The Ultimate Insider's Guide to CDAP Digital Advisors

Want to know everything there is to CDAP Digital Advisors? This ultimate cheat sheet takes you on an insider's journey, revealing secrets and strategies that no other blog has uncovered. From understanding their roles to selecting the best candidate, this guide covers everything you need to know to leverage their expertise and achieve digital success.

Humor me to take a wild guess—you are reading this now because:

  • You are a small business owner 
  • You are a Canadian citizen
  • The term CDAP is not alien to you and you want access to grant money
  • You want to know everything there is to know about working with a CDAP Advisor


If you check all the criteria above, you are in the perfect place.

Warning: This is a long read. The use of the term “comprehensive” was not taken lightly. Rightfully so, a CDAP advisor is a strategic partner who guides you through digital transformation, from assessment to implementation and beyond. With so much at stake, choosing the right one is crucial.
We have rounded up everything you need to know about a CDAP-certified advisor, from basic roles and responsibilities to benefits and insider tips to find the best one for you and your business (because really, it takes one to know one!). Happy hunting!

In a nutshell: CDAP Advisor

To put it simply, a CDAP Advisor is an expert who guides and supports businesses participating in the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP). This program, supported by a $4 billion government initiative, aims to provide grants to a projected 160,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) for adopting digital technologies.

Supporting a digital economy will help Canadian companies grow and create more jobs, and will be crucial to Canada's long-term competitiveness. Through CDAP, SMEs can access grants of up to $15,000 for engaging digital advisors and up to $100,000 for implementing technology.


The Big E's: Benefits of Working with a Skilled CDAP Advisor

After working with different clients in Altitude B2B, we've identified what we call the "Big E's" that highlight the key benefits of engaging with a CDAP-certified digital advisor. These E's can help SMEs unlock their full potential and thrive through digital adoption:

Economics: Beyond the CDAP subsidy that reduces the cost of engaging digital advisors, a certified CDAP expert will recommend cost-effective digital solutions tailored to fit within your budget.

Expertise: CDAP Advisors bring a deep understanding of digital technologies and their practical applications, ensuring you receive tailored recommendations that directly address your unique business needs and challenges.

 Efficiency: With their high level of expertise, working with a CDAP Advisor can streamline your digital transformation process, helping you bypass the trial-and-error stage and keep within timelines and schedules.

Expand Your Network: CDAP Advisors possess a wealth of valuable industry connections, enabling them to provide access to the best vendor options and open doors to other opportunities within your sector.

Elevate Your Business: More than just securing grants, CDAP Advisors proactively guide you in implementing transformative digital tools, driving sustainable growth, and elevating your business to new heights.


How CDAP Digital Advisors Work

While some may advertise their services with flair, you can expect the following while working with a CDAP accredited digital advisor:

  • Comprehensive Assessment: This will be done through a series of discovery calls for a  thorough evaluation of your current digital landscape, deep-diving into your business goals, challenges, and areas that need improvement. This lays the foundation for a tailored approach.
  • Customized Strategic Blueprint: Based on the insights gained, the advisor will develop a personalized digital adoption plan that outlines the recommended solutions, expected outcomes, implementation timelines, and projected budget. Aside from setting expectations and transparency, this stage also sets an important requirement for securing the CDAP grant.
  • Grant Guidance: With an understanding of your unique needs, the advisor will support you in navigating the CDAP grant application process. They'll help prepare the necessary documents and ensure a compelling submission that maximizes your chances of securing funding.
  • Implementation Oversight: Once funding is approved, the advisor will provide project management support, closely monitoring the implementation progress. Their guidance, feedback, and expertise will ensure the project stays on track, meeting deadlines and budget constraints.
  • Continuous review and support: After the digital solutions have been implemented, the advisor will conduct a comprehensive review to evaluate the project's results, measure the impact on your business, and suggest any further enhancements or improvements to amplify your success.



How to Choose the Right CDAP Advisor for Your Business

When it comes to selecting the right CDAP advisor for your business, it's essential to find someone who aligns with your goals and values. The right advisor can make a significant impact on the success of your digital transformation journey. Here's what you need to check and consider from your chosen CDAP advisor candidates:

1. Qualifications

A CDAP-certified advisor should be able to provide their qualifications readily. Look for certifications, relevant education, and training that demonstrate their expertise in digital transformation and advisory services.

 2. Experience

Assess the experience of a potential CDAP advisor by looking for their track record of successfully guiding businesses through digital transformations. Consider their experience working with companies similar to yours in terms of size and industry.

3. Track Record of Success

In the end, numbers don’t lie. Go ahead and request case studies or testimonials from previous clients to understand the outcomes delivered by the CDAP Advisor. This will give you insights into their ability to drive results and achieve business objectives.

4. Reputation.

Reputation cannot be built overnight, and it provides a glimpse of how CDAP advisors handle their client relationships. Reach out to other businesses that have worked with the CDAP Advisor you are considering. Ask about their experience, satisfaction level, and the overall value they received from working with the advisor. You can also check for service reviews or get recommendations from other businesses in social media groups or communities.


Bonus Content: Fun Facts About CDAP Advisors

CDAP Advisors help you succeed in some interesting ways!

Just because we like going the extra mile, here are some fun facts on CDAP Advisors that don’t make it on most pitch decks (You’re welcome!)


The term "advisor" is preferred over "consultant". CDAP Advisors emphasize their guiding and collaborative approach towards digital transformation projects. They work closely with businesses, offering advice and support every step of the way.

CDAP Advisors offer vendor-neutral advice. To ensure that businesses choose the most suitable digital solutions, CDAP Advisors provide unbiased recommendations. They consider a range of options and technologies, rather than being influenced by any specific technology provider.

They play a key role in grant applications. CDAP Advisors assist businesses in the grant application process. They help with project proposal development and budget planning, increasing the chances of approval for funding. Watch out for some unicorns that even go the extra mile and write the grant application for you.

They encourage long-term sustainability. CDAP advisors not only focus on immediate results but also promote long-term sustainability. They encourage businesses to build internal capabilities to ensure continued success even after the completion of the digital transformation project.

Trust and integrity are essential qualities: A trustworthy CDAP advisor adheres to a code of conduct that prioritizes clients' best interests. These professionals maintain the highest standards of ethics, ensuring that businesses receive reliable and unbiased advice.

Demand for experienced CDAP Advisors is on the rise. As more SMEs recognize the need for strategic guidance in their digitization efforts, the demand for experienced CDAP advisors is increasing. This is only heightened by the fact that there are only over 250 CDAP-certified advisors in the marketplace, and the application for new CDAP advisors has been closed. Take this as a sign to start your CDAP journey with a certified digital maturity advisor as soon as possible!


Insider Tips to Secure the Best CDAP Advisor

A CDAP Advisor holding out a light bulb in the palm of his hand with graphs indicating success

Still unsure of how to find the best CDAP Advisor? Here are some actionable tips you can follow to help secure the perfect partner for your digital transformation journey:

Know where to find them. To make the process of finding a reputable and skilled CDAP advisor easier, consider utilizing the CDAP Digital Advisor Marketplace. This platform connects businesses with approved advisors through a structured and transparent hiring process. It provides a wide selection of advisors with diverse expertise, making it easier for you to find someone who meets your specific needs. LinkedIn is also a great way to find CDAP 


Make a CDAP advisor list. Having set your own criteria for what will be a good fit for you, go ahead and round up a few candidates for comparison. Some CDAP advisors focus on a particular service like cybersecurity, tax compliance, digital marketing, or software development. While expertise on a particular segment of digital transformation can be helpful, CDAP advisors should be able to uphold the CDAP advisor’s Code of Conduct and offer vendor-neutral advice. This ensures that the advice that you will be getting is holistic and unbiased in just one aspect of your business.


Consider Local. When it comes to choosing a CDAP advisor, consider opting for a local professional who understands the unique challenges and opportunities within your region. A local advisor can provide insights tailored to your specific market, leveraging their knowledge of local business dynamics, regulations, and industry trends. This localized expertise can help you make more informed decisions and maximize the impact of your digital transformation initiatives.

Take it out for a spin. Like any other service, a good CDAP advisor should be able to showcase their capabilities during an initial consultation. This is your chance to test their business acumen, communication skills, and ethics. Don't be afraid to ask probing questions and assess their ability to provide clear, concise, and actionable advice. A CDAP advisor who can impress you from the get-go is more likely to deliver exceptional results throughout your collaboration.


Curtain Call: Start a Conversation with a CDAP-Certified Digital Advisor Now


Choosing the right CDAP advisor is a significant decision for any business. After all, you'll be entrusting someone with intimate knowledge of your company's inner workings—a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Take the time to carefully evaluate potential candidates, conduct thorough research, and don't skip any crucial steps in your due diligence.


At Altitude B2B, we understand that SMEs often face unique challenges and time constraints, so we strive to make the process as seamless as possible. We take pride in fostering open lines of communication and building relationships based on trust and transparency. Start your CDAP journey with a collaborative, no-obligation call to understand your goals, pain points, and the specific opportunities where digital transformation can drive meaningful impact. We'll take the time to truly listen and ask the right questions, ensuring we develop a comprehensive understanding of your company's DNA