Toronto emerges as global tech hotspot

The tech sector is booming. Specifically, the HR tech sector is reaping the benefits of significant corporate spend and a willingness from vendors in the space to invest in breakthrough technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and mobile apps.

KPMG’s Global HR Transformation Survey predicted that 38 per cent of organizations would increase HR technology spending in 2017, up eight per cent from 2016. In addition, a third of organizations planned to implement a new human resources management system (HRMS) in 2017.

The success of June’s inaugural HR Tech Summit in Toronto, attended by over 500 HR and tech professionals, was testimony to how buoyant the HR technology sector is, and also highlighted why the Toronto region is being viewed as the ‘Silicon Valley of the North’.

In October, Forbes rated Toronto as the second best location in the world to create a tech startup based on available talent, financial perks and other benefits.

The stretch between Toronto and Kitchener is already home to the Google, Shopify and RIM offices along with thousands of startups. The Forbes Technology Council – consisting of successful CIOs, CTOs & executives – reported that Toronto is the next tech hub “because it provides startups with access to some of the world’s best and brightest innovators.”

The Toronto-Waterloo Region Corridor has the second highest density of startups in the world. Some 15,000 tech companies employing over 200,000 workers call the region home. Providing a pipeline of talent into these organizations are the region’s 16 universities and colleges. Institutes devoted to quantum computing, theoretical physics and AI are ensuring Toronto retains its pre-eminent position as a tech powerhouse. Competitive corporate tax rates, supportive government leadership and global networks to create new industries are further perks for tech players.

It’s no surprise that Amazon is considering Toronto as home to its second North American headquarters, or HQ2. If chosen, the company is expected to invest over $US5 billion in construction and will grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs in the region.

With ever-increasing pressure on employers to invest in the employee experience, more personalized HR services and more sophisticated HR analytics, 2018 will be a crucial time for HR professionals to broaden their knowledge base and deepen their skill sets – not only by discovering more about how technology will impact their own roles, but how tech disruption is transforming the wider workforce.

The HR Tech Summit Toronto will return on 26th and 27th June, 2018. Consisting of two separate conference programs catering to all HR professionals, the HR Tech Summit is more than your typical HR conference. It features a contemporary trade expo, interactive workshops, thought-leadership interviews, engaging activities and valuable networking opportunities.