless and mobility startups, we are have entered an era where the lines and labels are blurry. Are you a technology company or are you a global service provider? For the first time in history, the building blocks of technology led solutions do not present barriers and the marketplace is truly a global one. Computing is now almost free and not rigid by location with the adopting of cloud software, storage and even bandwidth. The constraint to business transformation is strategy and user experience.
A great example is Uber, the taxi service taking the transportation industry by storm. There is nothing new about their technology as such. The mobile app allows you to easily locate, request a taxi and agree a pre-paid price. They’ve made the experience easier and more seamless for both drivers and those using their services. They’ve found point of pain in both user experience and business model that is felt globally. From initially solving a local challenge in San Francisco, Uber has now replicated their business model in 50 cities around the world.
The saying “the world is your oyster” has never been more true as the technology industry enters this new era. The question is, does your business strategy limit your companies access to global markets? Creativity, design and imagination are the only limits in this connected world.
With an agenda packed with discussions from the industry’s global leaders, interactive sessions and panels, the third annual Wavefront Wireless Summits kick off February 4 and will discuss transformation strategies to help Canadian businesses compete on a global scale.
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