“The ICT report gives valuable insights to all companies who want to succeed in the U.S. market” says Björn Olofsson, Trade Commissioner Business Sweden USA.
In 1998, OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) member countries agreed to define the ICT sector as a combination of manufacturing and services industries that capture, transmit and display data and information electronically. Sweden’s stronghold and heritage within this sector, with Ericsson, Telia and the Home-PC reform, along with its current success within high technology innovation positions, make Swedish companies strong competitors within the global ICT market and specifically within the US. There are some areas within this sector where Swedish companies can take advantage of the US market to fuel growth and further position itself as one of the top five innovative countries in the world.
The new customer era
It's important to understand that our customer has changed over the past five years and we must understand how the set of competitive advantages has developed over this time frame. In this new era where information is accessible, anywhere, anytime, and buying decisions are influenced via more channels than marketing; there is a growth in new business models and endless possibilities for Swedish companies. The new age of the customer implicates that companies must actively capture the opportunities provided and the information available to further develop their businesses. To be able to fully capture these possibilities, the traditional business models, set of skills and competitive advantage will need to be revised. This study will cover some of these possibilities within the ICT sector where we at Business Sweden believe Swedish companies have great potential to grow and lead the development of new ways of doing business.
The Swedish ICT industry has the knowledge, experience and capacity needed to be competitive in the global market, but that is not enough. We must ensure that the Swedish high tech industry has a set of common ground rules that enable access to the best competence, research, and infrastructure, as well as an attractive tax situation. At Business Sweden, we are dedicated to making the Swedish industry more successful both for the product and service companies. To be able to fully capture these possibilities, the traditional business models, set of skills and competitive advantage will need to be revised.
Overcoming the challenges in the American market
At first glance, the American market may seem scary and competitive; the size and regulations are often factors that prevent companies from reaching their full potential. For example, recently the Federal Reserve Board increased the federal funds rate, and subsequently the interest rate. Traditionally if the economy is strong then the interest rate is relatively high. The chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Janet Yellen, and other members of the board have determined that the US economy was growing at an acceptable rate, therefore, on December 15, 2015 the interest rate increased from .25 percent to .50 percent. Subsequently, this had a negative effect on the stock market. In the most recent Federal Reserve Board meeting, Janet Yellen implied that the Board will be judicious when increasing the interest rate due to the current unfavourable economic outcome. At Business Sweden, we believe local knowledge is key and that with the right contacts and experience, most companies can overcome barriers and enter the global market.