18 - Looking ahead1

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Mats Hultin

CIO & VP, SAAB

Looking ahead

I’ve been with SAAB for 23 years – and it’s never been as exciting as now. We have state-of-the-art products, and the chance to become a truly global company. For the last six years, digitalization has been on my desk. We have a broad portfolio. At one end we sell software. At the other end, complete defense fighter aircraft systems. We’re not as big as some of our competitors, but it’s in our corporate DNA to work with partners. That’s very important for our whole strategy.

Our platforms are really high-end, technical, digital products. SAAB is great because we have demanding customers – and we like being a demanding customer of IFS.

We have 6 business areas, 5 market areas and 400 different products. We want to standardize a lot of what we do, but be agile enough to imply different solutions. The relationship with IFS is very long term, Time Reporting was first installed in 1985. 1194 saw the introduction of IFS Applications. More than 100 legacy solutions have been replaced with it.

We need to focus on the business values of the next generations of upgrades – and that doesn’t just mean total cost of ownership. For us, the flexibility of the system is really important – and I think that’s true of more and more systems. We need to be faster and integrate with more systems. We need smart processes and even smarter processes. Moving into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system helps you streamline the processes you have, but those processes need to get smarter. The launch of the IoT Business Connector is in just the right place for us. I’m very interested in learning more.

IFS Applications 9 opening up to other systems is necessary for the future. My customers say to me:

You’re on the right track, but you need to be faster and cheaper.

We need to be faster and cheaper together. But IFS can really take digital leadership in ERP in the internet of things (IoT).

Per Åsberg

Global Brand Manager, IFS

Most of you have heard the story of how IFS was founded. We’re not a truly global company with offices all over the world. But I hope we have kept some of the ethos of those early days. But a big challenge for the future is the lack of interest in science and technology amongst the younger generation. We’re all in technology – either through developing it or depending on it for our businesses. It appears to be a problem that starts in Swedish primary schools. It’s a big problem for all of us.

UCLA figures show two major spikes of interest in tech – one in the early 80s and one at about the turn of the millennium. Otherwise, it’s largely been low interest, steady as she goes. But over that time, the industry has exploded upwards, as has the demand for skilled people to work in it. Female US university graduates are declining from 37% in 1998 to 18% in 2013.

We’ve been working with local universities, lecturing there, donating computer equipment and bringing masters students into our office. But to really fix it, we need to systemize and globalize – and we’re doing that with the IFS Education Program. We’re taking the local examples and globalizing them. We now have 80 universities where we’ll be going in to talk to students. Interest goes up when people can see a future for themselves in the industry.

But we need your help. We need role models and examples from your companies. Come with us to the universities. Tell them what you do and what you need.

If you want to help – let us know!

A Sorbie to finish the conference meal

Alastair Sorbie

President & CEO, IFS

When you’re in a bar with a customer it’s very informal, very relaxed and we learn so much from it. We had 2,100 people from over 50 countries here. We consumed 14,400 cups of coffee – which is a lot – and we have no estimate about the alcohol drunk last night…

We have shared our vision and our focus on digital transformation. We want to work with you. If you have ideas, come to us with them.

Under our new ownership, we are getting more investment than ever. Some areas of focus:

  • Mobility
  • Field service management (FSM)
  • Globalizing the product

We’re very reliant on partners and have enjoyed working with them. The IFS Partner Awards were a first for us. Thank you for being here.

We’ve had some fun and engaging innovation demonstrations. Thank you to our new client, Bugaboo, for the pram for my daughter last night – I’m becoming a grandfather, not a father. I loved the way it came out in Formula 1 style.

Thanks to all the IFS team, the customers, the partners, the agencies involved. Thanks to Jon Briggs for linking it all together.

Next World Conference: Atlanta!

1st to 3rd May 2018 – put it in your diaries.

Thank you all and goodbye.

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