How To Use CDAP Principles To Empower Your Small Business

Small and medium-sized businesses employ millions of people and are vital to any country’s economic growth. So the government of Canada created the Canada Digital Adoption Program to help Canadian businesses adopt the technology they need to keep them competitive in an increasingly digital world. However, not every Canadian business qualifies for this grant.  

In today’s fast-paced digital world, businesses that don’t qualify for the Canada Digital Adoption Plan (CDAP) grant are facing an uphill battle. These businesses struggle to afford the latest digital technologies, which leaves them at a severe disadvantage and puts them at risk of falling behind their competitors.

But don’t lose hope! With the right mindset and approach, businesses can still find alternative funding sources, seek out support from technology providers, and gain advice from industry experts to stay competitive and thrive in the digital era. The key is to take action now and embrace the opportunities that digital transformation can bring.

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In today’s fast-paced digital world, businesses that don’t qualify for the Canada Digital Adoption Plan (CDAP) grant are facing an uphill battle. With limited access to funding, they risk missing out on the critical support and guidance provided through the program, making it even harder to navigate the complex world of digital adoption. If this is you, we can imagine the frustration that you’re feeling!

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Let’s take a look at the areas of the Canada Digital Adoption Program addresses and see how you can create a plan that works for your business.

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The very first step in analyzing your digital infrastructure is your assessment.  Start by making a list of all of the applications, platforms, and services that you use.  Consider everything from your accounting software to your internet service provider.  It would be helpful to you if you know which areas of your business each application applies to and where they have the potential to be used. 

For example, you may have accounting software that employees can also use to track time.  It could also be beneficial to pull department leads, trusted employees, and the staff that you know are great thinkers into a team to assist with the process.  You may be pleasantly surprised by the ideas and information they can provide!

There are six categories reviewed in the Canada Digital Adoption Plan that you can use to in this process:

  • Internal Staff
  • Company Processes
  • Digital Marketing
  • Business Applications
  • Information and Data
  • IT Infrastructure

Carefully considering how the software you currently use can benefit each of these categories can help you cut down on the number of applications you pay for, saving money and time in the long run.  You may also find holes that need to be filled with new applications or software, but knowing exactly what you need can help eliminate overpaying for unnecessary features and apps.

Taking a look at those six single-word categories might leave you scratching your head.  You are not alone!  Let’s take a closer look at each category so you know what to consider in your self-assessment.

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Internal Staff

When considering the people in your business, you’re reviewing a few points with your team in mind.  Things to consider in this category are how your team works together, how they learn so that they improve and grow within your company, and how you track their productivity.

Is your team able to easily collaborate, both onsite and offsite?  Using an application for team communication can be a great way to encourage your team to work together.  There are lots of options for team collaboration platforms, so it’s not difficult to find the one that works best for your business.  

How do you track team and individual productivity? You’ll want to consider tracking productivity, not to babysit your team, but to be able to offer guidance and take corrective measures if a staff member isn’t meeting expectations.  It’s hard to fix a problem if you don’t know that it’s happening.  The other side of that coin is being able to recognize the people that are meeting and exceeding expectations.

One thing the pandemic has taught us is that remote work is sometimes necessary.  Is your company ready for another lockdown? Or do you already offer remote positions?  Considering the potential for remote work now can set you up to deal seamlessly with an emergency that is out of your control.

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Company Processes

This category considers how the workflow is managed and how your team shares information. When reviewing processes, consider things like how projects are managed, whether you have an organized Knowledge Base, how you and your staff track progress toward goals, and how much automation is in play.

The “work smarter, not harder” mantra is a great thing to keep in mind here. The Canada Digital Adoption Program is designed to help you find ways to automate processes in your business. Automation can positively impact the amount of time you spend monitoring these processes. So look at the processes your company uses now, then look for ways to improve and automate those processes and their tracking.

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Digital Marketing

Another principle of the Canada Digital Adoption Program is digital marketing.  Social media, website, and client interaction are all covered here.  Do you post regularly on social media?  Does your website have great SEO? Are you posting new blogs on your website on a set schedule?  Your online presence is a vital part of the Canada Digital Adoption Program.  So taking a critical look at your website, your social media, and the way your customers interact with your business is time well spent.

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Business Applications

Finding the perfect applications and platforms is a game-changer for any company.  But what does that process look like for your company?  It’s important to have a plan in place for discovering, implementing, and managing those applications.  Here’s why.

It’s super easy to sign up for applications, use them for a week or two, then forget about them for weeks or even months.  We both know you don’t want to throw money away, so having a clear process for applications can help you find new applications and stay on top of new technology.  It can also help you identify the best apps for your business and get rid of the apps that are outdated or unused.  

Including team members in the process can also help with testing and implementation.  You can get real-world feedback from your application team, which will help you make an informed decision and create a team of experts that the rest of your employees will be able to go to with questions!  It’s a win-win!

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Information and Data

The way you track, store and analyze data can be transformed by the Canada Digital Adoption Program principles.  How do you track performance in each department?  

Gathering and analyzing data can be a little time-consuming, but it’s a critical part of predicting growth, tracking ROI (return on investment), and making sure that your team is performing well. So spending some time finding an application or platform to automate information tracking is a great way to improve your digital business practices!  You’ll have a better handle on future growth, and you can help your employees set and reach new goals to support your business.

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IT Infrastructure

IT Security is a very important principle in the Canada Digital Adoption Program and it is more important now than it has ever been. Companies are faced with cyber attacks that cripple them and damage their reputation. No one is exempt. We hear about data leaks all of the time.

So how can you protect your business from a cyber attack? Software and training. Depending on the nature of your business, you’ll need at least some level of security software to protect your data, your network, and your clients. There may also be standards in your sector or specific regulations from the government (healthcare is an example of a field that would involve government regulation relating to security.)

Training your employees to recognize phishing attacks or other scams sent through email or other messaging platforms that aim to get information that is protected or private. Setting clear expectations in a written policy is also beneficial and can be included in training packets and in your Knowledge Base.

With the principles of the Canada Digital Adoption Program at your fingertips, you have the information you need to assess your digital infrastructure and bring your business into the new millennium.  But if you still have questions, you realize you need help with your website, or you just need some advice, give us a call.  We would love to work with you!


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