Canadian firms are not prepared (Deloitte)

The bitter truth about Canada’s disruption preparedness.

We feared that firms were ill-prepared for the challenges of disruption. Our prior research into this country’s stubborn productivity challenges showed that Canadian firms are more risk-averse than those in the United States, that they struggle to maintain a high rate of growth and that many have little to no idea that they’re investing less than their peers on technology and R&D.

In this report, we’ve focused on five technologies we believe have considerable disruptive potential: artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, networks, advanced manufacturing and collaborative connected platforms.

The results of our research are startling:

  • We categorized only 13% of firms as highly prepared, excelling in all four key areas of preparedness
  • We considered 23% of firms to be single-minded, taking action in one area but not prepared overall
  • We called 29% of firms tentative, organizations that aren’t wholly unprepared but are struggling in their efforts
  • We deemed 35% of firms – more than one in three – wholly unprepared and struggling across all four areas of preparedness.

Soon, robots will enable us to surpass our ordinary capabilities.

Why robotics will disrupt businesses

The robotics industry is growing fast. Annual shipments of industrial robots have nearly tripled in 20 years, from just over 70,000 units in 1995 to nearly 180,000 units in 2013 (see Figure 5). Also, four million personal and domestic service robots were shipped in 2013, a 28% increase over 2012.As robots become more useful and less expensive, these numbers will increase and robots will permeate more and more aspects of business and life.

How robotics will disrupt businesses

The convergence of robotics with artificial intelligence, connected devices, cloud computing, biometrics and other technologies is creating the potential for large-scale, exponential disruption. Today, robots perform many increasingly complex tasks 24/7 without the need for breaks, holidays, insurance or contract negotiations.

For example, the industrial robot Baxter is able to learn tasks by mimicking humans and can be retrained across a variety of jobs. Baxter can be used for loading, sorting and handling materials at a cost of only US$4.32 an hour. Robots enable companies to lower labour costs, achieve better productivity and deliver consistent, superior quality.

As robots evolve from executors of repetitive tasks to adaptable artificial intelligence systems, we will see them take on many roles and duties once believed to be beyond them.

Évidemment avec cette approche purement mercantilisme, les humains vont être redondants, mais cela, c’est un autre sujet.

Voici un exemple, des effets pernicieux de ce monde
où le profit est le seul facteur prédominant

Millions of U.K. jobs threatened by robots


How AI will disrupt businesses
Advances in AI have accelerated in the last five years, as a new generation of AI systems has begun to harness the power of cloud computing and crowdsourcing. Modern AI systems are now capable of displacing human workers in professional practices such as accounting, engineering and law, which have traditionally relied on the deep, narrow knowledge of experienced subject-matter experts.

Today, machines can recognize faces and translate speech in real time; as machine learning and natural language processing continue to improve, AI’s ability to mimic human behaviour and functions will continue to grow.

Artificial Intelligence 
Through an IBM university challenge giving students cloud-based access to Watson, University of Toronto students developed an app called Ross that acts as a legal assistant. 
The app allows users to ask a plain-English legal question, then returns an answer with case references. The case database is updated in real time and notifies users of new cases that might be relevant to the question asked.U of T team takes second place in IBM Watson challenge 
The University of Toronto team that built a virtual legal research database for the IBM Watson Cognitive Computing Competition made it to the final round of the top three before finishing the competition in second place. 
“When the final deliberation took place, the panel couldn't decide who should occupy the top spot,” said U of T lecturer Steve Engels, who travelled with the team to New York City. “They argued for a long time, even sending somebody out to apologize for the delay.” 
But, in the end, the panel awarded first place to the University of Texas at Austin, Engels said. The University of California, Berkeley placed third.


The world’s digital networks continue to grow in size and capability as the number of connected devices explodes. As more and more servers, personal computers, mobile devices and sensors of all kinds connect to the Internet – and to each other – the Internet of Things (IoT) has become a reality. Our technologies now connect in unexpected and once-unimaginable ways.

We can open our front door with our smartphone, control a distant robotic device with sensors attached to our arm, and let our appliances decide when they should run.


3D printers, nanomaterials, biomaterials, rapid prototyping, custom product creation – these advanced technologies and approaches will define 21st-century manufacturing. The days of mass-produced, one-size-fits-all goods are rapidly drawing to a close.

Even today, consumers can have running shoes and other apparel quickly made to-order at relatively low cost using a 3D printer and precise, personal measurements. The advent of “total customization” will reshape the consumer goods industry throughout the supply chain. As fabrication becomes decentralized, it will reduce companies’ need for factories, warehouses and shipping agents.

Advanced manufacturing is not only making one-off, bespoke production viable, it’s enabling companies to make, test and modify new products at a speed and cost never before possible.

For businesses, on-demand manufacturing with 3D printers will reduce or eliminate the need to maintain large amounts of stock – a hardware store, for example, could simply fabricate a tool as needed rather than store a dozen of them in the back room.


Why collaborative connected platforms will disrupt businesses

Thanks to the increasing speed and capacity of the Internet (see Figure 10), collaborative connected platforms are growing rapidly:

Évidemment, nettement moins chers d’engager un programmeur indien et en plus il a le même Q.I .
In 2010, Kickstarter raised $2 million per month in pledges; by 2014, it was raising $44 million per month. As Internet capacity continues to increase and the number of people connected to it continues to grow, companies will use these platforms more and more.

How collaborative connected platforms will disrupt businesses

Increased connectivity has helped businesses in many sectors achieve superior results. It enables companies to easily collaborate with colleagues around the world – as well as with a new cadre of independent workers that choose who they work with. The sheer number of people a firm can now inexpensively access is staggering.

Canadian companies that don’t seize the opportunity to use these new collaborative platforms to access resources and talent risk being outrun by competitors that do.