While the pandemic forced many businesses to use remote working solutions, many companies still struggle to make the most of their digital resources. In an effort to increase the competitive value and competition of Canadian businesses, the government of Canada created a new investment program to help businesses make a digital transformation.
Introduced in the 2021 Federal Budget, the $4 billion Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) aimed at address the technology gap for businesses across the country. Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to upgrade or adopt new technologies can get assistance through digital adoption planning and apply for grants and loans.
MSPs in Canada can be a major part of this program by becoming digital advisors and helping Canadian businesses close the technology gap. The $4 billion program provides up to $15,000 for any business to work with digital advisors on the creation of a digital adoption plan. Digital advisors are listed on CDAP’s Digital Advisor Marketplace where businesses can see their qualifications and reach out for advising services.
According to Lane Smith, CEO of Digital Maturity Advisors, Canada needs thousands of advisors to help get this program moving forward, which represents a great opportunity for MSPs.
“There are only just over 120 approved advisors right now and if they are going to spend the $4 billion in four years, they are going to need like 3,000 approved advisors working full-time,” said Smith. “So there is a huge opportunity for MSPs to get in there, become an advisor, and start marketing to your customers and prospect base.”
SMEs and digital advisors begin with a digital maturity assessment and create a digital adoption plan. Specific recommendations tailored to the client’s needs are incorporated into their business plan. Digital advisors and clients must develop written agreements outlining the objectives of the services to be provided, a detailed work plan and timeline, the roles and responsibilities of each party, and the proposed payment schedule.
Once the digital adoption plan is finalized, SMEs will upload it to CDAP and receive the funding as a reimbursement for 90% of the cost of development, up to a maximum of $15,000.
The government has seen how companies with digital strategies perform, Smith said, and developed this program as a response to support Canadian businesses in a marketplace that is becoming increasingly global.
“The government realized that businesses who have a digital strategy in place were out performing those that don’t. So they wanted to ensure people have adequate digital strategies. That’s where they came up with this advisor concept,” he said.
CDAP is also offering the Grow Your Business Online grant, which is designed to assist up to 90,000 small businesses improve their e-commerce capabilities. Eligible businesses for this grant can receive up to $2,400 to invest in e-commerce improvements and implementation.
To become a CDAP certified digital advisor, MSPs must meet requirements to deliver high-quality advisory services. According to the official CDAP eligibility page, criteria to qualify include:
Smith’s Digital Maturity Advisors has developed training and certification courses to prepare MSPs to offer digital maturity advising as part of their service offerings. Not only increasing an MSPs value to clients, but preparing MSPs to join programs like CDAP to develop new business leads and find new clients in Canada.
Digital Maturity Advisors have a free ebook for MSPs to learn all about what the CDAP opportunity can mean for an MSPs’ client and revenue growth.
Tools like ScalePad Lifecycle Manager, Smith said, can help MSPs conduct digital assessments for clients to get a full inventory and status update of their hardware, software, and asset warranties. Being able to accurately conduct a digital maturity assessment is vital for MSPs and clients to collaborate on a digital adoption plan.
MSPs who are eligible to join CDAP have a big advantage in the marketplace. They have exclusive access to clients looking for digital advising services, and an entirely new way to create new relationships with businesses and grow their MSPs clientele.
Find out more about CDAP from the official website, including the full list of criteria, what grants your business is eligible for, how to become a digital advisor, events and webinars, as well as the ways other companies are digitally transforming their business.