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Survey: Swedish companies lagging in digitalisation

Published torsdag 21 januari 2016 kl 18.15
"We tend to think of Sweden as a mature IT country but there are many challenges"
(5:20 min)
Klassen använde olika digitala verktyg. Foto: Fredrik Sandberg/TT.
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT.

IT decision makers at Swedish companies feel like Sweden is playing digital catch-up with other countries and are less optimistic about the benefits of increased digitalisation than their European counterparts, according to a new survey presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The survey is based on interviews with 600 decision makers at companies in Sweden, Spain, Germany and in the U.K. The interviewees have been asked to asses how digitally mature they believe that their companies are, what they think of digitalisation and what challenges they see in the coming years, and 66 percent of the Swedish respondents answered that they felt like their companies were lagging behind.

"I think that Swedish decision makers, such as executives, management and board members, lack the knowledge and expertise needed to understand how digitalisation can help and improve competitiveness to their companies, but we also see that decisions regarding digitalisation are either driven by the business side or the IT side of the company instead of by clear strategies and we see how this means that some companies are struggling to leverage the opportunities of digitalisation," says Karin Schreil Jonsson, managing director at the Swedish branch of Fujitsu, who has carried out the survey.

The survey also showed that fewer Swedish decision makers believe that increased digitalisation will automatically lead to increased productivity or improved competitiveness compared to their European counterparts, and Schreil Jonsson believes that people are less optimistic about digitalisation here because there are not as many positive examples on the market yet and because the competition between companies here is less fierce.

"We tend to think about ourselves as a mature IT country, and in a sense we are, but we also see that the competition between companies here is not pushing companies towards increased digitalisation as much as in neighbouring countries like Germany. The pressure is simply not quite there yet," says Schreil Jonsson.

The survey, however, is only based on assessments and Schreil Jonsson admits that it is possible that other countries are just being over-confident.

"We don't know, and there could be cultural aspects as to how we respond to these kinds of surveys too, but these results are very much in line with the discussions we have with companies in the market and the public sector," says Schreil Jonsson.

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