Challenges and solutions


Here are some of the challenges facing Quebec IT firms

Challenge #1: Marketing
As products are highly specialized, the IT market is frequently small and characterized by long decision-making cycles. Exporting, which is essential to business survival, is expensive.

Potential solution
Creating a structuring impact by encouraging Quebec businesses to take up innovations. Offering tax credits to SMEs that acquire computer systems will help make them more competitive in their field. This would give Quebec a policy based on the whole economy’s competitiveness. Quebec software firms would gain a competitive edge over foreign competitors.

Challenge #2: Financing
Once the R&D phases have been completed, firms initiate the marketing phase. At this stage, huge amounts of capital are required. Experts estimate that it takes five times more capital to market software than it takes to develop it. However, the reality is nowhere near this. According to collected data, software firms invest an average of 28% of sales in R&D; the smaller they are, the fewer marketing specialists they have. According to our data on the sector, in terms of financing marketing, we calculate firms approximately invest an average of less than 19% in sales, which is nowhere near enough.

Potential solution
Offering financing to support post-R&D phases, as well as developing and deploying a sustained marketing strategy. The government should start a pilot project for ICT to allow them to assess the economic spin-offs for a key sector that features almost 100,000 direct jobs.

Challenge #3: Build a solid management team to ensure growth
the founders and leaders of software firms are innovators who have developed often tailor-made solutions to meet very specific needs, for very specific sectors. These leaders are not really prepared become managers able to build solid teams needed to ensure growth. For them, marketing technology solutions, particularly abroad, is a sizeable challenge. The actions associated with it are frequently a puzzle: financing package, hiring qualified sales and marketing experts, accessing critical market information, negotiating strategic alliances.

Potential solution
Through PDAs (professional development activities) on sales and marketing and leading highly specialized technology firms, and by assisting to peer mentoring to learn best business practices



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