Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: Trends

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to trends.

Data Science is a Hot Career Choice

Do you know a new high school graduate, or a student who’s heading into their final year of high school, and still has no idea what they want to do for the rest of their lives? Data Science is continuing to be a hot career choice guaranteed to have plenty of opportunity in nearly any industry for the coming years.

Anybody looking to make a decision about their career and who has any interest in technology should check out this video by 365 Data Science. It goes over the typical profile of a Data Scientists, talks about the opportunities, most importantly, explains how to go about becoming a Data Scientist.

IT Industry News for June 2019

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee, Chairman of the Board at Eagle

Tech News HeaderThis is my 30,000-foot look at events in the ICT industry for June 2019. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.

A Little History of June in previous years 

Five years ago, in June 2014, Oracle paid $5 billion for Micros Systems; Sandisk paid $1.1 Oracle logo a large software company originally noted for its databasebillion for solid state storage company Fusion-io. Google continued its push into home automation, witnessed by its subsidiary Nest paying $550 million for cloud-based home monitoring service Dropcam. Google itself paid $500 million for Skybox Imaging, a satellite maker to enhance the Google Maps capability. Twitter paid $100 million for mobile marketing platform Tap Commerce and Red Hat paid $95 million for eNovance.

In June 2015, Intel paid $16.7 billion for semiconductor company Altera Corp. Cisco paid Intel logo$635 million for security firm OpenDNS in addition to picking up OpenStack company, PistonCloud Computing. Microsoft bought 6Wunderkinder, maker of task management app Wunderlist; Ricoh Canada bought Graycon Group, a professional services firm headquartered in Calgary; and finally, IBM bought OpenStack company Blue Box Group.

Three years ago, June 2016 saw Microsoft buy LinkedIn for a whopping $2.6 billion. There were other billion dollar deals that month too: Salesforce paid $2.8 billion for e-commerce Microsoft logoplatform maker Demandware and Amazon announced an extra $3 billion investment in its India operations. Other significant deals included Daetwyler Holdings AG paying more than $877 million for Raspberry Pi maker Premier Farnell Plc; Red Hat paid $568 million for API management software company 3Scale; and OpenText paid $315 million for HP’s Customer Communication Management products. Other noteworthy deals included an investment group’s purchase of Dell’s software arm; Microsoft bought natural language start up Wand Labs; and Samsung bought cloud computing company Joyent. Also, Google Capital announced its first investment in a public company, investing $46 million in Care.com, an online personal services marketplace platform.

June 2017 saw Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Westcon-Comstar’s Amazon logoAmerican business bought by Synnex for approximately $800 million. US fintech provider, Fiserv purchased British financial services technology firm, Monitise for $88.7 million. Microsoft purchased Israeli cloud startup, Cloudyn, for a price between $50 million and $70 million. Rackspace bought TriCore in an effort to increase Rackspace’s business from customers who want help running their critical applications.

Last year, June 2018 saw a fair bit of M&A activity, the biggest deal seeing Synnex pay $2.43 billion for call centre company Convergys and AT&T pay $1.6 billion for advertising tech IBM logocompany AppNexus. Palo Alto Networks paid $300 million for security company Evident.io; PayPal shelled out $120 million for fraud detection startup Simility; Splunk paid $120 million for incident management platform company VictorOps; Ribbon Communication paid $120 million for Edgewater Networks; and Sharp shelled out $36 million for Toshiba’s PC business. Other companies out shopping included Cisco, who bought WiFi analytics company July Systems; IBM bought maintenance and repair company Oniqua and Shopify bought app company Return Magic.

Which brings us back to the present

June 2019 saw some significant M&A deals with the Salesforce acquisition of Tableau for Salesforce logo$15.7 billion, the largest deal of the month. Infinion Technologies paid $10 billion for Cypress Semiconductor; Google paid $2.6 billion for data analytics company Looker; Capgemini shelled out $3.6 billion for engineering company Altran and in the robotics world, Blue Prism paid $100 million for Thoughtonomy. Other companies with smaller buys included Apple picking up the assets of Drive.ai and Twitter buying machine learning startup Fabula AI.

The Canadian Federal Government invested $5 million into an innovation centre in Markham, which is a trend we are seeing more often. There was also more news about CyberSecurity breaches, with suggestions of state sponsored hackers focusing on telecommunication companies.

canadian flagIn Canada, the job numbers are interesting, with Statistics Canada suggesting May was a bumper month, and ADP suggesting we actually lost jobs. The methods of data gathering differ so it will be interesting see how it works out over time.

The US had some mixed reports regarding the economy but overall the story is still positive, with some reports focusing on the growth being not as great as it was… still growth! Generally, indicators in the US economy are positive. Likewise, indicators on jobs and employment around the world are also positive.

That’s what caught my eye over the last month, the full edition will be available soon on the Eagle website. Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with the July 2019 industry news in just about a month’s time.

Walk Fast and Smile

Where is the ICT Labour Market Going — Part II

Morley Surcon By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President Strategic Accounts & Client Solutions, Western Canada at Eagle

In my last Talent Development Centre post, I spoke about the looming tech skills shortage. One that is beginning in the USA and is expected to be “exported” to the rest of the world. In this post, I’m taking the discussion a bit further by discussing a “leading driver” for this shortage — Digital Transformation Projects.

According to a recent Mulesoft Connectivity Benchmark Report, almost all companies surveyed are either implementing a digital transformation strategy or are planning to deploy one within the next 3 years. From the same report, the top 5 goals of digital transformation are reported to be: Increasing IT’s operational efficiency, improving customer experience, increasing business efficiency, introducing new products and services faster, and improving employee experience.

Is your company currently undertaking digital transformation initiatives?
Source: Mulesoft Connectivity Benchmark Report 2019

Strategies such as these, and the projects that follow, require heavy investments in technology and in the people needed to design, built, test and implement the new solutions. Unsurprisingly, given the huge number of organizations working towards this, there is a growing skills gap — one that threatens to impact the industry. According to Constellation Research, they found that IT and Business leaders now see this as the greatest threat to their strategy’s success. In fact, recent reports suggest that lack of talent/human capital is a leading factor impeding US economic growth. They are currently experiencing 50-year lows in their unemployment rate.

The Factors Impeding Digital Transformation

This is great news if you are an ICT contractor! …especially if you have the right, in-demand skills. From Eagle’s own experience across Canada, these skills/roles would include the following:

  • Project Managers
  • Business Analysts
  • Security/Cybersecurity
  • Cloud
  • BI, Data Analytics and Data Science
  • Business Transformation/Change Management
  • Agile Developers
  • Mobile Technologies Experts
  • SAP
  • AI/RPA/Automation Testing

In case there was any question whether the skill shortages experienced south of the border might make its way to Canada, the table below, created with data from e-Talent Canada, suggests that we are already at full-employment right across Canada (or already constrained in some regions).

ICT Employment Across Canada (December 2018)
Source: e-Talent Canada

These are exciting days to work in the field of Technology!

Knowing Their People – Apple’s Sixth Sense When It Comes to Their Latest iOS Update

Apple was one of the first companies on the market for smartphones, so it’s no coincidence that they are still coming out with great updates. The iOS 13 update is going to give iPhone users what they want out of their phones – speed and reliability. Apple has even opted to give users easy access to dark mode. In this video from Marques Brownlee, you’ll get to know what to expect from the new update and if you’re not an iPhone user, you’ll find out what you’re missing!

Canadian Technologies That Contribute to Global Innovation

Happy Canada Day to all Canadians, near and far, on paper and in spirit! Today is a day to celebrate what makes our country so great, including the innovations that contribute to Canada’s success on the global stage.

A couple years ago, in celebration of Canada’s 150th, BellMTS put together this infographic displaying the technologies and inventions by Canadians that made a lasting impact. We’ve always known Canadians are awesome, but you may be surprised at just how many technologies Canadians have contributed to.

So, when you are looking at the fireworks tonight in awe and amazement, think about all 150 years of Canadian innovation.

Canadian Technologies That Contribute to Global Innovation

Quick Poll Results: Preferred Mode of Public Transportation

As much as a nice walk, bike, or drive across town is free and convenient, sometimes we need to pay to get to our destination. When it comes down to it, established cities are fortunate to have a number of options. Some are faster, some are cheaper, and some are more comfortable. When you weigh all of the pros and cons, what is the winner?

In last month’s contractor quick poll, we asked readers their preferred way to get around town when it had to be a payment option. As always, we compiled the results and the most popular method is obvious — 60% of respondents use public transit, rather than Uber, Lyft, or Taxis.

 

Contractor Quick Poll: How do independent contractors cover their medical expenses

Towards the end of last year, we shared a post about health insurance options for independent contractors in Canada. It described two specific routes if you’re looking for coverage – standard insurance plans similar to those typically offered by employers, and Private Health Services Plans (PHSPs) which allow your contracting business to provide a non-taxable reimbursement for health expenses. Of course, there is also the option to forego any health insurance, possibly because you’re already fully covered through a spouse or you’d rather risk that any medical expenses will be less than insurance expenses. This month’s contractor quick poll seeks to find the most common practice among Canadian IT contractors.

IT Industry News for May 2019

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee, Chairman of the Board at Eagle

This is my 30,000-foot look at events in the Tech space for May 2019. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.

A Little History of May in previous years

Tech NewsFive years ago, in May 2014, AT&T paid $50 billion for DirectTV and Apple paid $3 billion for Beats. Google continued to invest in its Android strategy, this time with a strategy company, Divide. Other acquisitions saw Seagate pay $450 million for some flash capability from Avago (the LSI divisions); GE bought cyber security firm Wurdtech; EMC bought a flash start-up DSSD; Time Warner bought YouTube video network FullScreen; and SAP bought behavioral target marketing company SeeWhy.

May 2015 saw some very large deals on the M&A front, with the biggest seeing Charter Communications spend $55 Billion to buy Time Warner Cable and a further $10.4 billion to buy Bright House Networks. This created the second largest cable company in the US, just behind Comcast. The “Billion-dollar club” also saw French Telco Altice pay $9.1 billion for another US cable company Suddenlink Communications. Keeping with the billion-dollar deals involving telcos, Verizon paid $4.4 billion for AOL to bolster its mobile video capabilities. Another billion-dollar deal saw HP unload 70% of its stake in its China server, storage and technology storage unit to Tsinghua Holdings for $2.3 billion. The final billion-dollar deal saw EMC pay $1.2 billion for cloud service provider Virtustream. Apple was out buying a couple of companies in May 2015, snapping up mapping company Coherent Navigation and augmented reality company Metaio. In other deals, Avaya bought cloud technology company Esna; and Cisco bought cloud programming interface company Tropo.

May 2016 saw some M&A activity, with the largest deal seeing HPE merge its services arm with CSC in a $8.5 billion deal to create arguably the largest IT services company. In another large deal, Vista Equity Partners paid $1.79 billion for customer service and marketing cloud provider Marketo. There were some other big names out shopping in May too. Oracle paid $532 million for software as a service for the utilities vertical, company Opower; Google picked up interactive training platform Synergyse; Infor bought consulting services company Merit Globe AS; and ARM paid $350 million for imaging and embedded systems company Apical. Microsoft ended an unhappy period by divesting its feature phone business to FIH mobile for $350 million, and GoDaddy picked up cloud-based phone company FreedomVoice for $43 million. New Signature picked up another Microsoft solution provider, Dot Net Solutions; and Edmonton-based F12.Net bought Calgary-based professional services company XCEL.

The most significant purchase in May 2017 was the $1.86 billion sale of CenturyLink’s data centres and colocation business to a consortium led by BC Partners, Medina Capital Advisors and Longview Asset Management. Cybersecurity startup, Hexadite, was bought by Microsoft for $100 million. Goldman Sachs entered the BI space by purchasing a minority stake in Information Builders of New York City. Apple acquired Beddit, a Finnish sleep sensor product, for an undisclosed amount. Finnish cybersecurity firm, F-Secure acquired British security consultants, Digital Assurance also for an undisclosed amount.

Last year, May 2018 was a very active month for M&A activity, with Microsoft’s $7.5 billion purchase of GitHub leading the pack in size. Microsoft also bought AI company Semantic Machines. PayPal paid $2.2 billion for European payments company iZettle; Recruit paid $2.1 billion for Glassdoor; Investment firm KKR paid $2 billion for BMC Software; and Office Depot paid $1 billion for CompuCom. Other big names out shopping saw Oracle buy collaboration platform Datascience.com; Google bought cloud migration startup Velostrata; HPE bought Plexxi; Rackspace bought RelationEdge; and Splunk bought Phantom Cyber Company.

Which brings us back to the present

The big deal in May 2019 saw HPE pay $1.3 billion for supercomputer manufacturer Cray. Palo Alto Networks continued growing its cybersecurity capability with the purchase of two companies, Twistlock and PureSec. Plus, there was some M&A activity among a number of other well-known companies: Amazon bought mesh network company Eero; Symantec bought Luminate Security; Rogers bolstered its podcast capability with the purchase of Pacific Content; NCR added to its point of sale depth, buying Texas POS; Foursquare bought competitor location tech company, Placed; ServiceNow picked up the assets of mobile analytics company Appsee; and Comcast bought WiFi company Deep Blue Communications.

Cybersecurity continues to be topical, with an Accenture report highlighting the increasing cost to companies for cybercrime; a Proofpoint report also highlighted the sheer volume of attacks on Canadian businesses.

Other news saw some Canadian cities receiving Federal taxpayer money to improve their SmartCity initiative, with Montreal winning the big money, $50 million. There has been a lot of news on 5G, particularly concerns around Chinese company Huawei, but china is rolling out the first national 5G network — perhaps their answer to supporting that company?

A look around the world at employment numbers and economic indicators suggests that generally employment numbers are improving, with a few exceptions. Brexit continues to plague the UK and inhibit business. It was also interesting see that Germany unemployment numbers worsened in May, for the first time in 5 years, albeit a tiny change from 4.9% unemployment to 5%. The US added 275,000 jobs in April and their GDP grew at an annual rate of 3.1%, continuing their strong economic growth, the longest expansion in US history. Canada showed an increase of 106,500 jobs in April (61,000 if you prefer the ADP numbers) which is excellent growth. GDP growth however remains anemic at an annual rate of 0.4%.

Regional Job Market Update for Calgary, Alberta (June 2019)

Kelly Benson By Kelly Benson,
Branch Manager at Eagle

Regional Job Market Update for Calgary, AlbertaCautious optimism has been the name of the game in Calgary this past year. However, recent developments have many dropping the word “optimism” from that phrase. Our city is still plagued with uncertainty related to low oil prices, no ability to get our resources to new markets and heightened government regulations. This has led economists to take a good hard look at our province and the reports are concerning:

However, in the spring, Albertans elected a new government who won (in part) due to an obsession with job creation. This new government has brought confidence to some (and panic to others!). Corporate Calgary appears to be feeling positive about this change and is watching closely to see if these new initiatives will help. Only time will tell!

BUT… IT has a Better Story to Tell

While the general unemployment rate in Calgary is hovering around 7%, the good news is that Calgary’s ICT unemployment rate is 4.1%, which most economists would agree is “supply constrained”.

Every day, we are seeing our clients exploring different ways to use technology and, as a result, demand for IT professionals is increasing. Leveraging technology has become the “new” way of doing business and businesses are embracing it. However, at low unemployment levels, it is simply more difficult to attract and retain staff, which can make it difficult for businesses to leverage these new technologies to achieve growth.

Year-over-Year Growth

Here at Eagle, we have seen a consistent improvement in our business over the past year. Comparing year-over-year data, our volume of job orders is up 40% and we have also seen a 20% reduction in applicants to our job postings. The need for resources is steadily increasing and the number of candidates looking for work has decreased.

Where is the Demand?

In a city that has too few jobs, there are absolutely some positions that are hurting for talent. We continue to see demand (and low supply) in the following areas:

  • Development: full stack developers, front-end developers, BI developers
  • IT Business Analysts with technical depth
  • Project Managers
  • Solution Architects
  • SAP Consultants

Project-based activity has been picking up across most industries that we support. The majority of the project and programs are falling into one of these categories:

  • Digital Transformation
  • BI/Big Data
  • Application Modernization
  • ERP

Demand in these areas is expected to continue as our clients continue to initiate multi-year initiatives. Given that we are already somewhat constrained by the availability of qualified resources, we expect demand to outpace supply in these areas in the very near future.

The Stories Behind Trillion Dollar Valuations

In the last year, three technology giants became the first companies to hit the $1 trillion-dollar valuation mark on Wall Street, with Microsoft being the most recent and Alphabet predicted to be the next. It’s an incredible feat, especially considering how each has their own story of highs and lows before their stock suddenly exploded.

This video from the Wall Street Journal explores each company’s accomplishment, where they came from, and what innovations helped drive them over the top. Where do you think these companies will go next? Will they keep growing, plateau or collapse? Who will be the next to hit this milestone? Share your predictions in the comments below.