What has happened to the large Swedish IT companies?
The number of large Swedish IT companies is decreasing. This is evident not least in the large outsourcing survey that was recently presented. There are only four Nordic companies involved, and none of these are Swedish.
The digitalisation wave in Sweden is strong, but in recent years there have been fewer and fewer large Swedish companies fighting for customers. This development follows a clear trend, where several Swedish companies have been bought by hungry foreign owners.
The ongoing consolidation is driven by the skills shortage and the difficulty of growing organically. When it is difficult to recruit, you as a company do not want to fall behind and then you look at the possibility of acquisition, says Hans Werner, CEO of the analysis company Radar.
He says that Swedish companies have been highly sought after, not least among venture capital companies, and this despite the fact that acquisitions have often skyrocketed in price.
Why do you think Swedish companies have been so popular?
– We are a mature country that uses a lot of IT and has a lot of digital collaboration, and it provides a strong market, with strong demand. It creates stability and low risk in acquiring something. It is the affluent who have been able to do something and that wave will not stop until someone big has devoured most of it.
"When we looked at the cybersecurity market in 2017, there were maybe 30 companies that had the right critical skills. Today we have to stop counting after 1000 companies. We will see the same development there, that all those companies are absorbed into a consolidation.
A clear example of how difficult Swedish companies have to assert themselves was when the large Nordic outsourcing survey from PA Consulting and Whitelane Research was presented. But for a Nordic survey, it is a strikingly non-Nordic list that is presented when companies are to be ranked based on customer satisfaction.
Only four of the 25 companies are Nordic, and not one of these is Swedish.
To be included on the list, you need to be able to present eight contracts with a value of one million euros per year. No Swedish company reaches that level, but Peter Wardell, sourcing expert at PA Consulting, believes that there are Swedish and Nordic companies that may soon get there.
"There are a number of Nordic companies that are on the rise, which are just off the list now. We hope and believe that they may be on the way up," he says, citing Advania, Iver, Nordlo and Shibuya as examples.