Five companies and organisations that grasp digitalisation

2016-10-11, 16:58 Posted by: Kristina Cato

Not everyone can do a Spotify – but there are big gains to be made from the digitalisation of existing activities. We have spotted five traditional companies and organisations that are embracing digital technology to develop their operations and to generate added value for their customers and the wider public – as an inspiration for you.

1. Försäkringskassan, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency

In 2008, one of the biggest IT project to date collapsed – Försäkringskassan's disastrous SAP project, which might have costed taxpayers one billion kronor. The project was halted, and the agency reverted to its old UNIX system and began to build a stable platform, assisted mainly by its own engineers in Sundsvall. Today, the relationship between operation and development is at a level most other companies and organisations can only dream of. Försäkringskassan recently spent an annual SEK 123 million on operation and SEK 600 million on development. Even the high-profile crashes have been conspicuous by their absence over the past two years. Their digital transformation is really impressive!

2. Max Hamburgerrestauranger

Swedish hamburger restaurant chain Max makes half its sales through digital channels. This number includes their mobile app and their express checkouts, which are touchscreen terminals where diners can choose their meal and pay. The company's first restaurant designed entirely for digital sales was opened in Umeå in May. For Max, digitalisation brings higher average orders. Diners are more stressed at traditional checkouts, but with digital ordering they have more time, resulting in more side orders such as dips or other accompaniments.

3. Permobil

In 1963, Timrå-based doctor Per Uddén founded the company Permobil to produce his own electric wheelchair. Today the company is owned by Investor, and last year had annual sales of SEK 2.9 billion. The company has been implementing far-reaching digitalisation in recent years, and its wheelchairs are now connected to the internet. Maintenance requirements are managed online, and health data for the individual using the wheelchair is handled by a database to optimise their care needs. Digitalisation means that Permobil is now a healthcare-oriented company.

4. Axel-Johnson Group

Digitalisation is in full swing at Axel Johnson Group under the leadership of CEO Mia Brunell Livfors, who previously managed Kinnevik's billion krona investment in German startup factory Rocket Internet and e-commerce site Zalando. Among the launches to date are the Åhléns online store, grocery retailer Willys, the Hemköp online store and Lasingoo, which is a portal for booking car mechanics. The group is also undertaking a broad initiative to improve skills in digital technology, in partnership with providers such as Hyper Island.

5. City of Stockholm

The City of Stockholm went all-in for outsourcing in 2008 when the then-CIO Anette Holm got behind the levers at the IT department. The outsourcing of PC workstations to Volvo IT outraged teachers in particular. The computers were impossible to use in class. Today, Stockholm is a connected city providing around 60 e-services, and major initiatives are underway in schools and elderly care with the help of digital technology.

The current CIO, Ann Hellenius, was recently voted European CIO of the Year in competition with CIOs from major companies like Telefonica, Unilever and financial giant UBS.

So what is the key behind these organisations' success?

  1. They embrace digitalisation but make well-chosen investments.
  2. These companies and organisations start with their traditional business or mission, and look at how they can change ordering, delivery or production. It is unusual to attempt to deal with all three areas at the same time.
  3. The organisation itself drives the changes.

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Kristina Cato

Head of Sustainability and Communications

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