Digitizing Sweden: Opportunities and priorities in five ecosystems

If Sweden is able to fulfill its potential for digitization by leveraging six important technological trends, it could generate SEK 850-1 400 billion per year from 2025. Strong ecosystems must be established to foster the interaction and collaboration required to create the value.

While Sweden ranks highly in terms of digital development, as compared to other countries, there are indicators that others are gaining ground. For Sweden to continue to be on the cutting edge of digitization, the country will need to facilitate a broad discussion on the best actions to take full advantage of technological advances.

Our new Swedish-language report on the opportunities for Sweden from digitization finds that six technological trends, which are already having a major impact on our lives today, if fully utilized, will drive even greater digital conversion and boost economic value in Sweden over the next decade. The technology trends can be divided into two overarching groups: automation and advanced data analysis and connectivity, cloud services and communication. Automation and advanced data analysis consists of three technology areas that allow for tasks to be increasingly transferred, both physical and analytical, to computers and machines, with the effect that work is done faster, more efficiently, and more securely. Connectivity, cloud services and communication consists of techniques that allows for connecting people and providing opportunities for new business models and more efficient use of existing resources.

To meet the full potential and take advantage of the opportunities offered by these technology trends, Sweden will need strong ecosystems to foster interaction and collaboration between a wide range of players who would work to develop innovative digital solutions. Together, the various parties can develop new business models and products, attract talent and capital, and increase productivity by optimizing entire value chains.

To build viable ecosystems, a number of fundamental conditions are required. Both members of the public and businesses must have access to digital infrastructure and connectivity, and laws and regulations must be adapted to support agile ways of working. These ecosystems also need access to skilled talent and capital to enable development and growth. In addition, an exchange in the form of innovation and technology development, as well as interaction between the players, is required in order for new ideas within the ecosystem to be realized. Sweden already has the fundamental digital foundation, including several strong ecosystems, but they will need to be strengthened.

We researched the digital future of Sweden as a country but also took deep-dives into five selected ecosystems: health care, the public sector, the transport system, manufacturing, and finance. Together, these five ecosystems account for a majority of the total value that digitization can create in Sweden from 2025, up to SEK 475-695 billion per year. These ecosystems contribute to more than half of Sweden's GDP, and their opportunities and challenges provide revealing illustrations for what is needed to drive digital advancement throughout the entire economy.

Download the full report "Möjligheter för Sverige i digitaliseringens spår," (PDF–12MB)

About the author(s)

Annika Frid is an engagement manager in McKinsey’s Stockholm office; Daniel Alsén, Henrik Andersson, and Martin Lundqvist are partners at Digital McKinsey, all based in Stockholm; Mikael Robertson, Pontus Averstad, and Tomas Nauclér are senior partners in Stockholm, where Peter Andén is partner, Pia Hardy an associate partner, and Sara Öhrvall a senior advisor; Fredrik Hansson is an associate partner in McKinsey’s Gothenburg office.