CDW Canada: Helping Startups Build Their Digital Future

CDW Canada: Helping Startups Build Their Digital Future

We spoke with Kale Johnson, Senior Manager for the National Small Business and Startup team at CDW Canada, who shared his valuable insights on the impact of technology on the Canadian small business landscape in the coming years, the biggest challenges that small businesses face when it comes to technology, the types of technologies that are important for startups, the three key ways CDW helps startups digitally transform their operations, and much more.

Kale Johnson is the Senior Manager for the National Small Business and Startup team at CDW Canada.

With 13 years of experience in the IT industry, Kale has experience leading teams serving small, medium and large enterprise customers. His passion is helping provide the right IT solutions to customers across Canada.


How do you see technology impacting the Canadian small business landscape over the next few years?

We have seen an unprecedented acceleration of digital transformation in the last three years, primarily driven by remote and hybrid work. Many businesses now need to figure out how to optimize the investments they have made to ensure they are getting the most value out of their technology.

The other piece of optimizing technology is protecting these investments, both physical and digital. A company’s assets, intellectual property and reputation could be at stake without a strong security strategy in place.


What do you think is the biggest challenge that small businesses face when it comes to technology?

The most common response we get from small businesses is they have trouble deciding which technology they want to invest their money in. There are so many products and solutions available, and that’s why it’s important to have a trusted partnership with an IT solution provider who can help you navigate the options.


What types of technology do you think are important for startups to be using? How can startups secure their operations and protect their data?

Startups should be primarily focused on “As a Service” offerings that allow them to focus on activities that drive the differentiation of their brand. For instance, using Software as a Service (SaaS) applications that store data in the cloud can take away the headaches of managing your data on premises – but you still need to be responsible for protecting that data.

Fortunately, disaster recovery (DR) or backup can be outsourced to IT solutions providers like CDW. Having just one of those solutions will probably not be sufficient to protect a startup from a ransomware attack, which is the most likely cause of data loss. Don’t get me wrong, having security solutions in place is extremely important, but it’s even more important to have a plan in place before the inevitable occurs, and that’s another area where CDW can provide the expertise to help your startup.


What are the three key ways CDW helps startups digitally transform their operations? How does CDW ensure that its solutions are tailored to meet the needs of startups?

1) First, we will consult with our solution specialists to ensure we are aligned with the business outcomes you are hoping to achieve with your digital transformation project. Our specialists provide detailed vendor evaluations and recommendations to identify compatible vendors for you.

2) We ensure that you can find a solution that best suits your organization’s needs, outcomes and budget.

3) We can offer post-sales professional and managed services to ensure successful implementation and/or management of your new technology solution.

CDW Canada: Helping Startups Build Their Digital Future

To ensure we are uniquely addressing the concerns of startups, we have a team of dedicated startup account managers that have years of experience with scaling businesses. Our solution architects work with businesses of all sizes and understand the needs of a startup at all points of their growth journey.


What advice would you give to small businesses who want to become digital leaders?

Digital transformation is the hot phrase right now, but it is truly a strategy that you want to adopt in all aspects of your business and your value chain. Also, it is important to understand that most digital transformations fail. Whether it is choosing the wrong process of your business to transform, or due to a lack of employee adoption, most of these projects are not successful. Having a tolerance for risk is important but assessing how an individual digital transformation project will positively impact your business outcomes is incredibly important.

From our side, choosing the right partners to help you plan and implement your chosen project is the next step to helping you have a successful implementation from a technology perspective. At CDW, we can help you navigate the vast technology landscape to choose the right technology for your business outcomes and support you from end to end.

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