Nordic CIO interview: Janne Puustinen, Valmet

Nordic CIO interview: Janne Puustinen, Valmet

Janne Puustinen constructed Finnish industrial expertise firm Valmet’s total IT organisation from scratch after a demerger

Eeva Haaramo


Published: 08 Jun 2020 10: 35

In March 2013, Janne Puustinen confronted an uncommon peril. He became an IT director at Finnish industrial engineering huge Metso when the resolution became made to demerge the corporate into two just listed firms.

Puustinen became given 9 months to produce a unconditionally current IT organisation for what would become Valmet, an industrial expertise firm with more than 13,000 workers worldwide.

“It became a brand current peril for me,” says Puustinen. ”My responsibility had been IT for regarded as one of Metso’s industry divisions, and I purchased all our infrastructure services from neighborhood IT so I could perchance focal level totally on industry capabilities. Infrastructure became a brand current affirm that I with out observe needed to study more deeply than ever.”

Presented with a restricted timeframe, Puustinen took an effectivity-primarily based totally mostly arrive. On the inspiration, the two demerging firms floated the premise of transitional carrier agreements and providing selected IT services to one one more. However Puustinen and his colleagues opted towards that, and as an alternative copied Metso’s existing IT infrastructure and rebuilt it independently for both firms. 

It became no easy job. The work wanted to be completed whereas Metso persisted its regular operations. Puustinen calculated that the IT department performed the an identical of 7,500 days’ extra work at some level of the final half of of 2013 – however light had no time for any staunch expertise adjustments.

“It became very powerful a rapidly and dirty arrive,” he says. “However in hindsight, regarded as one of many final note lessons we learnt became that it became absolutely the ideal arrive to acquire this. Within the occasion you continue to possess shared IT services, which could perchance be constructed deep into your operations, that you simply may perchance well’t truly manufacture a firm independently. One sizable bang is more healthy than continuous whining.”

Now Puustinen runs a successfully-functioning IT crew of 150 folks, and IT has been made a strategic segment of Valmet’s operations. It’s now a long arrive from the firm’s early days when IT simplest had time to focal level on keeping services going.

“One sizable bang is more healthy than continuous whining”

Janne Puustinen, Valmet

“On the launch, it became appropriate about survival,” he says. “We mostly reported about the complications we had, no longer about the pattern we were going to acquire. However while you possess a examine our annual conception now, round 75% of our IT projects are shared [development] projects with our industry capabilities.”

This has no longer long gone omitted by Puustinen’s company. In 2019, he became named Finland’s CIO of the Year by Finnish IT magazine Tivi and Nordic CIO of the Year by Helsinki-primarily based totally mostly Management Occasions. That became no longer what Puustinen could perchance possess imagined 24 years ago when he started at Valmet as a mechanical engineering graduate. Then, an IT occupation wasn’t even on the playing cards.

“I started in R&D,” he says. “It’s a tall affirm to launch a occupation, irrespective of the place you pause up. R&D has a range of the aspects that are essential to study on the launch of a occupation. The delivery of the entire thing current, innovation, being forward-taking a look – and checking out if one thing doesn’t work or can’t be completed. In other words, accepting failure through trial. That is amazingly contemporary this present day.”

For Puustinen, IT got here into the image in 2003 when he became requested to head IT for the Metso industry unit that could well perchance finally become Valmet. Even supposing coding became halt to his coronary heart in his free time, he had simplest ever completed a couple of weeks’ price of IT-linked stories – however that didn’t dreary him down.

Outsourcing IT services

After the demerger, Puustinen’s arrive became to transfer Valmet’s IT focal level to pattern and current services. When the firm first started, it had about 210 IT workers and almost the entire thing became completed in-residence. Puustinen changed this in 2017 when Valmet outsourced its IT infrastructure services to CGI. 

Two years later got here an outsourcing take care of Capgemini, which covered Valmet’s IT utility pattern and upkeep services. The 2 deals noticed about 80 folks leave Valmet, however also spread out current roles at some level of the firm. Level-headed, Puustinen doesn’t delight in to exercise the note outsourcing.

“Rather then doing a range of operative carrier manufacturing and upkeep in our organisation, we wished to acquire more future constructing alongside with our industry side,” he says. “We moved our operative jobs [to CGI and Capgemini]. This created financial savings which shall we exercise to fund pattern work and shift our IT in direction of supporting future pattern.”

Puustinen is delighted with the outcomes to this level. He says there are repeatedly some little complications, however the principle aspects of the transition possess succeeded. Reflecting on lessons realized, he emphasises that outsourcing projects will possess to light no longer focal level on the transition itself, however to retain the principle aim on what follows. That is the place the staunch mark comes through as effectivity and quality are improved.

The an identical applies to inner projects, he says. Valmet is currently rolling out a brand current enterprise resource planning (ERP) machine across 150 locations of work in 35 countries. The project, wherein Valmet is provocative from Infor’s Baan ERP to its successor, Infor LN, started in 2016.

“We don’t peep any of the advantages whereas we’re rising the current machine,” says Puustinen. “It takes hundreds and hundreds of euros, however the advantages will simplest attain when folks undertake the current arrive of doing issues. It’s miles the identical as with outsourcing circumstances.”

This implies no longer simplest celebrating completed projects, however highlighting little successes, he says. Stereotypically, Finns possess peril with blow his own trumpet, however Puustinen thinks here’s a truly necessary segment of promoting a project inner a firm. Real success circumstances, even little ones, serve to raise morale and boost give a take to for a project launch air, to boot to inner, the IT department.

Valmet’s IT has now reached the stage the place it could actually well perchance focal level on the future. IT is on the core of the firm’s operations, so whine now inevitably turns to digitisation and innovation.

“I possess slowly began to abhor the term digitisation – it’s the type of buzzword,” says Puustinen. “However the current issues we’re working on are identical old digitisation issues. These are intrinsically linked to what we can acquire with info.”  

Puustinen mentions analytics, automation, synthetic intelligence and machine discovering out. These are already segment of Valmet’s expertise portfolio, however they’re no longer widely old – and that’s what Puustinen desires to focal level on next. 

“I don’t mean product pattern, reasonably what current applied sciences can allow for us,” he says. “We now desire to pressure this form of innovation from IT. Now not everybody can apply technological adjustments, and it isn’t segment of their job. However it’s segment of ours.” 

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