Archive for June 5, 2019

Gartner Survey Finds That Canadian CIOs Are Heavily Involved in Business Model Change

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 5, 2019 by itnerd
Nearly half of CIOs in Canada are heavily involved in defining new business models in their organizations, according to a survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. This is consistent with their top three priorities for 2019: revenue and growth, digital initiatives, and operational excellence.

Gartner analysts presented the survey findings during Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, which is taking place here through Thursday. The 2019 Gartner CIO Agenda Survey gathered data from more than 3,000 CIO respondents in 89 countries and all major industries. In Canada, 176 CIO respondents were asked for their input.

Canadian IT Budget and Core Investments

Canada’s average IT budget jumped from 1.3% in 2018 to 2% in 2019, which was higher growth than the year prior. The global average IT budget experienced about a 3% increase.

Canada is increasing its spending in business intelligence and data analytics, cybersecurity, and cloud services. Yet artificial intelligence (AI) experienced a huge jump from last year. In the 2018 CIO Agenda Survey, only 2% of Canadian respondents planned to increase investment in AI. In 2019, that figure is 24%. “AI serves as a huge opportunity for Canadian CIOs,” said Mr. Howard.

Among the areas that Canadian organizations are decreasing their IT investments this year are infrastructure and data center, networking, voice and data communications, and custom software development. “Canadian CIOs are pruning commodity services that have evolved to surpass traditional, on-premises implementation,” said Mr. Howard.

Canadian CIOs Embrace AI

The data analytics category has been the perennial top technology on the list of game-changer technologies, but this year, the AI/machine learning (ML) category has superseded it for Canadian and top-performing respondents alike. Data analytics and cloud were tied for second among game-changer technologies in Canadian organizations.

Strengthening Digital Maturity Among Canadian Organizations

Financial goals are a uniquely popular priority for Canadian CIOs, thus indicating a heightened degree of cost consciousness among organizations. At the same time, Canada has more structural and engrained leadership challenges compared with its global peers.

The 2019 Gartner CIO Agenda Survey was conducted online from April 17 through June 22, 2018 among Gartner Executive Program members and other CIOs. Qualified respondents are either the most senior IT leader (CIO) for their overall organization, or a part of their organization (for example, a business unit or region). The total sample was 3,102, with representation from all geographies and industry sectors (public and private).

About Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo

Learn more about CIO leadership and how to drive digital innovation to the core of your business at Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2019. Follow news and updates from the events on Twitter using #GartnerSYM.

Upcoming dates and locations for the 2019 Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo include:
September 16-18: Cape Town, South Africa
October 20-24: Orlando, Florida
October 28-31: Sao Paulo, Brazil
October 28-31: Gold Coast, Australia
November 3-7: Barcelona, Spain
November 11-14: Goa, India
November 12-14: Tokyo, Japan

HEX And Jim Lee Team Up To Make Some Cool And Innovative Backpacks

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 5, 2019 by itnerd

HEX is are all about creativity and expression. In fact, their motto is “Equip The Creators.” They are always looking to make people’s lives better by focusing attention on often overlooked details or needs.

They felt this was the case for the comic and art industry.

Having a legendary artist like Jim Lee in your contact list helps a lot. As Jim explained his difficulties in traveling with his supplies, they realized there was a need here.

So we worked together to create the ultimate travel backpack for artists, The HEX x Jim Lee Artist Backpack. Have a look at the features of this backpack via this video.

Then, as they were working with Jim, they realized that not only do the artists need a better backpack solution, but so do their fans! Comic conventions have become immensely popular events where collectors can gather to follow their favorite characters and artists. They buy, sell and collect comic books, posters, autographs, etc etc. Comic books are not kids business anymore as many of these books reach values well into six-figure territory. But there was no way to safely transport them.

So they also made The HEX x Jim Lee Comic Collector Backpack. Have a look at the features of this backpack via this video.

This is why they believe these products are so revolutionary and so needed. For more details, check out this page.

HP Report Proves Sustainability Is Non-Negotiable For Next Gen SMB Owners

Posted in Commentary on June 5, 2019 by itnerd

Today we’re seeing a dramatic shift in motivations between generations of small business owners globally—with the next generation of small business owners becoming much more motivated by societal impact.

HP’s recent survey of global small business owners found:

  • The majority of Canadian small business owners (66%) believe it’s their duty to do their part in protecting the environment and 59 per cent feel it’s their responsibility to contribute to the community they operate in.
  • 50 per cent of small business owners in Canada said making the world a better place was a key motivator to continue building their business.
  • 64 per cent would deliberately choose not to grow their business if it meant going against their values.

Sustainability is influencing business decisions. Choosing the right vendors and then stocking the best supplies – from the printer you use in the back office, to the paper you’re using – matters.

As Canada’s most sustainable tech company, HP is a partner in helping Canadian small businesses run their companies more efficiently while having a positive impact on the environment.

The direct link to the report here [Warning: PDF]. It’s worth noting these are the global results so you can see how Canada stacks up against the rest of the world.

Review: Tinkering Labs’ Electric Motors Catalyst

Posted in Products with tags on June 5, 2019 by itnerd

Getting kids into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) at an early age is important because careers in STEM are going to be the future for the next generation. Which is why when Tinkering Labs’ came to me to pitch a review of their Electric Motors Catalyst tinkering kit, I jumped at the chance. 


In front of you is the complete kit which is comprised of:

  • 2 Electric Motors with Detachable Wires
  • 1 Battery Pack with Switch
  • 2 AA Batteries
  • 1 Wooden Chassis
  • 12 Wooden Wheels in 6 Sizes
  • 6 Wooden Connectors in 3 Shapes
  • 2 Metal Axles
  • 4 Metal L-Brackets
  • 10 Small Bolts with Wing Nuts
  • 2 Metal Springs
  • 12 Bushings for Motor and Axle Connections
  • 12 Rubber Bands
  • 1 Pair of Safety Glasses, Child Size
  • 3 Washable Markers
  • 1 Large 3-Foot Wide Paper Work Surface
  • 1 Full-Size Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • 1 Cloth Storage Bag
  • 1 Clear-Top Metal Hardware Tin
  • Printed Tips & Guides
  • 10 Challenge Cards
  • 1 Clear Challenge Card Holder
  • 1 Safety Tips Card
  • 1 22-Page Building Techniques Booklet

That’s quite a lot of stuff. The whole idea behind this kit is that challenges the problem solving skills of kids that are 8 or thereabouts. Not only that it challenges their creativity and ability to invent. All within a STEM framework. There are 10 challenge cards that give the child a series of challenges that they have to build. That allows them to understand how this kit works so that they can then use their imagination to build whatever they want.

Now this all sounds great. But I actually needed to validate this. Thus I enlisted the help of an 11 year old neighbor named Zavier who I knew would be able to tell me what was good and what wasn’t good about this kit from the perspective of the target audience of this kit. Here’s his feedback:

I have been playing and tinkering around with the Electric Motors Catalyst. All around this is a very fun kit. It is very fun and easy to use. Some challenges do arise even though the instructions for the challenge cards help, they aren’t descriptive enough. With a little more detail they would be very helpful. I like how there are many different pieces that do many things. There is also a lot of room for creativity which is nice. This kit is very fun and helpful to learn how to engineer things. This kit is really good and I would definitely recommend it!

Zavier has a future in product reviews quite clearly as while he did have one negative, everything else was positive. One other thing that is positive is that Zavier is still using this over two weeks after I gave it to him to review. That implies that this isn’t going to be something that a child tries out and then quickly forgets about. Which is great for parents as anything they purchase for their children should have long term value.

The Electric Motors Catalyst tinkering kit is available on their site ($55 USD) and on Amazon ($59 USD) where it is an Amazon Choice. It gets the seal of approval from Zavier. Which means it gets my seal of approval because it engages kids and helps them to start down the road to being interested in STEM.