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Canadian SMB Cloud Summit – Toronto


Toronto workshops to spur SMB cloud adoption

The Province of Ontario and InsightaaS are collaborating on day-long workshop at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on December 13th to arm SMBs with expert knowledge and best practices that can help accelerate cloud adoption and use.

Leading IT analyst firm InsightaaS is partnering with the Province of Ontario to deliver a ground-breaking Canadian SMB Cloud Summit in Toronto on December 13th. A day of executive workshops and peer and expert networking, the Summit will run prior to DCD>Connected Canada 4.0.

Surveys show a wide cloud adoption-rate disparity between Canada and the US, with 80 percent of US small businesses already in the cloud today versus roughly 50 percent of Canadian small businesses adopting the technology. And while cloud adoption by midmarket businesses is effectively universal across both markets, it’s less common for Canadian midmarket firms to use cloud to build new enterprise-wide capabilities.

“Research shows that Canada’s SMBs first deploy cloud in isolated instances, in response to specific pain-points within their organizations,” says Michael O’Neil, principal analyst with InsightaaS and co-chair of the Connected Canada 4.0 conference.

“But there’s a tipping point at which cloud stops pain-solving for cost and becomes a business-driving investment instead, a point at which various individual systems are brought together to create an agile digital infrastructure that supports profitable growth,”  he added.

The Cloud Summit’s agenda reflects the input of over 40 Canadian cloud thought leaders and parallels the curriculum used in the University of Toronto Continuing Studies course Cloud Systems in Practice.

Its goal is to walk SMB business executives and IT professionals through key steps in establishing cloud as a powerful, cost-effective business solution. All Summit sessions are designed to be highly participatory and interactive, will feature plenty of Q&A, and have networking time built in.

“DCD is proud to host InsightaaS and the Government of Ontario in presenting Canadian SMB Cloud Summit as part of our DCD>Connected Canada 4.0 event proceedings,” says DCD’s conference chair, Bruce Taylor.

“We’re committed to delivering executive education and insight with our live media events around the world, and we believe that providing Canadian businesses with a pre-event Cloud Summit, coupled with the rich digital infrastructure transformation program for Connected Canada 4.0, will help develop the next generation of technology-enabled business leaders.”

There is no fee for qualified individuals from end-user organizations to participate in the peer-to-peer SMB Cloud Summit or DCD>Connected Canada 4.0 – please click here to register.

Canada’s digital transformation

DCD>Connected Canada 4.0 kicks off on December 14 with plenary keynote thought-leader roundtable with senior-most executives from Canada’s technology leaders, including Amazon Web Services country manager, Eric Gales; Equinix’ managing director, Andrew Eppich; Google Cloud country manager, Jim Lambe, with others to be named.


SMB Cloud Summit Agenda

9.30am: Registration

10.00am: Welcome and intro

  • The importance of ICT in the Ontario context (Government of Ontario speaker TBD)
  • Cloud: Gateway to today – and tomorrow (Michael O’Neil, InsightaaS)

10.30am: SMB Planning for the cloud/aligning cloud with key executive & business objectives

  • Best practices in plotting a cloud course and ensuring that cloud benefits are defined in business terms (and not vice-versa!)
  • Small group exercise: Defining cloud’s “why?”

11.30am: Keys in selecting and committing to cloud platforms

  • Includes best practices in selecting evaluation criteria and procurement and contracting guidance

12.30pm: Networking lunch

1.30pm: Understanding, enabling and optimizing returns from cloud applications

  • Best practices in aligning business workflows and cloud applications – technology, people and processes
  • Eyes-on experience: Five leading cloud suppliers demonstrate how their software drives improved business results within SMBs

2.30pm: Governance, risk, compliance – and cloud security

  • Understanding how to build policies and enable controls to safeguard your business data in (and beyond) the cloud

3.15pm: Stretching break

3.20pm: Cloud and the IT/business future (or, how to be competitive in 2021)

  • How cloud enables organizations to automate functions, and to capitalize on Big Data analytics, IoT and future IT capabilities
  • Small group exercise: Cloud in our business

4.15pm: Wrap up

  • Government of Ontario and InsightaaS

4.30pm: SMB Cloud Summit Cocktail reception and advanced technology roundtable

Each topic will include research-based guidance, expert panel discussions, and generous time for Q&A. Sessions will also feature small group discussions and multiple networking opportunities. Delegates will receive support for future activities as well – a library containing Canadian-authored cloud best practice reports, ongoing access to new research, a pass to DCD>Connected Canada 4.0, invitations to future ‘deep dive’ events – and a Certificate of Completion demonstrating that they have invested the time needed to align cloud with SMB business opportunity.