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Fun fact: only eight per cent of the world’s money exist as physical cash, the rest? All digital. Since transactions large and small are performed in ones and zeroes, RBC is racing to ensure widespread digital banking access.

A major part of RBC’s digital transformation strategy is its three application programmable interfaces (API) platforms, which provides developers with an easy way to quickly create custom software solutions.

The API platforms share a common technology stack, and allowed RBC to create both new delivery models and explore new business opportunities. Perhaps most impressively, the development team launched the internal, partner, and the external API developer portals in just four months — a process that typically takes 18 to 36 months, thanks largely to its sharing and reuse development culture instead of relying on agile alone.

Though it’s only a step in its digital transformation strategy, the results are already impressive. Aside from the accelerated development time, the APIs garnered 4,800 developers, internal and partner platforms within the first year. Because of the reduced cost and time to integrate, RBC was able to incorporate 15 partners in less than two weeks, whom created over 320 internal reusable APIs.



Developing life-saving drugs is in equal parts noble and strenuous, a grind that Pharmascience, a full-service privately owned pharmaceutical company, understands all too well. Hailing from Quebec since 1983, its 1,375 employees work tirelessly to bring safer, more effective products to market. It invested over $43 million in research and development in 2018 alone.

Regulatory compliance, specifically its organization and referencing, are major impediments to development time. Prior to its digital transformation strategy, Pharmascience followed more than 3,700 paper-based regulatory documents. This was problematic as paper lacked version control and were hard to organize, significantly slowing the time to market. Furthermore, these regulations were constantly being audited and amended, complicating the already delicate and encumbering process.

To resolve this issue, Pharmascience partnered with OpenText, an enterprise information management company, and created a dedicated enterprise content management system, digitizing all paper documents. This relieves its staff of the mundane sorting process and saves referencing time.

But not everyone agreed with the drastic digital transformation of a critical function. Pharmascience noted that some of its employees were reticent at first, so it provided ample training material and held workshops to facilitate this change. It also instated a support department after implementation.

Due to the confidential nature of the pharmaceutical industry, Pharmascience is unable to release statistics relating to its digital transformation. However, it does emphasize its success in significant time-saving benefits.

Canadian Tire Corporation

When one thinks of Canadian Tire Corp., the mind likely goes to the stores you see in almost every Canadian town and their large selections of tools and other home improvement products.

But they now own a network of brands including Mark’s, Pro Hockey Life, Sportchek, and Helly Hansen. With this network as leverage, they are in the midst of a shift towards offering more digital-enabled products like connected home products, as has come to be expected by the modern consumer.

One of their newest examples of such products is an air purifier and humidifier that uses sensors, weather monitoring services, and voice assistants to automatically adjust air quality and humidity and filter usage.

As well, they also recently partnered with Myant Inc., a company based out of Etobicoke that specializes in textile computing (clothing and other attire equipped with sensors to monitor biometrics), to bring wearable computing and smart textiles to some of CTC’s brands like Mark’s and Helly Hansen.

To usher in this change in strategy, CTC made the choice to change the culture of the company by putting more emphasis in bringing its online shopping and in-store shopping together for a more seamless experience.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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