The City of Helsinki reforms its digital foundation

City of Helsinki reforms its digital foundation – major project scheduled over several years

The City of Helsinki is launching a major multi-year project with the aim of reforming its digital foundation. According the City Strategy, we want to be the city in the world that best capitalises on digitalisation, and reforming the digital foundation is one of the most important development areas in Helsinki’s digitalisation programme. It covers, among other things, the telecommunications services, the support services, the lifecycle services for data terminals, as well as the server and capacity services. 

The ambition in the project is to create a functional digital foundation for the city, which enables efficient and reliable services for the city's own employees and Helsinki residents alike. Reliability is important, as a defective telecommunication network and basic information technology can paralyse the city's operations and cause personal safety risks, reputational risks or financial losses to the city.  

“Functional services in infrastructure and basic information technology are of critical importance to the operations of the entire city, and making the digital leap is not possible without a functional digital foundation. The new digital services are built on a functional foundation and they benefit each employee and city resident. The ambition is to offer the services and the information proactively, as automatically and easily as possible 24/7”, says Helsinki Chief Digital Officer Mikko Rusama, who is also the project manager for the digital foundation project. 

Through the improvement of its digital foundation, the city wants to achieve: 

1. Functional services in infrastructure and basic information technology and the associated support services 

Helsinki’s objective is that the city owns its own backbone network and the connections to strategic offices. The entire network and infrastructure has integrated solutions for administration, surveillance and cybersecurity. 

2. Cost efficient and high-availability capacity services 

Helsinki wants to offer new joint services in accordance with its integrated strategy for services, applications and cloud computing, while recognising the scalability, the service standard and the costs of the services. The goal for the future is that the city has one server room of its own, tendered contractor server rooms and specified cloud services to its disposal. 

3. Quick and easy way to get support 

Helsinki’s objective is to expand the remote support to cover the entire city as a 24/7 service and to offer adequate self-service opportunities. 

4. Benefits from centralisation 

The new digitalisation unit at the strategies of the city executive office will offer the joint services centrally.

As the project progresses, the city of Helsinki will recruit professionals and the procurements will be initiated gradually.

Further information on the city’s digitalisation programme: digi.hel.fi/english/.

Photo: Jussi Hellsten