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Google Cloud opening its first Toronto region amid rush to digitalization

68% of Canadian businesses said they’ve accelerated their digital transformation strategies due to the pandemic

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Google Cloud has opened a Toronto cloud region, its second location in Canada, as it seeks to serve a growing Canadian customer base.

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The Toronto region, which was initially announced in early March 2020, follows the opening of the Montreal region in 2018, and is the company’s 28th worldwide.

It also comes after more than a year of significant digitalization for Canadian businesses. According to a May survey by KPMG in Canada, 68 per cent of Canadian businesses said they’ve accelerated their digital transformation strategies due to the pandemic, and 57 per cent said they’d increased their budget for digitalization.

“The past year has proved how important easy access to digital infrastructure, technical education, training and support are to helping businesses respond to the pandemic,” Jim Lambe, Google Cloud Canada’s managing director, said in a blog post.

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“We’re particularly proud of the teams who faced the unique challenges of building a cloud region during this time to help our customers and communities accelerate their digital transformation.”

The Toronto region will launch with three zones, which Google Cloud said would protect against service disruptions by distributing companies’ apps and storage.

The company also rolled out a preview of its “assured workloads” capability that it said will allow companies to secure sensitive workloads and configure them to comply with regulatory or policy requirements.

  1. A new Google Cloud platform region to come to Toronto

  2. Small and medium businesses represent 99.8 per cent of Canadian businesses and employ roughly 10.8 million people.

    Small and medium-sized businesses’ adoption of technology crucial to Canada’s pandemic recovery: report

  3. None

    Federal innovation fund awards nearly a third of its funding to past recipients

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Google Cloud’s Canadian customers include companies in financial services, media and entertainment, retail and telecommunications, as well as the public sector.

Natural Resources Canada’s chief scientist and chief science advisor Vik Pant said in the blog the new region will give department scientists, technologists and researchers the products and services they need to glean insights from Earth data.

In June, Google announced its first Google Cloud Accelerator Canada cohort. The program gave 12 Canadian startups working on cloud-related projects — including home-financing startup Nesto, loyalty program creator Spoonity, online ordering system UEAT and retail analytics company Vantage — access to Google’s technology, products, programs and expertise.

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