August 11, 2015

Open source culture – what does it mean to me?

Digitalization is slowly reaching the majority of businesses also in the Nordics. I have been working on the front line of these changes, witnessing how hard it is to adapt to the changes that digitalization brings within the organization with new thoughts, tools, and ways of working.

My experience of Nordic companies is that digitalization as a concept is already well known, but the adaptation process is still taking its baby steps. This is also indicated by the latest Cloud Maturity Index Survey (published by Tieto and Radar), which shows that Nordic companies are early pioneers of cloud computing services, but few use the technology beyond cost cutting.

I have been very keen to understand the reasons for why it is so hard to recognize the need to change and to act before competition does. Why do we accept the cap of lost revenue by letting the markets change without being able to adapt to the fundamentals in the era of digitalization?

In my opinion, it is difficult for us as a human beings to accept one of the core thoughts of digitalization – one must accept the fact that someone is doing the job better, cheaper, and with more experience than you would ever be able to do by yourself. Within the Nordic market area, where we are used to knowing our customers, markets, and competition relatively well, it is not easy to understand why we should interact with each other, change our competencies, and invest in the unknown. The answer is very simple: because we have to. As the change within digitalization is not led by ourselves (let’s finally admit it – the Nordic region is not the center of digitalization, even though we have some great success stories) we need to find our success factors, both as companies and individuals.

If this is not an easy concept to understand and adopt at the corporate level, how on earth can we transform our own ways of thinking?

It means that we need to understand that someone is also doing my job better, cheaper, and with more experience. I can’t fight against that change, so the only way I can succeed is to adapt to the era of digitalization, open up everything I have ever learnt about customers, markets, competition etc. and align this knowledge with other individuals that know even more than I do. This “leap into the uncertain” is not easy for most of us, but without actually changing (and not only speaking about it), one has already lost.

I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of an organization which has already adapted to this way of thinking in its core strategies. At Tieto, we call this thinking “Open Source Culture”. As much as it challenges the existing ways of working and thinking, it also encourage us to show our expertise, challenging our peers and ourselves to perform better at all times.  I truly believe this is the only way we can change the mindset in the Nordics from being the early pioneers to actually making a difference, not only locally, but within the global markets as well.

I really encourage you all to read through the statement of “Open Source Culture” below and join me and my colleagues at Tieto in the debate about making the Nordics a global outperformer.

Anssi Pakkanen
Twitter: @anssipakkanen78
Linkedin: Anssi Pakkanen
E-mail: Anssi.Pakkanen@tieto.com

“At Tieto, we have a good reason to wake up and come to work each day: we are committed to developing enterprises and society through information technology. It's a huge task. Luckily, we have talent. Lots of it.

There can be no creativity without freedom and trust. We trust in the knowledge of our people, instead of telling how we should think, act or look like. We believe in exchanging ideas, dreaming out loud and simply having passion for our customers’ success. We gain results by being the first ones to cross the finish line – and the last ones to give up. Every victory for our customer is a victory for all of us.

This is the Tieto we want to be. Transparent. Open-minded. A community of brave minds. A garden of ideas. That's why Tieto keeps on getting better.”

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