How Axel Johnson International’s IT division handles constant acquisition

The family-owned industrial group grows by an average of up to 20 companies every year and the central IT staff have become experts in migrating them into Microsoft 365 – a cornerstone of the group.

Axel Johnson International is an industrial group within Axel Johnson, which also owns Swedish food retailer Axfood and Dustin, the online IT partner in the Nordics and Benelux, among others. The group develops and acquires industrial companies in selected niche markets, including just over 200 companies in six different business areas with a focus on, among other things, technical components and industrial process solutions. 

In general, the group is decentralized and places an emphasis on the entrepreneurial culture of the individual companies. But there are some areas where central staffs have been created.

“We reorganized in 2017 and then also decided to create certain central staffs — finance, sustainability, M&A and IT,” says Mårten Steen, CIO at Axel Johnson International.

Although the companies within the group have a high degree of self-determination, there are areas where the central IT department controls the decisions, and is responsible for cyber security, and ownership of networks and clients, so M365 applies throughout the group.