More than ever earlier than, know-how is altering the best way corporations and government businesses are managed – and the speed of change is choosing up. The power of the chief info officer (CIO) to anticipate, determine and purchase the suitable ICT capabilities is a key ingredient within the success or failure of organisations in nations all over the world, and Finland is not any exception.
The core position of the CIO in Finland continues to be about making certain an organisation has the ICT providers it wants. However the CIO’s space of duty is shortly expanding beyond purely operational features.
“The CIO position is turning into extra of a business leadership position fairly than just a grasp of know-how,” says Jarkko Levasma, Finland’s government CIO. “We’re dwelling in an more and more digitised society, and our leaders have to know the right way to apply know-how the best ways.”
Levasma works in the Ministry of Finance, where his division is liable for general steerage and management for ICT within the public sector. This steerage and leadership extends to central and local authorities, and every thing in-between – and is completed by way of affect, slightly than direct control.
“We don’t have direct management over businesses and municipalities, who’re very unbiased in their digitisation,” he says. “However we do have ways of influencing them, as a result of we provide funding and knowledge.”
This position provides Levasma a chook’s eye view on how IT leaders operate within the public sector throughout Finland. He additionally has first-hand experience in engineering and administration roles within the personal sector.
“The CIO position is changing very quick,” says Levasma. “One of many fascinating issues is to think about what’s included within the time period ‘CIO’. It used to have a sure which means, however extra just lately, other roles have advance up, comparable to chief digitisation officer, chief knowledge officer and chief innovation officer. Many organisations not see the necessity for separate titles like these. In any case, the duties of those roles are already included in the CIO job perform.”
Huge modifications forward
Levasma believes other massive modifications are coming, too – and they’re of a special nature solely. In his view, we have now approach to the top of an era in digitisation, having completed all the massive things that must be achieved for an organisation, and utilizing ICT to help the essential providers and processes. Now, government, business and IT leaders have to concentrate on creating ecosystems of various organisations to offer better providers for patrons and residents. Inside the ecosystem info can circulate from organisation to organisation, so clients don’t need to be asked for knowledge on a regular basis. The totally different gamers in an ecosystem can get the knowledge from one another in a digital format.
“This means we will additionally automate issues for the client – for example, you don’t have to use for a certain service from a authorities company,” says Levasma. “We in all probability comprehend it’s you and that you simply need that service. We will help the citizen if we get the fitting info on the right time from another player, but this requires a cooperative ecosystem.”
On this new era, CIOs will not focus simply on their very own organisations and clients. They should take a look at the large image and see themselves as part of an ecosystem. This represents an enormous change in the CIO position, in addition to in digitisation generally.
In some instances, the info being exchanged is open, which makes the method much easier. But for a lot of reasons, not all knowledge could be open. It could be private knowledge that is protected by knowledge privacy regulation. On this case, the knowledge must be anonymised. Or it might be any person else’s property, through which case, some kind of cost scheme must be devised for partners to trade info.
“In fact, this idea of knowledge trade in an ecosystem isn’t just limited to Finland,” says Levasma. “Lots of new EU laws is popping out now to deal with how these exchanges will work across Europe.”
Much of the new legislation was developed within the context of The European technique for knowledge, which was revealed in February 2020 by the European Fee. A part of the strategy is to increase using industrial knowledge, with out breaking any European rules round knowledge protection. All this info-sharing places more duty on the shoulders of CIOs across the European Union.
The CIO career path in Finland
Despite the fact that the scope of the position continues to broaden, to date, the path to turning into a CIO hasn’t modified much. It still requires a number of technical information and experience. Levasma, for instance, obtained a grasp’s degree in software program engineering before starting his career in a research organisation. He then went on to develop software program within the personal sector for TietoEnator, where he moved into a collection of management positions. Since 2009, he has labored within the public sector in several direct roles, together with CIO.
While the best way into the CIO position hasn’t changed much, what has changed is how properly a person does as soon as they turn into one. Those who do one of the best are aligned with the overall organisational strategy, and this means working with business leaders within the personal sector, and company heads within the public sector.
As managing associate of Momentous, an organization that gives government recruitment and HR consulting to huge Finnish and worldwide corporations operating in Finland, Mika Rossi sees the modifications in the CIO profession path daily.
“Sometimes, the CIO has an ICT diploma and begins out in a number of specialist roles,” he says. “Then they turn into head of a unit and so on. The usual career path stays a lot the identical. Nevertheless, career paths can differ in how motivated a person is to work with enterprise leaders. An individual who is motivated alongside these strains often will get greater roles.”
“As a result of CIOs at the moment are doing much of the buying or subscribing, they must be good at finance – perhaps by way of research or perhaps via expertise,” says Rossi.
Remote and hybrid working makes the CIO position tougher, because the CIO has to offer the digital instruments to enable the brand new capabilities. But in some ways, remote and hybrid working is more of an advantage than an obstacle for Finnish CIOs. It permits them to rent people who reside distant from the primary workplace. Finland is a sparsely populated nation, so it helps so much to be able to rent somebody from Northern Finland relatively than only taking people who stay within the capital area, where it is fairly expensive.
“Personally, I’ve not seen any real problems with distant or hybrid working,” says Levasma. “The workers know what they will do from a house office. That’s true a minimum of with the specialists I’m used to working with. They are fairly good at evaluating what sort of jobs they will do remotely and what they should do in the office.”
Rossi says there’s another international development that impacts the CIO position: an growing variety of safety threats and a rising degree of sophistication. “It’s usually estimated that the state of affairs will proceed for a long time, which factors to the persevering with significance of data security in enterprises,” he says.
To satisfy this challenge, CIOs have to both study more about cyber security themselves, or delegate that process to someone on their employees. Typically, the individual is given the title chief info security officer, who often stories to the CIO.
As to where the CIO reviews in an organisation, that relies upon largely on the business – and on the character of the company. In instances the place a company’s important line of income comes from providing know-how providers, the CIO is more likely to report directly to the CEO. Or there may be a separate chief know-how officer (CTO) position to manage the know-how that permits totally different income streams – during which case, the CIO might report to the CTO, or vice-versa.
Some CEOs need to guarantee digital transformation occurs extra shortly and more completely. In these instances, the CIO may report directly to the CEO. “Totally different organisations have totally different dynamics,” says Rossi. “It’s only natural that in several organisations, the CIO has totally different positions in the management hierarchy, typically reporting to the CEO, and typically to the COO [chief operating officer] or CFO [chief financial officer].”
Where one goes from the CIO position can also be changing, with the rising importance of know-how. There are examples of CIOs turning into the director common or CEO of the organisation, particularly in organisations which might be notably knowledge processing-oriented. For example, Markku Heikura, director basic of the Finnish Tax Administration, is an engineer by training, and has an extended history of CIO roles.
One other good move from the CIO position is to go into consulting later in a profession. However to grow to be a reputable advisor, an IT leader first wants to realize lots of good experience as a CIO, and develop an excellent popularity among their friends. A more widespread profession path is to grow to be CIO of progressively greater organisations until retirement. In fact, in Finland, there isn’t as a lot headroom as in other nations. Probably the most formidable IT leaders typically look outdoors the nation.
Recruiting IT talent
With all the modifications in know-how – and with the rising need for cyber security – CIOs want more expertise of their employees. The workforce in Finland is refined, and other people usually keep up with change. But now, IT leaders want people who find themselves forward of the curve on the newest know-how.
“It’s increasingly challenging to recruit talent, especially in areas where there is a shift in talent sets,” says Levasma. “It has all the time been troublesome to seek out ICT architects, at the very least good ones. Safety specialists are also exhausting to seek out. And then in fact there’s cloud synthetic intelligence, and it’s really onerous to get specialists in this type of fashionable area.”
As is true in all places else on the earth, the talent set required for know-how roles is changing quick in Finland. However Finland has further challenges that arrive with a small and stagnant population. Faculties are struggling to maintain up with the tempo of change and the calls for of business.
This leaves IT leaders with three choices. They will persuade individuals with special expertise to to migrate to Finland, where the chilly climate is an enormous turnoff; they will rent people who work from a home office outdoors the nation; or they will compete with different corporations for the small number of candidates available on the market.
Rossi says the perfect organisations give individuals an exciting place to work. They keep up with change. Usually, good corporations discover good candidates.
“You have to be fairly flexible, because we now have a number of years of young individuals getting into the work market from universities throughout or after the pandemic,” he says. “They don’t understand the previous regular. They solely know the new normal. If you want to maintain them and flourish with them, you have to take heed to them.”