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What ails us can be fixed

The cover story in this issue is a microcosm of all that is happening in the ICT industry. So much change, so many moving parts, so many opportunities and so many challenges.


July 1, 2013  


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The cover story in this issue is a microcosm of all that is happening in the ICT industry. So much change, so many moving parts, so many opportunities and so many challenges.

Consider the following from author Denise Deveau: Anyone wanting to survive and compete in the industry will need to be vigilant in pursuing education certification training opportunities, even in areas they may not have considered before.

Stephen Foster, managing director of ICT for EllisDon Corp. is among a number of experts she reached out to for comment. “Cable installers value will rise as they work to become communication workers,” he says.

In the piece, Henry Franc, premises specialist (data centres) with Belden and chair of the TIA TR42.3 engineering subcommittee, summed up the challenges that confront the installer this way: “In the good old days anyone with a screwdriver could screw down a terminal and have things work.

“Today’s technician has to be a skilled craftsman. The successful ones are those who keep on top of things. If they do not, natural selection will take care of the problem. We all need to learn more and do better.”

Alex Smith, president of Connectivitywerx in Markham, Ont., says the new “tipping point” is Gigabit Ethernet: “We are seeing older systems falling down at that point. Once you get into 10 GbE, systems are less forgiving when it comes to product quality and design. It is not as simple as running a cable from A to B anymore. Cable installers need to be up to date on the latest standards and technologies or they will get left behind.”

The doing better part is critical. As I wrote in my last editorial in the May/June issue of CNS, Canada continues to lag when it comes to innovation; however, that trend will have to change and change quickly, particularly now that the world is moving to what Cisco Systems Inc. calls the Internet or Everything (see p. 6).

In a blog posted in late June, Nitin Kawale, president of Cisco Systems Canada Co., referenced an online survey conducted by Cisco Consulting Services that found that the scope of IoE opportunity — called value at stake — over the next 10 years to be more than US$14.4 trillion globally.

Cisco defines value at stake as potential bottom-line value that can be created, or that will migrate among private sector companies and industries through IoE. Upwards of 80% of Canadian respondents surveyed indicated they have already seen the value and significance of it.

“Just as importantly those same respondents say they believe moving to the IoE will accelerate the pace of innovation in Canada,” Kawale wrote. “That’s a vitally important consideration given our country’s historically poor performance in that area and in labour productivity.

“Canada averaged less than 1% annual productivity growth during the first 10 years of 2000. The situation may be getting even worse if you consider recent reports from various think tanks. I’ve been among those speaking to audiences across Canada stressing the importance of improving productivity and innovation in order to ensure a great standard of living for this country. The value created by IoE could be a catalyst for changing Canada’s fortunes for the better.”

According to Kawale, Canada should be leading the way in the adoption of IoE: “It can set us on a path towards a future that will become the present sooner than we think. And it will make a difference to so many of the innovation and productivity challenges that we currently struggle with as a nation.”