The altering feature of the CIO from a Finnish perspective

Pat Brans


  • Pat Brans,
    Pat Brans Mates/Grenoble Ecole de Management

Published: 17 Mar 2023

Extra than ever ahead of, technology is altering the style companies and government agencies are managed – and the price of substitute is picking up. The ability of the chief files officer (CIO) to await, name and assassinate the ultimate ICT capabilities is a key ingredient within the success or failure of organisations in countries around the enviornment, and Finland isn’t very any exception. 

The core feature of the CIO in Finland continues to be about guaranteeing an organisation has the ICT services and products it wants. However the CIO’s field of ​​responsibility is fleet expanding previous purely operational functions. 

“The CIO feature is becoming more of a alternate management feature in must just correct a grasp of technology,” says Jarkko Levasma, Finland’s government CIO. “We’re residing in an increasingly digitised society, and our leaders must know apply technology the coolest ways.”

Levasma works within the Ministry of Finance, the build his department is accountable for total steering and management for ICT within the public sector. This steering and management extends to central and native government, and the entirety in-between – and is executed through influence, in must convey alter.

“We don’t enjoy convey alter over agencies and municipalities, who’re very autonomous of their digitisation,” he says. “But we secure enjoy ways of influencing them, because we provide funding and files.”

This region affords Levasma a chook’s discover look on how IT leaders feature within the public sector correct through Finland. He also has first-hand journey in engineering and administration roles within the deepest sector. 

The CIO feature is altering very immediate,” says Levasma. “One amongst the appealing issues is to take into epic what is integrated within the time duration ‘CIO’. It mature to enjoy a obvious which formulation, nonetheless more no longer too prolonged within the past, varied roles enjoy come up, a lot like chief digitisation officer, chief files officer and chief innovation officer. Many organisations no longer take into epic the need for separate titles appreciate these. Despite the entirety, the tasks of these roles are already integrated within the CIO job feature.”

Gigantic changes ahead

Levasma believes varied mountainous changes are coming, too – and they are of a abnormal nature fully. In his look, we now enjoy come to the tip of an technology in digitisation, having carried out all of the mountainous issues that must quiet be carried out for an organisation, and the utilization of ICT to enhance the classic services and products and processes. Now, government, alternate and IT leaders must focal level on setting up ecosystems of assorted organisations to provide larger services and products for purchasers and electorate. At some level of the ecosystem files can proceed along with the circulate from organisation to organisation, so prospects don’t must quiet be requested for files the total time. The more than a couple of gamers in an ecosystem can secure the files from one one other in a digital structure.  

“This form we are able to also furthermore automate issues for the buyer – as an instance, you don’t must apply for a obvious service from a government company,” says Levasma. “We doubtlessly tag it’s you and that you just wish that service. We are able to support the citizen if we secure the coolest files on the coolest time from some varied player, nonetheless this requires a cooperative ecosystem.”

In this original technology, CIOs will no longer focal level just correct on their very contain organisations and prospects. They are going to must scrutinize on the mountainous image and take into epic themselves as section of an ecosystem. This represents a mountainous substitute within the CIO feature, apart from to in digitisation basically. 

In some cases, the files being exchanged is open, which makes the formulation important simpler. But for many causes, no longer all files can even furthermore be open. It can maybe be deepest files that’s protected by files privacy laws. In this case, the files wants to be anonymised. Or it might well maybe maybe be any person else’s property, whereby case, some form of price contrivance wants to be devised for partners to alternate files. 

“Obviously, this scheme of files alternate in an ecosystem is no longer only correct restricted to Finland,” says Levasma. “Quite loads of fresh EU laws is coming out now to contend with how these exchanges will work across Europe.”

Unheard of of the original laws was developed within the context of The European diagram for files, which was printed in February 2020 by the European Commission. Allotment of the diagram is to magnify the employ of business files, with out breaking any European principles around files protection. All this files-sharing locations more responsibility on the shoulders of CIOs across the European Union.

The CIO profession path in Finland 

Although the scope of the feature continues to magnify, to this level, the path to becoming a CIO hasn’t changed important. It quiet requires a good deal of technical files and journey. Levasma, as an instance, obtained a grasp’s diploma in diagram engineering ahead of starting his profession in a learn organisation. He then went on to create diagram within the deepest sector for TietoEnator, the build he moved correct into a series of administration positions. Since 2009, he has labored within the public sector in varied convey roles, including CIO. 

Whereas the style into the CIO feature hasn’t changed important, what has changed is how properly a particular person does once they change into one. These who secure the very top are aligned with the general organisational diagram, and this form working with alternate leaders within the deepest sector, and company heads within the public sector. 

As managing accomplice of Momentous, a company that affords government recruitment and HR consulting to mountainous Finnish and worldwide companies running in Finland, Mika Rossi sees the changes within the CIO profession path each day. 

“On the total, the CIO has an ICT diploma and begins out in a couple of specialist roles,” he says. “Then they change into head of a unit etc. The trendy profession path remains important the same. Alternatively, profession paths can fluctuate in how motivated a particular person is to work with alternate leaders. A one that is motivated along these traces basically will get larger roles.”  

“Because CIOs are if truth be told doing important of the making an try to search out or subscribing, they must quiet be just correct at finance – maybe through reviews and even through journey,” says Rossi. 

Some distance-off and hybrid working makes the CIO feature more tantalizing, since the CIO has to provide the digital tools to allow the original capabilities. But in just a few ways, a long way-off and hybrid working is more of an profit than a quandary for Finnish CIOs. It permits them to rent people that dwell a long way a long way from basically the considerable field of job. Finland is a carefully populated nation, so it helps loads so as to rent somebody from Northern Finland in must easiest taking people that dwell within the capital field, the build it’s relatively costly. 

“Personally, I if truth be told enjoy no longer viewed any proper issues with a long way-off or hybrid working,” says Levasma. “The staff know what they might be able to secure from a condo field of job. That’s just correct a minimal of with the consultants I’m mature to working with. They’re relatively just correct at evaluating what form of jobs they might be able to secure remotely and what they enjoy to secure within the sphere of job.”

Rossi says there is one other world style that impacts the CIO feature: an rising number of security threats and a rising diploma of sophistication. “It’s most continuously estimated that the scenario will proceed for a truly prolonged time, which aspects to the continuing importance of files security in enterprises,” he says.

To meet this relate, CIOs must either be taught more about cyber security themselves, or delegate that process to any person on their staff. On occasion, the particular person is given the title chief files security officer, who basically reviews to the CIO. 

As to the build the CIO reviews in an organisation, that is dependent largely on the alternate – and on the personality of the company. In cases the build a company’s predominant line of income comes from providing technology services and products, the CIO is more probably to legend on to the CEO. Or there might well maybe maybe be a separate chief technology officer (CTO) feature to administer the technology that enables varied income streams – whereby case, the CIO might well maybe maybe legend to the CTO, or vice-versa. 

Some CEOs desire to make sure that digital transformation occurs more fleet and more completely. In these cases, the CIO can even legend on to the CEO. “Quite loads of organisations enjoy varied dynamics,” says Rossi. “It’s easiest natural that in varied organisations, the CIO has varied positions within the administration hierarchy, assuredly reporting to the CEO, and in most cases to the COO [chief operating officer] or CFO [chief financial officer].”

The build one goes from the CIO feature is also altering, with the rising importance of technology. There are examples of CIOs becoming the director general or CEO of the organisation, especially in organisations which can even very properly be particularly files processing-oriented. As an instance, Markku Heikura, director general of the Finnish Tax Administration, is an engineer by practising, and has a prolonged historical previous of CIO roles. 

One more just correct circulate from the CIO feature is to maneuver into consulting later in a profession. But to change into a credible consultant, an IT chief first wants to assassinate a good deal of just correct journey as a CIO, and create an superb recognition amongst their peers. A more trendy profession path is to change into CIO of gradually larger organisations till retirement. Obviously, in Finland, there isn’t as important headroom as in varied countries. Potentially the most dauntless IT leaders basically scrutinize outside the nation. 

Recruiting IT expertise

With the total changes in technology – and with the rising need for cyber security – CIOs need more expertise of their staff. The crew in Finland is delicate, and of us most continuously preserve up with substitute. But now, IT leaders need people which can even very properly be sooner than the curve on the most fresh technology.

“It’s increasingly tantalizing to recruit expertise, especially in areas the build there is a shift in ability gadgets,” says Levasma. “It has repeatedly been delicate to search out ICT architects, a minimal of just correct ones. Security consultants are also exhausting to search out. After which if truth be told there’s cloud synthetic intelligence, and it’s if truth be told exhausting to secure specialists on this form of customary field.”

As is candy in all places else on the earth, the flexibility build required for technology roles is altering immediate in Finland. But Finland has additional challenges that embody a tiny and stagnant population. Colleges are struggling to preserve up with the tempo of substitute and the demands of alternate.

This leaves IT leaders with three alternatives. They’ll convince of us with particular expertise to to migrate to Finland, the build the cold native climate is a mountainous turnoff; they might be able to hire people that work from a condo field of job outside the nation; or they might be able to compete with varied companies for the tiny number of candidates on the market. 

Rossi says the very top organisations give of us a thrilling field to work. They retain up with substitute. On the total, just correct companies acquire just correct candidates.

“You enjoy gotten to be relatively flexible, because we enjoy several years of young of us entering the work market from universities at some level of or after the pandemic,” he says. “They don’t tag the mature trendy. They easiest know the original trendy. If you appreciate to must preserve them and flourish with them, which that you just can maybe must hear to them.”

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