Sanoma’s technology organisation worked hard during 2014 to build the structures and capabilities necessary for taking the Group further into the digital future. "In a relatively short time, we created a very strong supportive IT infrastructure which serves also as a business enabler," says Mikael Nurmi, Chief Technology Officer.

In 2014, major changes in the Group’s strategy and business portfolio required significant work on the technology side as well. "Strategy and structure are married to each other. Since digitalisation is changing the business reality, we need to build an architecture and an organisation that facilitate digital growth," says Nurmi.

In a large international company, major changes in strategy also impact the infrastructure. As Sanoma’s business portfolio has changed, this has also meant modifications to the organisation. "Now we have one common technology enabler across the organisation. This allows us to be more flexible both strategically and in our day-to-day operations."
According to Nurmi, some of the organisational changes have an impact on Sanoma’s strategy. "For example, better portfolio visibility supports strategic decision making: a strong common sourcing function helps in strategic planning, because it permits managing business with our suppliers and partners everywhere."

New target

Last year, Sanoma started to build a new kind of organisation in order to meet the challenge of diverse requirements in different businesses. "Our target is a  bimodal organisation that in our case means that we will have a more agile model of operation in the digital space, and a more traditional model in the enterprise IT space. They are very different when it comes to flexibility and speed, yet they still share a common supportive architecture."

One significant move in 2014 was the outsourcing of parts of the IT infrastructure to Wipro. "As a very important partner, Wipro has brought good practices and capabilities to our environment. We are looking forward to seeing this partnership go beyond the basic infrastructure setup.” Some harmonisation and new systems were also introduced in the business support functions. ”With the help of common IT applications, we achieved more transparency and needed functionality within the Finance and HR functions throughout the organisation."

"With the help of common IT applications, we achieved more transparency and needed functionality within the Finance and HR functions throughout the organisation"

Sanoma created their first business capability map with a related roadmap last year. The enterprise IT architecture capabilities can now be used to map out what functionalities are needed for future digital business. "The capability map is the most important, because an increasing share of our business will be based on digital capabilities in the future,"says Nurmi.

Prize winning initiatives

Sanoma has earned many prizes for its digital initiatives, especially in Finland. "The awards are confirmation that we are moving forward on the right path. From our achievements last year, I would like to mention the world’s first digital Donald Duck Download Service (Aku Ankka Lataamo) in Finland. In the Netherlands, it was a great accomplishment to make all major digital sites responsive. In the Digital Learning business, we have made significant improvements in platforms, and in our home markets we are ahead of competition."

Nurmi is impressed by his staff. "Building a totally new infrastructure setup without any larger operative hiccups is quite a feat. I am very happy and proud of the work we have done in 2014. Sanoma is definitely more ready for the digital future."