When two companies merge, their two IT systems need to be merged as well. Achieving this is hardly ever a walk in the park, and a good IT strategy is required in order to ensure efficiency. This was the situation in which our customer Glommen Mjøsen Skog found itself.
Glommen Mjøsen Skog trades in timber and provides forestry services, in addition to being a leader in forestry valuation in Norway. The company is owned by 7,200 forest owners in the new county of Innlandet and in the former counties of Akershus and Østfold. Through its activities, the company seeks to contribute to sustainable forestry that actively uses the potential of forests as a renewable resource. Glommen Mjøsen Skog is committed to ensuring biological diversity and safeguarding the significance of forests and uncultivated land for culture, the environment and outdoor activities and for those whose work is related to forests.
In 2019 the companies Glommen Skog and Mjøsen Skog merged.
Merging their IT environments and system portfolios created a number of challenges, including in relation to the prioritisation of development work, how the systems should be operated, supplier collaboration, work processes and what systems should continue to be used. The company’s management therefore needed to set a common direction for IT and to ensure its efficiency going forward.
This created a significant need to prepare an overview of the complexity of the current situation and to create a new strategy that would set a common direction for IT and technology at the merged company. The strategy had to ensure the company would have a future-oriented and cost-effective IT function that contributed to growth and strengthened the company’s future competitiveness.
Itera worked with Glommen Mjøsen Skog to map the complexity of its IT situation and the concrete challenges it was facing. New, digital and technological possibilities were also considered. We developed future scenarios for how the market, the company’s customers and its use of tech might develop and how such developments would impact the company’s IT function and digital solutions.
On the basis of this shared understanding of the current situation and how the industry might develop, a clear vision was drawn up for the company’s IT function and how it would support the company’s key business goals. Critical questions were investigated and answered in relation to architecture, tech choices, procurement, development and user friendliness.
With a clearly defined and strategic context, eleven concrete and value-adding initiatives were identified across Glommen Mjøsen Skog’s IT function. Examples included initiatives targeted at product and service development, processes and systems for digital development, and new technology. The initiatives were then designed in detail and prioritised on the basis of their complexity and potential to help the company achieve its key business goals.
A team from Itera consisting of consultants with extensive experience of strategy and technology facilitated the process and developed the company's IT strategy. The work was carried out in close collaboration with an internal working group, and the company's senior management served as the projects steering group. The CEO of Glommen Mjøsen Skog was the project owner.
The strategy was developed in accordance with Itera’s own framework and process for IT strategies. Itera held in-depth interviews with the company’s employees, management and suppliers to gather insight. It also carried out a range of independent analysis work using the documentation available.
The work created a shared understanding of Glommen Mjøsen Skog’s IT challenges and opportunities following the merger.
The company now has a clear vision that highlights the business goals that IT is to support and sets out how it will do this. This enables the function to assess and thus prioritise initiatives that will create the greatest value for the company. Thanks to the company having made clear choices regarding the way ahead, it now has the strategic “safety barrier” needed to ensure it is flexible and capable of responding quickly to future changes in the market and in the area of technology.
The strategic roadmap details which initiatives are to be prioritised and financed. A concrete implementation plan was produced for the most business-critical activities that had to be implemented immediately.
The strategy sets out in concrete terms how Glommen Mjøsen Skog will ensure it has a future-oriented and cost-efficient IT function that makes IT into a significant accelerator for the company’s future success, growth and competitiveness.
“Collaborating with Itera has given us clarity on the challenges we are facing as well as a clear safety barrier for our future strategic work. We are really pleased with the quality of their services and are already carrying out the initiatives Itera proposed”, explained Trond Harald Strand, CTO at Glommen Mjøsen Skog.