The changing purpose of the CIO from a Finnish point of view

Pat Brans


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

Published: 17 Mar 2023

More than ever sooner than, technology is changing the technique firms and authorities agencies are managed – and the recede of alternate is picking up. The flexibility of the chief data officer (CIO) to depend upon, title and regain the becoming ICT capabilities is a key ingredient within the success or failure of organisations in worldwide locations around the sector, and Finland is no longer any exception. 

The core purpose of the CIO in Finland remains to be about guaranteeing an organisation has the ICT products and companies it needs. However the CIO’s space of ​​responsibility is readily expanding past purely operational capabilities. 

“The CIO purpose is changing into extra of a industry leadership purpose reasonably than appropriate a master of technology,” says Jarkko Levasma, Finland’s authorities CIO. “We’re living in an an increasing number of digitised society, and our leaders must know be conscious technology the fine ways.”

Levasma works within the Ministry of Finance, the put his department is to blame for total steerage and leadership for ICT within the public sector. This steerage and leadership extends to central and native authorities, and all the things in-between – and is performed through impact, reasonably than relate control.

“We don’t occupy relate control over agencies and municipalities, who’re very self sustaining of their digitisation,” he says. “However we carry out occupy ways of influencing them, because we provide funding and data.”

This field offers Levasma a bird’s sight stare on how IT leaders operate within the public sector at some point of Finland. He additionally has first-hand ride in engineering and administration roles within the interior most sector. 

The CIO purpose is changing very quick,” says Levasma. “One of many attention-grabbing things is to imagine what’s incorporated within the time interval ‘CIO’. It old to occupy a particular which implies, however extra just at the moment, assorted roles occupy reach up, corresponding to chief digitisation officer, chief data officer and chief innovation officer. Many organisations no longer admire the necessity for separate titles like these. Despite all the things, the responsibilities of these roles are already incorporated within the CIO job purpose.”

Mountainous changes ahead

Levasma believes assorted huge changes are coming, too – and they’re of a obvious nature entirely. In his stare, now we occupy reach to the discontinue of an period in digitisation, having performed the complete huge things that would soundless be performed for an organisation, and the utilization of ICT to give a lift to the well-known products and companies and processes. Now, authorities, industry and IT leaders must point of curiosity on growing ecosystems of assorted organisations to offer better products and companies for patrons and citizens. For the duration of the ecosystem data can circulation from organisation to organisation, so customers don’t would maybe well soundless be requested for data the complete time. The assorted avid gamers in an ecosystem can ranking the facts from one yet some other in a digital format.  

“This suggests we are able to additionally automate things for the shopper – to illustrate, you don’t must be conscious for a particular service from a authorities company,” says Levasma. “We doubtlessly brand it’s you and that you wish that service. We can relieve the citizen if we ranking the fine data on the fine time from some assorted player, however this requires a cooperative ecosystem.”

On this novel period, CIOs will no longer point of curiosity appropriate on their occupy organisations and customers. They’re going to must check out on the massive image and admire themselves as half of an ecosystem. This represents a huge alternate within the CIO purpose, as effectively as in digitisation in long-established. 

In some cases, the facts being exchanged is delivery, which makes the process grand simpler. However for many reasons, no longer all data would maybe be delivery. It’d very effectively be private data that is safe by data privateness laws. On this case, the facts must be anonymised. Or it would maybe very effectively be anyone else’s property, in which case, some construct of price blueprint must be devised for partners to alternate data. 

“Unnecessary to express, this thought of data alternate in an ecosystem is no longer appropriate diminutive to Finland,” says Levasma. “ deal of novel EU laws is coming out now to tackle how these exchanges will work at some point of Europe.”

Grand of the novel laws used to be developed within the context of The European strategy for data, which used to be printed in February 2020 by the European Commission. Portion of the strategy is to lengthen the utilization of business data, without breaking any European principles around data protection. All this data-sharing locations extra responsibility on the shoulders of CIOs at some point of the European Union.

The CIO profession course in Finland 

Although the scope of the purpose continues to stamp bigger, up to now, the course to changing staunch into a CIO hasn’t changed grand. It soundless requires tons of technical knowledge and ride. Levasma, to illustrate, got a master’s stage in application engineering sooner than starting his profession in a research organisation. He then went on to form application within the interior most sector for TietoEnator, the put he moved staunch into a chain of administration positions. Since 2009, he has labored within the public sector in assorted relate roles, at the side of CIO. 

Whereas the technique into the CIO purpose hasn’t changed grand, what has changed is how effectively a person does as soon as they grow to be one. Folks that carry out the last note are aligned with the total organisational strategy, and this implies working with industry leaders within the interior most sector, and company heads within the public sector. 

As managing accomplice of Momentous, an organization that provides executive recruitment and HR consulting to huge Finnish and global firms working in Finland, Mika Rossi sees the changes within the CIO profession course each day. 

“On the complete, the CIO has an ICT stage and starts out in just a few specialist roles,” he says. “Then they grow to be head of a unit and so on. The long-established profession course remains grand the identical. Alternatively, profession paths can range in how motivated a person is to work with industry leaders. A one who is motivated along these traces usually will get bigger roles.”  

“Because CIOs are now doing grand of the buying or subscribing, they would well soundless be staunch at finance – per chance through research or per chance through ride,” says Rossi. 

Distant and hybrid working makes the CIO purpose extra no longer easy, since the CIO has to offer the digital tools to enable the novel capabilities. However in many ways, far-off and hybrid working is extra of an advantage than a dilemma for Finnish CIOs. It enables them to hire of us that live far-off from the predominant place of job. Finland is a carefully populated country, so it helps so a lot so that you can hire somebody from Northern Finland reasonably than simplest taking of us that live within the capital space, the put it is reasonably costly. 

“Personally, I with out a doubt haven’t considered any accurate complications with far-off or hybrid working,” says Levasma. “The staff know what they’re going to carry out from a residence place of job. That’s staunch no longer less than with the consultants I’m old to working with. They’re reasonably staunch at evaluating what extra or less jobs they’re going to carry out remotely and what they must defend out within the place of job.”

Rossi says there is yet some other global model that impacts the CIO purpose: an increasing dedication of safety threats and a growing stage of sophistication. “It’s most regularly estimated that the self-discipline will proceed for a in point of fact very prolonged time, which aspects to the continuing significance of data safety in enterprises,” he says.

To fulfill this anxiety, CIOs must either learn extra about cyber safety themselves, or delegate that process to anyone on their personnel. In most cases, the person is given the title chief data safety officer, who usually experiences to the CIO. 

As to the put the CIO experiences in an organisation, that is dependent largely on the replace – and on the personality of the corporate. In cases the put an organization’s well-known line of income comes from offering technology products and companies, the CIO is liable to story at the moment to the CEO. Or there would maybe well very effectively be a separate chief technology officer (CTO) purpose to manipulate the technology that allows assorted income streams – in which case, the CIO would maybe well story to the CTO, or vice-versa. 

Some CEOs desire to stamp obvious digital transformation occurs extra like a flash and additional completely. In these cases, the CIO would maybe well story at the moment to the CEO. “Varied organisations occupy assorted dynamics,” says Rossi. “It’s simplest natural that in assorted organisations, the CIO has assorted positions within the administration hierarchy, most regularly reporting to the CEO, and most regularly to the COO [chief operating officer] or CFO [chief financial officer].”

Where one goes from the CIO purpose is additionally changing, with the growing significance of technology. There are examples of CIOs changing into the director long-established or CEO of the organisation, critically in organisations that are critically data processing-oriented. As an instance, Markku Heikura, director long-established of the Finnish Tax Administration, is an engineer by practising, and has a prolonged historical past of CIO roles. 

But some other staunch switch from the CIO purpose is to enter consulting later in a profession. However to turn staunch into a credible advisor, an IT leader first must construct tons of staunch ride as a CIO, and form a staunch repute amongst their peers. A extra common profession course is to grow to be CIO of gradually bigger organisations till retirement. Unnecessary to express, in Finland, there isn’t as grand headroom as in assorted worldwide locations. The most ambitious IT leaders usually check out outside the country. 

Recruiting IT abilities

With the complete changes in technology – and with the growing need for cyber safety – CIOs need extra abilities of their personnel. The team in Finland is refined, and of us most regularly withhold up with alternate. However now, IT leaders need of us that are ahead of the curve on the most up-to-date technology.

“It’s an increasing number of no longer easy to recruit abilities, critically in areas the put there would possibly maybe be a shift in skill sets,” says Levasma. “It has repeatedly been refined to search out ICT architects, no longer less than staunch ones. Security consultants are additionally laborious to search out. After which no doubt there’s cloud man made intelligence, and it’s with out a doubt laborious to ranking specialists in this extra or less standard space.”

As is staunch in every single location else on this planet, the skill plot required for technology roles is changing quick in Finland. However Finland has additional challenges that reach with a limited and stagnant population. Colleges are struggling to have up with the recede of alternate and the demands of replace.

This leaves IT leaders with three solutions. They’ll convince of us with special abilities to emigrate to Finland, the put the chilly climate is a large turnoff; they’re going to hire of us that work from a residence place of job outside the country; or they’re going to compete with assorted firms for the limited dedication of candidates within the marketplace. 

Rossi says the last note organisations give of us an thrilling location to work. They withhold up with alternate. In long-established, staunch firms accumulate staunch candidates.

“It’s best to be reasonably flexible, because we occupy several years of younger of us coming into the work market from universities at some point of or after the pandemic,” he says. “They don’t understand the archaic long-established. They simplest know the novel long-established. Whilst you have to must defend them and flourish with them, you wish to listen to to them.”

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