The ThinkOn team on a company-wide retreat in North Bay, Ontario

Award-winning cloud solution provider ThinkOn selects the “Gateway of the North” for its $4M Global Command and Cyber Security Operations Centre

Cybersecurity is an exploding industry. By 2028, experts predict the cybersecurity market will be worth $366 billion as the field continues to evolve and more aspects of people’s lives are shared online.

As an early innovator in cybersecurity, ThinkOn is a state-of-the-art cloud solution provider with a global footprint. Its focus is empowering clients to do whatever they need with their data without risk of breaches, manipulation or mismanagement.

ThinkOn

Established over 10 years ago, ThinkOn has found success through its ability to attract, train and retain exceptional talent. To date, ThinkOn has cultivated a team of over 130 self-described “data-obsessed experts.”

Aligning with the needs of the growing demand for cybersecurity within the global market, earlier this year, ThinkOn opened its Global Command and Cyber Security Operations Centre in North Bay, Ontario. The centre houses ThinkOn’s primary cybersecurity operations, a centre of excellence for digital public safety and a co-op program for students from North Bay’s Canadore College.

An ideal hub for employee satisfaction and business growth

Historically considered the “Gateway to the North,” North Bay is ideally located at the crossroads of trans-continental highways, railways, air and fibre-optic routes and provides a link to the north, south, east and west for transportation and communication activities.

The 'Gateway of the North' archway way in North Bay, Ontario

In the past year, North Bay has been featured as one of Ontario’s most affordable real estate markets and as one of Canada’s top 20 business environments. As a result, North Bay has seen an influx in interest and investment over the past few years, with a rise in remote work seeing more and more people abandoning the traditional population hubs for a more balanced lifestyle. And it’s something the community welcomes.

“Quality of life is more important than ever, and I’m yet to meet a single person who hasn’t welcomed us with open arms—from community members to local officials,” ThinkOn’s CEO Craig McLellan told us. “Offering employees an income, especially those who are sought after in our industry, isn’t enough. We wanted to set up our data centre somewhere where people want to live.”

Global clients such as AMD, VMware, Dell and Lenovo

In fact, North Bay’s welcome for ThinkOn included the city hosting VMware, Veeam, Dell, Hitachi Vantara, Zerto, Lenovo, AMD, Insight, Lorica and Lumen—a few of ThinkOn’s global partners—to give them a greater sense of the area that would host their data.

Maximizing Ontario’s burgeoning tech talent

Alongside the possibility of a top business environment and higher quality of life for employees, ThinkOn knew before the process began that its expansion would always be in Ontario.

“There’s a deep tech pool here in Ontario, and with our data focus, we need to be in a place that people trust—and people around the world trust Canada and Ontario,” said John Slater, ThinkOn’s Chief Security Officer. “Our operating model and security laws are ahead of a lot of places, so organizations know that they’re getting the most rigorous process when they work with an Ontarian company. So, we wanted to continue to celebrate and invest in our Ontarian roots.”

Deep collaboration with academia

ThinkOn’s investment goes beyond its organization and into North Bay’s wider community.

The brand new $4 million Global Command and Cyber Security Operations Centre was launched in partnership with Candore College, granting its co-op students access to state-of-the-art equipment to build their practical cybersecurity skillset.

“We’ve instigated this deep collaboration with the college because we want to nurture the talent of North Bay and set them up to be future leaders in the cybersecurity space,” Craig said. “All industries need great cybersecurity talent, and people learn best by doing. The co-ops who use our centre will be leaving college with as much, if not more, experience than someone who has been in a junior job for a year or two.”

Beyond Candore College, ThinkOn is also working with The First Peoples’ Centre on Education, aspiring to create jobs for Indigenous job seekers and establish bursaries for Indigenous students to ensure equitable opportunity in the city both now and long into the future.

Commerce Court campus, Canadore College

Success through a shared future

With a burgeoning technology community in North Bay, ThinkOn’s co-op program, alongside the 30+ roles it’s hiring for locally, promises to develop the economy further, something the organization takes very seriously.

“We want to bring good people to the community,” Slater explained. “And we want to be a good citizen of the community.”

With the array of talent already present in North Bay, and the infrastructure ThinkOn has established within the community, it’s clear that together, they’re building a foundation that will enable future-ready cybersecurity that’s flexible, adaptive, universal and globally accessible.

Learn more about unique cybersecurity opportunities in Ontario.

For more information about ThinkOn, go to: www.thinkon.com