Digitalisation: ‘A Business Imperative’ with Mats Agervi, CEO of Combient

Digitalisation: A Business Imperative

With Mats Agervi of Combient

Mats Agervi is the CEO of Combient: a business specialist in AI and open innovation. Combient works to tackle automation changes, help make better use of data AI and develop machine learning.

Today, Combient is a network featuring 29 large enterprises, generating over £120bn in revenue and employs around 700,000 people across the globe.


We are living in a world of increasing uncertainty and complexity. Your digitalisation capability and your capability to co-operate will define the future leaders. These two business imperatives do not come as easily to many traditional business leaders.

The Combient Network

The success in securing a place in the future of digitalisation in Sweden was achieved through collaborations with other businesses. Combient has achieved this by collaborating with large businesses that were founded pre-digitalisation (unlike firms such as Spotify or Klarna) and introduced new opportunities.

One of these firms is Kone (global leader in building lifts/escalators) who have connected all their lifts/escalators to the cloud and are now able to offer a 24/7 connected services. This helps customers optimise their people flow. For a business such as Husqvarna: they had foreseen the shift from combustion engines to electric powertrains. Through developing platforms in this field they have seen their revenue connected to autonomous technology, batteries and gardening grow by more than 25% per year.

Fundamental Digitalisation Challenges

AI & Automation  |  Organisation & Culture  |  Open Innovation  |  Cyber Security

Most companies today have used AI & Automation at least once but less than 20% have used this several times in production. This is frequently due to talent restrictions, work cultures and data ownership/quality blocks this.

Systematically working with start-ups can fulfil growing business needs. Combient has built a platform with over 50,000 start-ups, in their database, which can allow for beneficial secure data to be shared.

The reskilling and upskilling challenge facing an Organisation & Culture is in need of a greater focus. HR managers say that more than 50% of their staff will require reskilling in the next 2-5 years. Once again: collaboration can support this effort.

Faster Rates of Change

The new ways of working will lead to new business models and force changes within organisations.

COVID has dramatically accelerated the time in which everyone has learnt to meet online. This has been more efficient but is not a real digitalisation of the workplace. It is not a real digitalisation until we change our ways of working. In this area: it is about moving away from a ‘meeting’ culture and moving to a data/information culture where you only having discussions to learn/innovate/move forward- rather than to catch-up.

Decentralisation will allow for fast moving autonomous units to drive things for you- rather than pyramid structures which are controlling.

Changes over the Last 2 Years?

In 2020 most companies have invested a lot in technology and so they are now keen to start seeing some results. We are moving from the installation to the implementation phase.

Tom Johnstone

We are now in ‘Digitalisation 2.0’ as we are focusing on how to change a business model- whereas, ‘Digitalisation 1.0’ was simply about improving efficiencies.

As a CEO you do not give up control- you change how you control. You control through people by giving out authority and responsibility in co-ordination with decentralisation.

Our thanks go to Mats Agervi, CEO of Combient, for hosting this event with the BSCC

Click here to access the recording of this event.

Date: 26 November 2020
Time: 10.00 – 10.45 CEST
Venue: Virtual Event

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