City of Helsinki

From reactive to proactive digital service

Helsinki aims to become the most functional and attractive city in the world. Digital technologies will make it proactively responsive to its residents’ needs, able to predict and prevent crises, and to adapt to rapidly changing situations. This will be based around a new company – DigiHelsinki Oy – which will centralize all infrastructure and basic IT services, with Fujitsu as its main partner.

Challenge

The city had many legacy systems with siloed IT solutions, processes and data.

These fragmented platforms and infrastructure need to be transformed with a robust, unified and secure technology base to better serve and inspire both residents and employees.

Solution

Fujitsu was chosen as a key strategic partner to develop and reform Helsinki’s ICT infrastructure and basic IT services including:

  • Telecommunications network monitoring and management
  • Cybersecurity and data center services
  • Customer support services
  • ICT user support services

Outcomes

  • City-based infrastructure is being digitally centralized, and IT services for residents and employees are being expanded
  • Operational support services are having a positive impact from Month One
  • The city is launching the new DigiHelsinki company early in 2023, with Fujitsu as its main partner
  • The city is now aiming to be carbonneutral by 2030, five years earlier than planned
We want to transform from a reactive to a proactive city that is serving citizens on their own terms. We want to flip the service model around, so that rather than asking residents to come to the city, the city comes to the people.

Mikko Rusama, Chief Digital Officer at the City of Helsinki

About the customer

The City of Helsinki is Finland’s largest service organization, with 39,000 employees and an IT spend of over €200m. The city’s services touch the lives of nearly every one of its 650,000 residents every day – a diverse population of over 40 different nationalities speaking 139 different languages. Helsinki has one of the world’s highest standards of living, and is seen as a pioneer of urban environmentalism. Now it is transforming itself through digitalization to redefine the relationship between the city and the people who live there.

How Fujitsu is helping Helsinki become the most functional and resilient city in the world

Before 2017, Helsinki had more than 30 independent agencies. ICT was fragmented across over 900 information systems and dozens of different networks, with vast quantities of data in silos, and many duplicated and legacy systems. Centralizing the city wide infrastructure and basic IT services needed a complete reform of Helsinki’s digital base – as well as partners who understood the priorities and values of the city.

Mikko Rusama, Chief Digital Officer at the City of Helsinki, and his team see digitalization as the key to their ambitious goals for the city. As he explains: “an anti-fragile city is able to use digital technologies to anticipate and predict different crises and also adapt to changing situations quickly.”

Helsinki is developing enhanced data capabilities, to identify different life situations and deliver proactive services and information, and to stimulate business activity and growth. This will support the development of new services to effortlessly anticipate and meet the particular needs of the residents, and enable the city to see and deal with problems before they happen. As people feel more connected and involved, the city and all who live in it will see greater advances in prosperity, education, health, and sustainability.

Fujitsu is built around connecting people, technology and ideas, so working with the City of Helsinki team was an ideal fit for their vision. When the Digitalization Program was set up in 2019, Fujitsu was a core partner in giving Helsinki the solid digital foundations it needed to build its future on. This created a new kind of service organization, with centralized information security, infrastructure and network services, as well as common IT support for all the city’s businesses and industries.

“Basic infrastructure and IT services are like our water and electricity. Fujitsu is helping us to fix our digital plumbing, improving our telecommunications, cyber-security capacity, and support services.” – Mikko Rusama

The lives of Helsinki’s citizens and employees are already being made easier. Parents are offered a proactive pre-school placement for their children through text-message or email that they can immediately accept. A healthcare chatbot gives advice and support 24/7. Residents can vote on new ideas for improving the city. And the public can see and use all the open data from the Helsinki metropolitan area in a standard format, at no cost.

This is just the start. From 2023, Fujitsu will also partner DigiHelsinki Oy, the city’s new ICT-infrastructure and basic IT service company - to provide a solid digital foundation on top of which innovative, proactive and preventative services can be developed.
For example, giving user support services to all the city’s personnel and monitor Data Security threats 24/7.

Working with Fujitsu, the City of Helsinki is showing how digitalization can help our cities be connected at a more human level.

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