Building the Canadian Cloud Ecosystem

Our goal at the CCN is to build an ‘ecosystem’ that encourages more high-growth start-ups, what a recent report calls ‘Gazelles’.

These are start-ups that punch well above their weight, driving more jobs and growth pound for pound than any other organization and hence why they are so important to economic success overall.

This important factor is reported here on Action Canada and also covered in the media, like Globe and Mail and the Financial Post, and also on the NCA, and the report concludes that Canada is falling short of producing enough of them.

They are so important to the Canadian innovation story because they have a strong ability and focus on rapid prototyping and breakthrough product innovations, quickly bringing these disruptive services to high-growth markets.

They are young firms who are pioneering disruptive business models, with the potential to “transform industries through novel technologies or business models”. “If Canada is to increase its global competitiveness, its economy will need to move up the global value chain into higher levels of innovation-based production.”

This type of ecosystem is known as a ‘cluster’, an industry grouping of similar organizations pooling their resources for collective success, and it’s very nicely described in this presentation from one of Canada’s leading providers in this high-growth tech industry, Rackforce –

Download: The Canadian Cloud Ecosystem (large PDF)

Our goal is to combine this type of thought leadership, with other equally powerful ideas, for example what Cisco call a ‘Next Generation Cluster‘, a framework for how the original cluster model from Michael Porter can be upgraded through new Cloud 2.0 technologies. Naturally Cisco suggest their own but the model recommendations aren’t tied to them, so it’s actually a very smart piece.

The central idea is the fundamentally clusters are geographically-centric, like Waterloo in Canada growing around RIM, or the Oceans Technology focus in Newfoundland. A lot of this is obviously tied to the level of Government funding it – The Newfoundland Provincial Govt in the case of this latter example.

Cisco propose that through the use of social collaboration technologies you can enhance the principle another level, with the fundamental shift being an expansion to a virtual community-centric approach, rather than a geographic organizing dynamic.


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