foCuS finlAnd / FORUM VIRIUM Driving DisrUption towards success Through collaborative, user-driven innovation, Forum Virium Helsinki helps companies capitalise on the challenges and opportunities brought about by digitalisation. Text: randel Wells Photo: larkas & laine ll service businesses are in some kind of disruption because of digitalisation," says Jarmo Eskelinen, chief executive at Forum Virium Helsinki (FVH), a non-profit enterprise promoting development of digital services in Helsinki. "We are not aiming for disruption. If you step into a development process, you cannot be quite sure if you are facing an evolutionary path or a disruptive path. In quite a few cases, there will be disruption because digitalisation changes the way services are delivered." FVH helps its members and partners develop services by bringing together ideas and content creators with established private and public sector players. A crucial part of success is testing in real environments. "Finnish society is quite a good base to build service innovations because it is service driven. There is a strong role of public services which are facing challenges and need innovation," says Eskelinen. "A open access A recent FVH success includes initiating an open data movement inspired by Apps for Democracy in Washington, D.C., where public data has been opened to developers. Two large European Union funded projects were also approved: Smart Urban Spaces, for developing interoperable, user-friendly urban services, and Managed Outcomes, which looks at using media channels to measure the results of well-being services. Looking further into the future, Eskelinen sees much development in real-world and virtual-world user interfaces. Backend operations of services, such as logistics and information management, are already well developed and digitalised. However, the virtual interfaces between backend systems and customers are still largely missing. Z " Finnish society is service driven. " 14
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