Interview with Thomas Ivarson, IT investor and business adviser, Chairman of Skyresponse

What is your view of developments in the IT market?
– I see a fantastic, exciting, and rapid development in the IT market; it is being pushed on with full force from several directions and by many active participants. Giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and many others are continuing to actively invest in pushing technological development forward, while smaller participants are making their presence felt and contributing innovative power. This is followed by established major IT service companies such as Accenture, IBM, Tieto and EVRY who, in their significant roles as suppliers, are contributing to the positive rate of growth as a whole.

In its entirety, it is a powerful ecosystem that is moving the industry forward. Additionally, IT issues have moved from being governed by companies’ IT organizations and IT managers to becoming a central issue managed at the operational level and by boards of directors. IT has become an important means for pursuing change and transformation.

What do you see as the main trends in the market?
– With digitization as a driving force, there are many companies and organizations undergoing major projects for change in order to become competitive in a market that is being transformed so rapidly. It will become increasingly important to make use of the opportunities that new technological solutions provide while everything is to function in the environments and processes already existing in the operations.

There is enormous potential in new technologies, and some of the hottest areas that analysts are emphasizing are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, where self-governing algorithms and automated processes will transform a large part of our existence.
One major enabler is also how we collect, manage, and analyse large amounts of data – what we call “Big Data” – and how we find the ability to transform that information into relevant facts that are useful to business.

Another important area that can contribute to a larger dynamic in the supply of services is using the Cloud as a delivery model; the demand to be able to combine private and public clouds is steadily increasing.

To be competitive, you need to stay continuously updated regarding new technologies, and you need to be willing to invest. The rapid pace of development means that companies and organizations must push themselves to the fore in a different way so they don’t risk being outrun by their competitors. There is also increased pressure on technological development from the companies’ own employees, who are raising demands for the right technology to be available to perform and carry on their work.

Consumers and citizens are also raising greater demands, and are more technology-intensive than before. Previously, companies governed to a large extent which technologies would be used – now the demands are coming from customers, employees, and citizens.
As I said, it’s an exciting time where the pace of development continues to increase. And I believe it will become even more important to find strong, partner-oriented collaboration in order to be able to adapt to new technologies more quickly and more easily.

What is your view of developments in the Internet of Things (IoT)?
Many industries are being transformed through the Internet of Things now that more and more devices are being connected, which impacts both business logic and value chains. There is enormous growth in the number of applications where sensors can be used to collect information, as well as to govern and have an effect.

Many analysts argue that this is a market with enormous growth that reaches across a large number of industries and fields – for example, health and medical care, security, smart cities and smart homes, property management and industry 4.0 as well as transportation and the auto industry. There are many possibilities here, and challenges as well. There is enormous potential for collecting information through connected devices. But information collection has to be converted to a more operational focus. That is, we need to know how the information is to be used.

What role does Skyresponse play in this development?
– As I said, there is a lot of talk about what information can be collected through various sensors, but not as much about how information is converted for actual benefit and for enabling the right actions. And how to get discrepancies from hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different components to speak the same language and work together with an organization’s other systems and processes. Skyresponse’s alert services will play an important role here. The ability to manage information, events, and alerts from a large number of devices in the same system with a great deal of security and traceability makes Skyresponse’s services ideal for many types of IoT applications.

What potential do you see in Skyresponse, from an investment perspective?
– I see very good potential in Skyresponse and what the company can offer in the rapidly growing IoT market. Skyresponse’s services, which are cloud-based and globally accessible, add functionality that had not been previously available. It is a response centre operation with a clear niche and uniqueness that has a great opportunity for growth through strategic partnership with leading collaborating partners.
It is also a company with many experienced, competent, and ambitious employees, and has good values and an excellent business culture. As both a person and an investor, I rate that highly.