IT outsourcing 04.04.2022

Partnering allows Pohjola Rakennus to explore new technologies

  • Advania is Pohjola Rakennus’ number-one partner in managing the construction company’s IT infrastructure.
  • Much of the infrastructure is based on the SaaS concept.
  • For a small IT organisation, a network of knowledgeable partners is vital.
  • For Pohjola Rakennus, partners are not just external consultants but an integral part of its daily business.

Pohjola Rakennus is a Finland-based family business with more than 30 years of history in the construction industry. The company has been growing rapidly in recent years, which has made it necessary to make big changes throughout the organisation. Today, Pohjola Rakennus is one of Finland’s largest construction companies with more than 300 employees.

Pohjola Rakennus has a relatively compact organisation and staff considering its turnover, and the same also goes for the company’s IT infrastructure. The company’s entire IT set-up is managed by one person, whose focus is on strategy, architecture and supplier management. All expert tasks have been outsourced to Pohjola Rakennus’ extensive network of partners.

Advania supplies Pohjola Rakennus’ public cloud services and cloud consulting as well as capacity management, technical support, help-desk and end-user services, end-user hardware and a Microsoft 365-based Valo Intranet system, which Advania also manages.

Competitiveness from reliable IT and good customer service

‘With our extremely fast growth in recent years, our in-house staff have their hands full with managing the business itself. Looking after IT tends to not be a very high priority’, explains Pohjola Rakennus’ IT Manager Jani Saarinen.

The company’s rapid growth has forced Pohjola Rakennus to find a way to build a modern, fit-for-purpose IT environment. The chosen approach makes extensive use of cloud services, eliminating the need for in-house servers. Pohjola Rakennus is not subject to information security regulations, which has allowed the company to deploy the cloud quickly and embrace it wholeheartedly.

With a one-man IT department, it is natural that off-the-shelf solutions have the greatest appeal. Pohjola Rakennus has made effective use of off-the-shelf software such as Microsoft 365 and other SaaS solutions to minimise manual labour, reduce risk and facilitate software integration.

‘How high is the risk of a cloud service crashing? Our thinking is that cloud services are less likely to crash than on-premise applications’, says Pohjola Rakennus’ IT Manager Jani Saarinen.

Unleashing the full potential of SaaS requires a solid understanding of how the solutions work. With an understanding of the concept comes the ability to reshape operating models and maximise the benefits of cloud services. Contractual technicalities play a major role in ensuring that response times and internet speeds are fast enough for the organisation’s needs.

What if SaaS is not enough? 

There are also areas where SaaS is not enough; Pohjola Rakennus bridges these gaps with the help of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model. From Pohjola Rakennus’ perspective, the biggest benefit of IaaS is flexibility in the choice of services to deploy. IaaS makes it possible for the company to respond to changes in the market quickly and without high advance or initial payments, and gives it access to a wide network of experts in cloud services.

One valuable lesson that Pohjola Rakennus has learned from its many partnerships is the importance of following best practices. Having harmonised best practices in place makes it easier to introduce new partners to Pohjola Rakennus’ business and for experts to share their knowledge and work as efficiently as possible. In addition to compliance with the company’s best practices, Pohjola Rakennus expects all its partners to understand and embrace the core of its business. Seamless and efficient cooperation is not possible without every partner’s understanding the laws of multi-storey construction.

With every new solution, SaaS and IaaS alike, Pohjola Rakennus always starts with a proof of concept to test the solution’s feasibility. Software testing is extremely straightforward nowadays, and deploying a new business-enhancing application costs very little money. 

‘We are experts in building and especially in managing construction projects, which means that partnership management is in our DNA. Our project management expertise is what allows us to rely so heavily on external partners and to quickly deploy new technologies’, says Pohjola Rakennus’ IT Manager Jani Saarinen.

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