Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Today, rapidly changing technology is shifting our world and the way we interact. Business systems and entertainment, environmental protection, artificial intelligence and virtual worlds—these domains continue to advance, empower and transform every aspect of our lives. Winnipeg’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector is advancing right alongside.
Winnipeg has a thriving and growing community of small and medium sized ICT companies with diverse skills and expertise in systems design, health informatics, e-learning, master data management, financial software, security, wired and wireless communications, mobile, web and cloud applications, and visual and motion graphics, and gaming.
Winnipeg also has a multitalented, innovative and entrepreneurial developer community with many high-tech start-ups. These developers benefit from Winnipeg’s competitive business costs and its cooperative business environment, combining to create access to private and public sector organizations with international clients and global reach, while still offering a collaborative environment in which to partner, innovate and grow.
Notable firms—including Microsoft, Bell MTS, Canadian Tire Cloud Computing Centre, Imaginet, Online Business Systems—have operational hubs in Winnipeg. Rising stars include Farmers Edge, Librestream, SkipThe Dishes, Bold Commerce, Sightline Innovations, to name a few.
- Employment in the ICT sector increased nine per cent from 2011 to 2016. This is on par with the national average. Those engaged in computer systems and design experienced the largest growth at 71 percent over this same period.
- When compared to other large metropolitan areas specializing in the ICT sector, Winnipeg has very competitive labour costs. The average annual salary for a software engineer at $100K is the third lowest among all the major metropolitan areas across Canada.
- Winnipeg’s ICT sector is highly export-focused, with exports of about $183 million in ICT goods in 2016, up 29 percent from 2011 and above the national rate of 13 percent.
- Approximately 1,100 businesses in Winnipeg employ the ICT workforce. About 70 percent of those are in businesses relating to computer systems and design at the micro sized level consisting of one to four employees.
- According to a recent Canadian Tech Talent Report, Winnipeg is the least expensive city to operate a tech company and a more affordable place for potential employees to call home. The average asking rent per square foot in Winnipeg is $24, compared to almost $40 in Vancouver.
- To bolster the ICT entrepreneurial community, Red River College has recently broke ground on their new $95 million building located in the Exchange District campus in downtown Winnipeg. This building will house the Business Information Technology and Business Technology Management programs.
- Bell MTS had signed on for a 3-year sponsorship that made Innovation Alley the launch point for the deployment of Gigabit Fibe Internet and LTE-Advanced wireless. Those network enhancements were part of the company’s plan to invest $1 billion in the province over five years to accelerate broadband communications services throughout Manitoba.
- The Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba (ICTAM) is the primary industry association and has over 130 corporate members representing approximately 10,000 employees.
Businesses in Winnipeg that employ ICT workforce
ICT sector exports in 2016
Increase in ICT exports since 2011
Growth in ICT sector employment, 2011 - 2016