Point of View

Designing for data is the way forward for digital operations in the Nordics

December 21, 2021

The Bottom Line: Nordic enterprises striving to move up the digital maturity curve must design for data.

HFS Research recently conducted research supported by Capgemini to document the regional nuances of digital operations in the Nordic region (including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden). As a part of the study, we conducted qualitative interviews with 19 global business services (GBS), finance, and IT leaders at enterprises across the Nordic region to understand their digital programs, including their current digital maturity, challenges they face while running their digital programs, their strategic focus aligning to digital programs, and their perspectives on internal and external sourcing strategies.

HFS followed up with a digital roundtable bringing together a mix of operations leaders from the Nordic region to discuss our findings and further explore the vision for digital maturity in the region. This POV summarizes our findings, confirming our hypothesis that to advance digital operations, Nordic region enterprises must focus and invest in their foundational data capabilities.

The key findings of our research are summarized below:

  • Shared services dominates the Nordic region operating model narrative for business services, with hybrid delivery being the way forward for many, relying on both in-house and external sources of talent and capabilities.
  • Data transformation, process harmonization, and native automation are the key “have-to-haves” for enterprise leaders in the Nordics. Data-driven operational workflows in the cloud are the future for Nordic enterprises, especially for enabling business functions such as finance and accounting, procurement, supply chain, HR, and customer service. A Head of Shared Services told us, “As shared services, one of our contributions is to be a data quality guardian.”
  • Most ambitious organizations want to progress their digital operations, but few have fully realized their visions for business transformation.
  • GBS leaders in the Nordics understand the importance of internally aligned processes between front, middle and back-office operations and see it as a medium-term to long-term goal.
  • Change management is the key challenge when running digital transformation programs. services executive with a blockchain interest.

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