Knowit is one of the largest IT & consultancy companies in the Nordic region, with around 1800 specialists in service. Knowit has systematically expanded its scope of operations and now provides total digital solutions alongside its traditional IT services and business consulting. The digital business is expanding rapidly.
In a recent reorganisation, Knowit Group’s business operations were restructured. The Design & Digital unit now accounts for 400 of the specialists in the Nordic countries. In charge of the digital operations in Finland is Janne Tuominiemi, whose previous work experience includes Yahoo, digital agencies, the media industry and start-ups.
As more aspects of marketing and information technology draw closer together, so too have IT companies and digital services started to offer similar propositions. A few years ago where IT companies sold only technology intensive products, now they are tailoring solutions to the modern challenges of work, mobile work and better online customer service. Increasingly, work is being guided more strongly by measurable goals and performance.
Improving internal efficiency and performance in sales & marketing
Knowit’s Design & Digital business in Finland shares its focus between improving the internal operations of its clients and projects tackling sales and marketing. Improvements in internal operations focus on reducing email traffic and the organisation of files in one place. In addition, services regarding mobile solutions are high in demand, supporting the modern work culture and making it easier to telecommute or work remotely.
The current sales and marketing projects emphasise the use of electronic customer service and e-commerce solutions. Companies want to better serve their customers online, providing them with a seamless experience across the web. These extranet-solutions allow the customers of clients to better explore products electronically after logging onto a system, as well as to view the data of their own purchasing behaviour and orders. Data, its visualisation and analysis, are essential parts of the projects.
Websites, online projects and all activities are guided by metrics. Measurable objectives are set for all operations. Ahlstrom and Suunto are two clients Tuominiemi mentions:
“Finnish companies often respond well to ongoing development and the analysis of associated data. Data driven changes to activities or even investments, are not a problem. Being result-oriented is the language Finnish companies speak.”
The Nordic region’s best and brightest
Digital business is growing rapidly and thus Knowit wants to invest in it. In Finland many companies are investing in digital services despite the overall slow growth in the economy. In the other Nordic countries, particularly Norway, corporate investment capability is better, and there is a greater willingness to try something new. This knowledge accumulates inside the corporate group, allowing this expertise to be applied to customers and projects in other countries.
In the Nordic region cooperation is close and the group has targeted further improvement in this area. Common IT systems within the group, make both resourcing and sales much easier.
The Swedes have been traditionally skilled in sales and marketing. The Finns, for their part, have a high level of technological competence and knowledge on integrating technology into business. This expertise is appreciated across the other Nordic countries.
“We share customers and experiences and want to productize in the same way. We learn an enormous amount from the way Norway and Sweden approach things. In turn they learn the technical side of things from us.”
Design & Digital employs a wide range of experts, from coders to doctorates in technology, data-analysts and digital marketing specialists. Knowit also relies on partners to offer a comprehensive overall service. Partners bring specialist expertise to the projects, such as master data management, authentication and mobile proficiency.
Digital strategy takes you towards genuine digital operations
Tuominiemi has seen how digital strategies have, within only a few years, become more common in Finland. Investments in design, specifications and strategy are greater than ever before. Feasibility studies can sometimes be more expensive than actual coding.
A good digital strategy serves business directly. It sets out a roadmap showing what will happen and to what timeframe, along with how growth is sought and how success is to be measured. The digital strategy will take a position on technological choices both now and in the future, allowing wise decisions to be made without being too prescriptive.
Tuominiemi emphasises the process thinking for understanding digital transitions. How a digital solution can challenge the old patterns of behaviour, to make outdated processes redundant and to facilitate existing practices. In addition, digitalisation can develop completely new creative business and revenue models. Knowit’s Nordic teams are involved in the design and implementation of digital strategies for several successful global brands.