Future management systems

The rapid changes in the global business environment demand development and adaptation of management systems to remain relevant and effective. Acquiring and managing a future-proof management system requires a good knowledge of relevant external factors and an ability to embrace and integrate new tools and technologies. In this article, we present our views on the global shifts and trends that will shape and influence this.

Global shifts

Regular external analysis is essential to keep keep up with developments. This means keeping track of global megatrends such as economic power shifts, changing values, technological developments, demographic shifts, climate change, increased environmental awareness and continued urbanization. These changes, in turn, affect companies' strategies and thus the management systems that implement them. Below we outline the five key trends in the design of future management systems.

Our view on the future of management systems

The following five areas have crystallized in our trend scouting and environmental analysis and in our latest survey of how certified companies in Sweden view management systems.

1. Increased requirements for information security

Information security has become increasingly prominent as a consequence of the large number of serious cyber attacks in recent years. State actors in Russia, China and North Korea and organized crime in these and other countries have been identified as responsible by Western intelligence agencies, researchers, independent analysts and journalists. This, combined with standards such as ISO 27001, has led more companies to tighten their information security requirements, both internally and towards their suppliers. A future-proof management system must be able to adapt to the increased security requirements and integrate comprehensive strategies to ensure that sensitive data is protected against internal and external threats. In other words, the management system becomes a cornerstone for reducing business risks and building and maintaining trust with customers and other stakeholders.

2. Continued digitalization

The future of the management system is strongly linked to the accelerating digitalization. More measurement points in different processes will generate larger amounts of data, which in turn will increase the possibility of making more and more nuanced analyses, resulting in better decision-making. The capacity to handle "Big Data" will be central to a management system's ability to help management anticipate trends, identify opportunities and manage risks. In other words, the data-driven management system of the future will need to use sophisticated analytical tools to extract valuable insights from an ever-increasing volume of information.

3. Requirements for measurable benefits

Future management systems will be under increasing pressure to produce measurable benefits and clear results. Organizations will have to be able to demonstrate how their management system contributes to the achievement of overall objectives and success. Measurable performance will be essential to ensure that the management system not only fulfills an administrative function but also serves as an active and strategic part of a company's overall goal and improvement processes. One way to achieve this is to establish digitalized processes that support automation and goal measurement.

4. Increasing telework

Telework has gone from being a temporary necessity to a long-term reality for many organizations. Management systems must be adapted to support and optimize this new way of working. Strategies to promote effective communication, collaboration and decision-making remotely will be crucial to companies' ability to attract and retain talent. To meet the challenges of employees no longer spending entire working days together, every day of the week, digital tools and processes need to be integrated. The management system will be the central and unifying function to achieve this.

5. Integration of AI tools

The management system of the future will be greatly influenced by the rapid development and increasing use of powerful AI tools. These tools will not only automate routine tasks but also have the ability to extract insights from all the metrics a business generates and then provide predictions and recommendations.

But a future-proof management system must be flexible enough to embrace and adapt to these tools and exploit their full potential. It is not just about automating processes but also about transforming the management system into a platform for innovation and change driven by intelligent algorithms and machine learning.

The ability to implement these new technologies and tools in a way that aligns with, and reinforces, the specific needs and goals of a business is becoming a critical success factor for many organizations.


In summary, we can conclude that the management systems of the future will need to be adaptable to new technologies as well as changing demands from staff and other stakeholders. To remain relevant and competitive, organizations need to be open, predictive, and proactive about the increasing demands for digitalization, measurable impact, and information security. A management system that promotes data-driven decision-making with integrated AI tools has every chance of becoming a hub for innovation and improvement to ensure continued business success.