The opportunity space that exists can be illustrated by reference to innovation and the use of cognitive technologies. Research company Gartner predicts that in 2020 25% of service functions and customer support processes will be handled by virtual assistants. This would represent more than a tenfold increase in the space of five years. On a global basis, Gartner predicts the annual level of investment in introducing smart machines to increase from USD 1 billion in 2016 to USD 30 billion in 2021.
In order to respond to these technological developments, EVRY has undergone an extensive change process since 2015. One of the first areas that we addressed was our strategy in the infrastructure area. Developing technology in-house was demanding and risky, and was not making us sufficiently competitive. EVRY therefore chose partnerships as its main strategy, and we have entered into strategic collaboration agreements with IBM, Microsoft, Google and Amazon Web Services. This has reduced our risk exposure and we now offer world-leading technology as well as processes for transitioning to cloud-based solutions, which we combine with our local presence, our market understanding and storage solutions that are located in Norway and Sweden. In 2016 we set up a new unit, EVRY Cloud Services, to further strengthen our focus on cloud services.
EVRY’s aim going forward is to help our customers transition to modern, scalable and efficient infrastructure platforms. This is a complicated operation for many organisations. It is consequently an advantage that EVRY knows the “old world” as well and is familiar with the steps required to ensure a successful transition.
In the Financial Services segment, we have invested significant resources into developing a next-generation core banking solution, and have renewed and extended a range of customer contracts. We are building knowledge and insight in areas including blockchain, the EU’s Payment Services Directive 2, machine learning and automation, all of which will affect the banking sector in the years ahead. Our ambition is to expand our business and to become the leading player in fintech in the Nordic region.
As part of our change journey we have also improved the efficiency of how we operate, simplified our organisational structure and become more market and customer-oriented. Our desire is to focus our resources on what creates customer value, and this has already had a positive impact in the form of improved operational quality, more major contracts, a significant increase in customer satisfaction and strong internal engagement. Internal engagement is crucial as we will need to expand our expertise into new areas in the years ahead.
In short, 2016 was a very good year for EVRY. We need, however, to recognise that we need to aim even higher if we are to maintain and strengthen our position in what is a demanding market. Both the market and customers’ expectations change quickly. Customers used to come to us with clear requests, set needs and specific requirements. There is greater uncertainty today, and customers are to a much greater extent seeking advice on how digital solutions can create better services and increase their competitiveness.
EVRY possesses extensive technical knowledge, which we need to combine to an even greater extent with strategic understanding and insight. In 2016 we set up the EVRY Strategic Design Lab in collaboration with Method. The EVRY Strategic Design Lab combines technology, design thinking and strategic understanding in an entirely new way. Its approach is to start by looking at what is driving change at our customers’ customers and what strategic opportunities this is creating, and then to turn this insight into trial projects. In a rapidly changing world, the practical reality of every opportunity has to be assessed in order to discover whether it has real potential to add value and to exploit it if it does.
Our change journey will take EVRY to the next level. Operational excellence and the quality of our deliveries are fundamental elements in this, and growth and profitability are important measurement parameters, but the level we are striving towards is about becoming closer to our customers’ customers. We need to have in-depth understanding and to be a collaboration partner that helps improve customer satisfaction, value creation and competitiveness for our customers. This is what we mean when we say our value proposition is “Digital Advantage”.
“Our goal is to be closer to our customers’ customers.”