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Canadian Spending on Digital Transformation Will Exceed $16 Billion in 2018, Led by Innovation Accelerators, According to a New IDC Spending Guide


Canadian digital transformation (DX) technologies and services spending is set to surpass $16 billion in 2018, approximately 20% higher than the ~$14 billion spent in 2017. DX spending will be led by the manufacturing industries (discrete and process) and the business services sector (personal/consumer services and professional services). In the newly expanded Worldwide Semiannual Digital Transformation Spending Guide, International Data Corporation (IDC) examines current and future spending levels for close to 100 DX use cases across 19 industries in 8 geographic regions. The results provide new insights into where DX funding is being routed as well as what DX priorities are being pursued.

The engines of growth for DX spending in Canada are the innovation accelerators, the products and services associated with IoT, Cognitive/AI Systems, Next Gen Security, 3D Printing, AR/VR, and Robotics. The DX spend on innovation accelerators is projected to grow from $6.5 billion in 2016 to $24 billion in 2021 - a whopping 29.8% compound annual growth rate! The 4 pillars of DX (Big Data and Analytics, Cloud, Mobile, and Social) are also experiencing strong spending growth, rising an average of 15.3% per year between 2016 and 2021 reaching $9.3 billion at the end of 2021.

“Canadian organizations are clearly moving quickly to adopt DX solutions and technologies in order to respond to marketplace challenges from competitors, customers, and employees. The proliferation of use cases across all industries is leading to significant shift in preferences for DX solutions as the best option for long-term success” said Jim Westcott, Research Manager, IDC Canada.

This spending guide quantifies enterprise spending data for 27 DX strategic priorities, programs comprised of use cases, discretely funded efforts that support a program objective and the overall strategic goals of an organization. In Canada, the top 3 identified DX strategic priorities are ’smart manufacturing’, ’digital supply chain optimization’, and ’omni-experience engagement’. IDC has forecasted that ‘smart manufacturing’ will have close to $1.5 billion in forecasted spend this year. A major use case under this strategic priority is ‘robotic manufacturing’ where manufacturers use robots to prepare and inspect various discrete and process manufacturing materials and goods.

“Manufacturing companies are now harnessing technology to achieve cost, speed, and quality efficiencies in their processes at scale. Over the next few years, the companies that cannot adapt to this new paradigm will find it hard to compete in the marketplace” says Yash Ahuja, Senior Analyst, Measurement and Forecasting, IDC Canada.

Note – All spending figures are in US dollars.

For more information about this IDC Spending Guide or to arrange a one-on-one interview with Jim Westcott or Yash Ahuja, please contact Cristina Santander at

About IDC Spending Guides

IDC’s Spending Guides provide a granular view of key technology markets from a regional, vertical industry, use case, buyer, and technology perspective. The spending guides are delivered via pivot table format or custom query tool, allowing the user to easily extract meaningful information about each market by viewing data trends and relationships.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading media, data, and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers. To learn more about IDC, please visit or follow on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. To learn more about IDC Canada, please visit or follow on Twitter at @ idccanada and LinkedIn.

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