Make the most out of your data

HELISINGIN SANOMAT – June 2022

The experts at Nordcloud, the company that brought public cloud services to Finland, know what to do when you want to harness unused data in your systems to create value for your business.

Ilja Summala, Chief Technology Officer at Nordcloud, a cloud technology company, says that the future of data management and productisation lies in cost-effective and reliable public cloud services.

A platform that compiles data in one place is a prerequisite for the digitisation of business operations, and data management has become a hot topic everywhere you go. However, many companies still primarily focus on the storage of continuously growing data. When the goal is to harness the data to support growth, simply storing it is not enough.

“Following the first phase, in order to be easy to use for business purposes, data needs to be properly productised. After that, you can build anything using the data as a base, such as applications or machine learning,” says Ilja Summala, Chief Technology Officer at Nordcloud Oy, a company that specialises in public cloud technology.

Summala says that the future of data management and productisation is in public cloud services, which are constantly becoming more popular – of which Finland is among the leaders in Europe, owing to the pioneering work of the Finnish gaming industry. Nordcloud has a pioneering role in public cloud technology as well. Established in 2011, the IBM-owned company has the longest partnership history of any Finnish company with the public cloud service providers Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

“In order to be easy to use for business purposes, data needs to be properly productised”

– Ilja Summala, Chief Technology Officer at Nordcloud

Innovation that’s GDPR compliant

The big players in public cloud platforms, Azure, AWS and GCP, work to continuously allow the harnessing of data for productive uses easier and more agile.

“This means that all the large and medium-sized companies should attempt to investigate ways in which they could make use of their data. There are very few companies where it would be impossible to find some way to use data productively,” says Summala.

Compared to running your own data centre, renting easily-adjustable machine capacity tailored to the company’s needs yields significant savings that often add up to around 10–30 percent. Savings are also generated as a result of the efficiency afforded by public cloud solutions, which reduce unnecessary phases in utilising the data. When making use of the public cloud, changes made by a data scientist can be made available for the analytics team and software developers to use.

“When the data is behind an API without a separate negotiation, productivity goes up and the project costs of business operations go down, which makes innovation more affordable,” says Summala.

In addition to improved efficiency and reliability, transitioning to public cloud services makes navigating data and privacy management settings and standards easier. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has to be followed extremely carefully, which needs to be accounted for also when choosing cloud services. Poorly sorted data not only consumes time but also constitutes a legal risk. Azure, AWS and GCP meet the GDPR requirements, which means that the organisation of personal information and user rights is made easy with these service providers.

Reliable partners generate quick results

Currently, Nordcloud, which operates in ten countries in Europe, is particularly known as a partner of big European companies. Having carried out hundreds of cloud technology projects, the company makes use of the models and concepts built upon its extensive experience. These allow for the quick and agile use of public cloud technology across a variety of industries.

A good example of Nordcloud’s diverse digitisation of business operations is a solution developed for a Finnish forest industry company, which combines sawmill operations, transport, storage and trade into one seamless process. An example of the business benefits of data in the transport industry can be seen in an application developed for a Stockholm-based taxi company, which guides taxis to locations where they are most likely to have the highest demand, based on previous rides and the location of the other vehicles.

With an expert partner, there is no need to learn to use a new service on your own, which in turn makes it faster to gain business benefits.

“Few companies have such a burning need for a data platform that they realistically should start running one by themselves. Learning the legislation pertaining to privacy and data management without outside help is also a hindrance,” says Summala.

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