The new generation IT provider - our vision for the future

The IT industry is constantly changing. Yet this is rarely reflected in the traditional relationship between IT vendor and customer. But as cloud business-driven services evolve, more and more players will need to fundamentally change their approach. WeSafe's Peter Fritzon, Martin Liljenberg and Per Liljenberg make this point in a conversation about the future of the IT industry.

What does the future hold for the IT industry?

Per Liljenberg, co-owner and sales manager at WeSafe:

A traditional vendor is often responsible for providing operational services, hosting, hardware and licenses for the customer. As an IT provider, the role then becomes primarily focused on operations - making sure everything works. The traditional business is declining significantly as a result of the rise of cloud services where traditional operational services are already included and become merely a "hygiene factor". Therefore, a whole new type of partnership is required where the business and operations are the focus and the technology becomes secondary.

So what does it take to succeed as an IT vendor in the customer relationship of the future?

Peter Fritzon, co-owner and CEO of WeSafe:

- Instead, as a customer, you will need an IT partner who has in-depth knowledge of relevant services linked to your needs and objectives. The IT partner needs to get to know you as a customer, your processes and objectives, in order to match your company's individual business needs with the services available. Most businesses can't afford to keep the right kind of skills in-house. That's why you need a close partnership with a provider who understands your interests and ensures that you, the customer, use technology correctly to get the maximum business benefit.

What prevents IT vendors from offering this type of partnership?

Martin Liljenberg, co-owner, technology and development manager at WeSafe:

- Many players in the IT industry, who were not born in the cloud but think more traditionally, are trying to protect the old by continuing to build their own solutions - just as they always have. But I find it hard to believe that you can survive as an IT company with that culture, because not using the larger cloud services will hinder customer development. The pace of development can never be as fast for vendors putting together their own solutions.

Instead, the supplier must be able to add value to the customer in a different way than before. Whatever the needs of a customer today, it can almost be assumed that there is a service in the cloud platform with the functionality that is required. For the IT partner, the work becomes more a matter of being able to translate the requests into functionality and then implement it - not create it from scratch. The IT provider of the future supports cloud development and follows it, rather than creating its own, alternative development paths.

And what will be the difference for the customer in the relationship with the IT provider?

Peter Fritzon, again:

The tools and applications of the future will be developed using the cloud as a base and the technology will be largely managed by the cloud platform you choose. Instead of treating IT as a standalone function focused on technology and operations, you need to steer IT operations towards your company's overall goals. This creates the conditions for IT to move from being reactive to becoming a proactive driver that realises new business opportunities. The rapid evolution and constant roll-out of new services and features offered by cloud platforms will place high demands on the business. There needs to be a plan for how all these services are recognised and evaluated and then implemented to deliver the services that add the most value and competitiveness. To achieve this, there can no longer be pure IT projects - only business projects where the business and business managers need to be involved in IT decisions to ensure they are driven by business objectives. Those companies that are content for IT to "work" will find it increasingly difficult to keep up as competitors solve the equation of reallocating time and money, from operations to innovation.

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