Seamlessly and securely
Finland is a world leader in the provision of digital public services, and technology is crucial to the nation’s fair, safe, and secure society. Government operations are underpinned by vast amounts of tech assets that ensure Finnish people can access vital services, often at the push of a button.
The company trusted with these digital services is Government ICT Centre Valtori. In this article, the Head of Unit in the organisation, Petri Ekman explains how sustainable asset management powers its digital success.
Responsibility is part of every decision and action taken at Valtori, one of the main suppliers of digital services and information technology (ICT) for the Finnish Government. This responsibility goes hand in hand with high-security standard and consideration for its diverse and extensive customer base, which includes all government agencies and institutions, government-owned corporations, public authorities, parliament, and organisations with public service responsibilities.
Last week Valtori’s Head of Unit, Petri Ekman, joined 3stepIT Chief Commercial Officer, Jason Skidmore, to discuss Finland’s digital transformation and the role Valtori plays in making it happen.
Jason: Finland has a strong ambition to become an international leader in the digital economy by 2030what is it like working with the country’s government agencies to achieve this goal?
Petri: Finland is making some significant strides in digitalisation, leading the world in advancements in artificial intelligence, 5G, quantum computing, and more. The government also takes a progressive stance on how technology can enable a better society – everything from how intelligent health services can improve the welfare of citizens to whether digitalising public transport can help reduce private cars on the road.
It’s our job to ensure the continuity of central government operations and to do so seamlessly and securely. It’s a hugely important responsibility, and every one of our 1400 employees is passionate about ensuring the success of our country. Every day is different, which makes our work exciting and hugely rewarding.
Jason: What does responsibility mean to Valtori?
Petri: Responsibility is an important value for any organisation, but it is absolutely necessary for Valtori’s statutory duties, and it is crucial to our success.
Tens of thousands of people rely on us, and our work has wide-ranging effects on the ability of the Finnish Government to carry out its duty of care to its citizens. We start every day with that responsibility on our minds.
We are responsible to our employees, customers, partners, and society. For me, this means taking care to reduce our impact on the planet while being cost-effective and enabling the most significant possible efficiencies through our services.
It doesn’t stop with us, though – we also have a responsibility to grow our impact, so we expect all our suppliers and partners to meet the highest responsibility standards too.
Jason: What do you consider essential to be able to deliver responsible and sustainable tech?
Petri: If not managed properly, technology can undo all the good that digitalisation may bring with augmented efficiency. Carbon emissions and electronic waste go hand in hand, so as part of our responsibility goals, we’ve committed to embedding sustainable development principles across our operations. This means for example considering every aspect of the device lifecycle, from procurement to management to asset disposal, and looking at the impact of our supply chain.
We included stringent responsibility requirements as part of competitive tendering for our ICT procurement, which totalled EUR 282 million last year, because we believe it is our responsibility to make sure that our investment in tech is sustainable. And that means working with suppliers that help us embed the principles of the circular economy into our organisation so that valuable digital assets are not wasted after their first use.
Jason: What role does 3stepIT play in helping to achieve this?
Petri: Over the last decade, 3stepIT’s circular Technology Lifecycle Management (TLM) solution has helped us to ensure that government digital services and IT devices are efficient, secure, and sustainable.
Through our partnership, we manage over 60,000 devices for government customers with highly diverse needs. We refresh devices across these organisations four times a year – with a typical batch often coming in at over 10,000 workstations that are sustainably and securely removed and replaced.
With 3stepIT’s asset management platform, we can control this lifecycle easily because we have a single overview of devices and can schedule and automate updates and replacements as required. We rely on the certainty, predictability, and cost-effectiveness this provides us.
Data security is another hugely important consideration for us. Digital safety is the highest concern for the government, and we must guarantee that the tech we deploy is secure at every stage of the lifecycle. 3stepIT is our trusted partner for the secure management of in-use devices right through to secure, sustainable disposal. They provide a digital audit trail for every device, an essential requirement for fulfilling our statutory obligations.
The government also has ambitious sustainability goals, and I am pleased that we are promoting sustainable development in a structured and systematic way through our partnership with 3stepIT. In 2021, 97% of the leased devices taken back by 3stepIT was reused in a data-secure manner, while the remaining 3% was responsibly recycled.
We have fine-tuned our relationship with 3stepIT over ten years of working closely together. The result is vastly improved services for our customers, which is always our number one priority. Our work is critical to the government’s ability to operate, and we depend on everything running correctly at the right time and place – 3stepIT never lets us down.
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