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Nordic forest companies lack a clear digitalisation strategy

24 April 2018

More than half of Swedish and Finnish forest companies lack a concrete digitalization strategy. At the same time both countries have a positive approach to digital business opportunities and consider the use of real-time data, user experience, and business transformation as areas of great potential. These are some of the key findings in Tieto’s report: Forest Industry’s IT Barometer 2018.

In Sweden and Finland, an increasing number of forest companies have a business strategy for digitalization, but the majority still lack one (57% in Sweden and 51% in Finland). A similar pattern can be seen in how companies organise work involving innovation and business renewal; almost 40 percent of the Swedish respondents said they did not have a specific structure for digital innovation.

“The forest industry is a mature sector, with a relatively low rate of change. But now we are at a tipping point where digitalization is having significant impact on business, and forest companies need to adapt to stay competitive. Luckily, most forest companies are optimistic about digital opportunities and the commercial benefits in streamlining with the real-time data,” says Senior Business Consultant Mikael Zachrisson from Tieto.

IT managers focus on innovation and commercial development 

The majority (81% in Sweden and 68% in Finland) of decision-makers rank the importance of efficiency and productivity in IT operations higher than innovation and commercial development. A clear trend though, which is reinforced in this year’s survey, is the way in which IT managers’ opinions differ from other roles, indicating a greater focus on innovation and commercial development. In Finland innovation and commercial development are ranked higher than in Sweden.

New technology use is on the rise 

The use of cloud services has risen in office support and administration from 15 to 56 percent in four years in Sweden. There has also been a remarkable increase in the use of cloud platforms for operational systems and infrastructure, as well as a sustained shift towards greater mobility. In Sweden, over 50 percent said that their IT systems work in mobile devices to quite a large or a large extent. In Finland the respondents expected the amount of mobile applications to continue growing and investments into this area will be made in the future as well.

Increased collaboration between forest companies 

Respondents continue to see the market development optimistically. Another clear trend is the collaboration between forest companies in IT development. For the fourth consecutive year, companies reported that collaboration has increased in Sweden.

“The industry’s next IT breakthroughs according to the forest companies are strongly related to automation and robotization, value chain in real time, digital data collection and artificial intelligence,” comments Senior Consultant Juha Malinen from Tieto.

The Forest Industry’s IT Barometer 2018 is an annual report from Tieto on developments and trends within IT and digitalization for the Swedish and Finnish forest industry. The report was aimed at decision-makers and key individuals with the roles of CEO, Operations Manager, CFO and IT Manager in Sweden and Finland.

Download the report:

Comparisons between the findings have been presented in the study.

For more information, please contact:

Mikael Zachrisson, Senior Business Consultant, Tieto
mikael.zachrisson(at), mobile: +46 70 608 51 41

Juha Malinen, Senior Consultant, Tieto
juha.malinen(at), mobile: +358 40 837 8967

Tieto aims to capture the significant opportunities of the data-driven world and turn them into lifelong value for people, business and society. We aim to be customers’ first choice for business renewal by combining our software and services capabilities with a strong drive for co-innovation and ecosystems. 

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