Historic data is an insufficient basis for making good decisions

You cannot see the future by looking backwards. That’s why it’s important for Swedish business leaders to take charge of their decisions by ensuring access to up-to-date data. So writes Fredrik Ohlsen, CEO at Basefarm.

Trends based on how the market has evolved historically are not infrequently used as the basis for decisions on how Swedish companies should act going forward. The problem with this approach is that old data is no longer enough to be able to make good decisions. Combined with the traditional Swedish approach in which “everybody” is involved in decision-making, this unfortunately creates a sluggish approach to business that risks making Swedish companies less competitive than they have hitherto been.

Data about the past is only a fraction of what is required to make smart decisions. As business processes become increasingly interlinked with IT processes, companies and organizations need to learn to focus and act on what is happening right now.

To achieve this, companies have to ensure that rapid technological development becomes an advantage rather than an obstacle. Data that allows companies to make good decisions is available, and when the manager has easy access to it, he or she can make quick decisions, without having to fear that the basis for such decisions is wrong or flawed.

We have to be humble when faced with the fact that almost unbelievable developments in IT have meant that there is no longer anything to be gained from trying to predict the future. Development is simply moving far too fast for that. Instead, the answer is to invest significantly in day-to-day continuous development that focuses on the very latest technologies, such as public clouds, AI, big data or other elements of the digitalization process. This puts IT service providers in an important position, and they need to be able to discuss concrete solutions with their customers rather than potential scenarios that seldom or never come to pass.

In other words, Swedish companies must be better at creating a situation in which they can fully exploit their industry expertise by using the new doors that can be opened with the latest technology. Behind these doors are solutions that are directly linked to collecting, presenting and acting on information on how their market is changing from day to day. Not only that – every week there are hundreds of changes and upgrades taking place in various underlying systems. As a result, it is vital to keep track of how those changes can be fully utilized and how they affect one another from an operational perspective. In the worst-case scenario, the system crashes because one or more applications no longer interact with the system as a whole.

In the best-case scenario, the business pulls ahead of its competitors by both acting on the basis of constant changes in the market and ensuring that everything works as it should in technical terms. If you want to be part of the latter group, it is no longer possible to run your business based on outdated data and yesterday’s technology. That’s why the advice to Swedish business leaders is to take charge of their decisions by ensuring that you have access to the very latest data. Only then can you, as a manager, also make faster, more accurate decisions, without having to worry that you’re doing so on entirely the wrong basis.

Single point of Truth for Germany’s train travelers

In 2015, Deutsche Bahn (DB) launched an extensive project to improve the quality of passenger information, that would benefit all rail customers travelling in Germany.

Women In Tech 2019

Every year at the International Women’s Day, Women In Tech is coming to Stockholm. At the event, you get to listen to some of the world’s most talented women discussing their success stories in business, technology and digital transformation. Basefarm attended the event to hear about the latest trends in the tech industry and what buzzwords to look out for during 2019. Here are the most important takeaways:

1. What are the key trends in the tech industry?

Big Data and digital privacy – One word that many of the speakers highlighted, that can be applied to all industries, was digital privacy. Consumers are becoming more aware of their digital footprint and the way companies use data, meaning that they are more careful than ever. But instead of letting this turn towards you and your company, you can create trust with your Big Data. Be transparent, store your data in a secure way and let the customers know why you are collecting their data and what they will get back from it. This will generate a win-win situation and create a better user experience.

Here is a blog post where you can read more about data privacy, GDPR and how to create customer trust trough data – Tick the box on gdpr or go above and beyond?

2. What was everyone talking about at the event? (what were the buzzwords)?

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in a smart way – Many of the speakers talked about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its wide opportunity. As you may know, AI is not a new phenomenon. It has actually been around for several years. However, there has been a rising trend for companies to implement Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in their digital strategy for the last couple of years. And now when the hype is over, companies need to start using it in a smart way to exploit its full potential.

If you want to learn more about AI you can read our blog post “3rd wave AI tools evolve for solving real world problems” HERE 

Other buzzwords worth mentioning are VR and how it can change the world, the opportunity in CivTech and technology’s impact on the climate.

3. Tell us something you learned at the event? (three key findings?)

• Think outside the box when it comes to digital transformation and technology.
• The importance of having a diverse team to understand the problem from different angles. Use help from experts if needed.
• Always stay updated, things are moving fast in the digital world.


Author: Linnea Jonsson, Marketing Assistans, Basefarm

Linnea is a part of Basefarm’s marketing team. She has a passion for the digital world with the mission to help more companies understand the importance of digital transformation and how it can create new opportunities for an organisation.


Introducing Nordkap: a Swedish company that offers solutions for the treasury function of capital intense companies. The solution is a completely web-based, installation-free SaaS platform. In a short timeframe, Nordkap has established themselves as the leading web-based treasury system in Sweden and Norway. Now, their focus is to continue to improve and develop the system in order to expand – both in the Nordic region and Europe.


As Nordkap grew and started acquiring bigger customers, the requirements on their data security levels increased. Nordkap also wanted to develop an internal strategy to be able to capitalize on customer data stored in the platform, which also contributed to the need for higher data security levels.

Before Nordkap found their way to Basefarm, they had hired another supplier for operational solutions. In their decision-making process at the time, keeping costs down received the highest priority, as the company was still in a start-up phase. However, one of the problems Nordkap was experiencing was that the solution wasn’t stable enough and, in some cases, the service would completely shut down. On top of the service being unreliable, the communication from the supplier was also inadequate – no information was provided when the problems arose nor was it communicated how long it would take before the problems were resolved. This level of operational insecurity jeopardized the trust Nordkap’s customers’ had in them.

Read the whole customer case

Read more about our PCI DSS as a service

Tick the box on GDPR or go above and beyond?

Unsolicited use of personal data can cause great reputational damage. Some companies discover this the hard way. On top of that, new laws on data protection came into effect in May. How should a responsible company act?

By now, many organizations that store and use personal data have taken the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For example, by updating their privacy statements and implementing solid internal processes. Other companies are on their way to GDPR-compliancy while others haven’t yet started. In recent research by software company Talend, only 35 percent of all companies in the EU responded to data requests as prescribed in the new regulation. Much-heard arguments for not initiating GDPR-projects are a lack of resources and a willingness to take a calculated risk to be fined at some point. This is understandable, as the authorities cannot audit everyone at once. Nevertheless, a risk is still a risk.

Misuse of personal data

The extensive use of personal data by big tech companies has certainly fuelled the backlash they now experience in the media and in the political arena. An example being the public outrage that followed the shameless manipulation by Cambridge Analytica of large demographic groups with personal data of Facebook users. It has become clear that unrestricted by law, misuse of personal data can have a destabilizing effect on societies. For this reason, a deeper appreciation of data protection and privacy as a human right has taken root in civil society and businesses alike.

GDPR-compliance is not a one-time effort. When you start your GDPR-journey as a company, you first have to get an overview of the data you have. Perhaps this will bring about the realization that you don’t need all these data. Often, there is a lot of obsolete and outdated data in different places that need structuring and cleaning up. One of the basic principles of GDPR is to prevent storing excessive amounts of personal data. For example, why store a home address when you only need an e-mail address or telephone number? Store only what you need

Many companies are aware of the necessity to be transparent about their data use, towards the very people of whom they collect it. But it’s just as important to create a culture around data privacy and protection within your own organization. Make sure that everybody understands the ‘why’ of it – it’s about the freedom and rights of people – and check this regularly using the processes that you have set up. Everybody is responsible, beginning with the CEO but certainly not ending there.

Commercial value?

Does GDPR-compliance have commercial value? Definitely. It’s in your best interest if your customers believe you are doing the ‘right thing’ by respecting their rights. After all, you can only build a sustainable enterprise on trust. Solid processes regarding the use of data also result in better quality data, that allows you to have a better overview of who your customers are. An obvious example is having the right contact information. Next to that, knowing where the data is that you are looking for, can dramatically improve the efficiency of the company processes.

There is commercial value in implementing and maintaining clear processes around GDPR. And there is also value in the trust you build with your customer. There is a risk if you don’t and that is to be fined by the supervising authorities and/or experiencing bad PR following a data breach. You have to balance these costs to the costs of doing things right. Do the math and the answer becomes clear very quickly.


Author: Patrick Tahiri, Security Compliance Manager.

Patrick Tahiri has a background from IT Operation and technology management. His key competences and area of responsibilities are the security of PCI environments, ISO 27001 audits, implementing information security procedures and GDPR consulting.

Digital Ability Report 2018/2019 : your free guide to digitization

Is your company fit for the future? What do you need to look out for to accelerate digitization and drive innovation? The Digital Ability Report 2018 by Basefarm provides well-founded answers and valuable insights.

This summer, we did a survey to find out the current state of digital maturity of companies and the criteria that have to be met in order to be and remain sustainable.

The report has arrived!

We have received answers from over 200 European IT decision-makers from various industries and evaluated how SMEs and large companies are positioned in the areas that determine digital competence and decide on digital success:

  • big data (data maturity)
  • cloud computing (Acceptance)
  • information security
  • innovation management

Free download!

The Digital Ability Report 2018 gives you insights and tips on how to accelerate innovation, improve digital skills and create success for your business and your customers.

Download the report!

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For a long time the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) has been moving minds as it inspires fantasies and stokes fears. The step from machine intelligence to notably AI has caused the first entertaining and practical applications. This year, AI is starting to make an impact in entire companies, representing another significant leap: from individual to company-wide use.