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PwC Up front | Issue 5 | Harnessing technology

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12 Up front Summer 2014 Join the cloud Corporate Canada can mitigate risk by embracing cloud-based technology By Bob Elliott Canadians aren't risk-takers, at least when it comes to technology. And with an innovation such as cloud computing, there's a general fear of the unknown and a misconception that it's not safe. The typical notion around cloud computing is that information is flying around a data centre somewhere far away rather than securely locked up in a local server room. In reality, whether your data is locked up in a data centre – data doesn't actually like to move anywhere – or in a local server, it's still susceptible to being hacked or mined. Keeping data in the cloud is just as safe as keeping it anywhere else, so why are Canadian companies so resistant to investing in this new technology? We all know that technology is one of the key drivers of productivity gains, but Canada has some catching up to do. In 2011, our corporate sector's per-worker allocation to software and other information and communications technologies was less than 58 per cent of the U.S. commitment, according to a 2013 report by the Ottawa-based Centre for the Study of Canadian Living Standards. When you understand how cloud-based solutions work, you can see how they help boost productivity and lower financial and other risks. Implementation is fast, software is constantly upgraded, the pay-as-you-go subscription model means relatively low costs, and with the cloud vendor managing IT, companies can focus on their core business. Insights | Risk 12 Up front Summer 2014

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