A Bold Approach to Digital Transformation
Many organizations in Quebec are beginning to realize it is time to accelerate their digital transformation to remain competitive in Canada and around the world. Some are struggling with an IT legacy environment clogged with non-standard applications that reduce productivity and pose a significant business risk. Lagging behind is no longer an option.
As I talk with Quebec business leaders, they share a number of common goals and challenges, including:
- Upgrading and modernizing IT infrastructure: Businesses across Quebec recognize the need to upgrade and modernize their IT infrastructure, but they vary greatly in their progress. Some organizations have a fully developed digital strategy that integrates cloud and new Enterprise Resource Planning applications; others are struggling to get started.
- Improving client services: Today’s customers expect personalized, fast services that are available anytime, anywhere. Improving and integrating Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software into a company’s IT infrastructure is essential for Quebec retailers, manufacturers, and government.
- Acquiring and retaining new talent: COVID-19 has put incredible strain on many businesses in Quebec. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, IT projects that were put on hold are being restarted, but organizations are struggling to attract and retain top talent. Meanwhile, employee expectations have changed. Forward-thinking employers need to consider new flexible options and benefits, including managed services partnerships.
- Increasing productivity: To remain competitive, businesses need to improve productivity in everything from manufacturing to supply chains. Artificial intelligence and automation are the ideal tools to find efficiencies and increase productivity, but it takes a thoughtful approach that starts with assessing your current environment and finding the right applications of AI.
- Adopting Sustainability as the new business imperative: CEOs are mandating sustainability as a key business strategy to secure a competitive edge. IBM Sustainability Services are helping organizations set and achieve clear sustainability targets through the use of exponential technologies (AI, IOT, Blockchain, Quantum) and Net 0 platforms that enable monitoring, intelligent processing and reporting of activity across the value chain.
A bright future for Quebec
None of these challenges is insurmountable. Quebec is a unique market in Canada with a rich history of business and technology leadership on a global scale. Quebec universities are training highly skilled individuals, and we have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. That is one of the reasons that IBM has invested so heavily in Quebec.
The IBM Client Innovation Centre (CIC) in Montreal employs hundreds of talented professionals skilled in AI, hybrid cloud environments, analytics, data management, and ERP applications. The team helps Quebec clients address their IT challenges across the public and private sectors. For example:
- A Quebec-based aircraft manufacturer understands the value of an IT strategy to bolster its service division. They are using Internet of Things to predict parts of an airplane that need servicing.
- To address talent issues, a large Quebec-based Cascades engaged IBM to transform its approach to HR, focusing on raising employee engagement and satisfaction using SAP SuccessFactors.
Many other companies also rely on the IBM CIC in Montreal to build hybrid cloud solutions and integrate software packages from SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Workday and Salesforce.
Finding a trusted partner
A recent IDC report  reveals that 81 percent of companies surveyed in Quebec believe IBM is a trustworthy company, and 79 percent say that IBM understands their company needs. I find this gratifying as I have spent decades working with CIOs, CFOs and CEOs in Quebec. I believe IBM’s eminence in Quebec can be attributed to long-term relationships built on mutual respect and collaboration.
My goal is to see our Quebec clients become leaders in operational productivity, client experience and IT simplification. IBM is proud to be a trusted partner in helping Quebec organizations accelerate their digital transformation.
Bernard Labrecque leads multiple IBM teams involved in the transformation and modernization of Quebec companies, including several of our economic flagships.
- IDC, Canadian IT Services Brand Perceptions, 2020: Familiarity, Awareness, and Brand Associations, Doc # CA45672220, Dec 2020