News

Digital platforms are underutilised in Finland

According to Aalto University researchers, Finnish Mittelstand companies do not utilise digital platforms.

Aalto University researchers BSc (Tech) Klaus Castren, MSc (Tech) Aleksi Kortelainen and Postdoctoral Researcher Timo Seppälä analysed 51 Finnish Mittelstand companies, i.e. Finnish industrial groups that employ 249–500 people globally. According to their findings, none of these companies utilised digital platforms as part of their services, or at least did not make their use public knowledge. The results of the research were published in the Digibarometer 2016 report. 

A digital platform is akin to a virtual marketplace. A typical characteristic of these platforms is that different actors create, provide and maintain complementary products and services on different distribution channels. Many of the world's most prestigious brands have joined these consumer platforms and their use has become ordinary. These platforms include Google Play, Apple's App Store, Uber and Airbnb.

– Companies should understand and internalise digitalisation as quickly as possible. One of the biggest problems is that these companies lack the resources and knowhow for assessing how digitalisation is changing their competitive field overall, says Aalto University and ETLA Postdoctoral Researcher Timo Seppälä.

Many of the companies offer maintenance and other services in connection with their products. Their devices can be monitored and controlled in real-time and their maintenance needs can be anticipated in advance with the help of sensors and other smart components. However, even if these services are offered over an open network, instead of being true digital platforms, they are just individual intranets and extranets that operate within corporate firewalls.

According to the researchers, the problem is that the basic solutions of these digital platforms for the industrial internet will be defined elsewhere, which will eventually force Finnish actors to adopt solutions made by others and utilise platforms that are under foreign control and ownership.

- Alarm bells should be ringing: while these sorts of platforms may not be as significant for b2b commerce as they are for consumers, once a platform becomes widely used, it will be difficult to challenge it, the researchers emphasised.

However, they also believe that Finnish companies possess the readiness for opening their collaborative and technical interface resources for both internal and external use.

The Finnish Digibarometer, which describes and predicts Finland's digital position, was published for the third time. It was produced by Etlatieto Oy. The Digibarometer was commissioned by Kaupan liitto, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, TEKES, the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries, and eCommerce Finland.

The Digibarometer 2016 reportis available online (in Finnish) at digibarometri.fi

 

  • Published:
  • Updated:
Share
URL copied!

Read more news

Hands touching the surface of the rippling water.
Cooperation, Research & Art Published:

Sustainability Science Days 2023: Call for Abstracts

The SSD2023 call for abstracts is now open! Please submit an abstract to the session that you think best fits your topic by the latest February 22, 2023, at 23:59 Finnish time.
SemiSummer2023 Kampanja banneri
Cooperation, Research & Art Published:

Semiconductor sector summer jobs open in research groups

The growth of the semiconductor sector and its investments in Finland are also increasing the need for skilled personnel. Thanks to a donation from four semiconductor companies Picosun, an Applied Materials Company, Okmetic, Murata, and KYOCERA Tikitin. Aalto University will offer exciting summer jobs in the School of Electrical Engineering and the School of Chemical Engineering in the summer of 2023. Semi-Summer 2023 Programme will provide an opportunity to gain the skills needed in a growing and international field.
Sakari kuvattuna Aalto-yliopiston tiloissa.
Research & Art, Studies Published:

Sakari Poikkimäki is replacing harmful chemicals with enzymes: ‘We can use small biological organisms in many everyday products’

Chemical engineering alumnus Sakari Poikkimäki works as a fermentation expert at Roal Oy, a company that manufactures enzymes. Studies at Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering lead to a dream job where small living organisms are harnessed for good.
Iita Kejonen kuvattuna Aalto-yliopiston tiloissa.
Research & Art, Studies Published:

Iita Kejonen is involved in recycling battery metals from electric cars: ‘By working in industry, I can influence the development of the entire field’

Studies in materials science and engineering at the School of Chemical Engineering led to work with battery metals and minerals. As a Technology Manager, Iita can influence the development of responsibility in the entire automotive sector.