The Cisco Studio 2021 (Finland) event once again demonstrated the power of the physical meeting. In the back room, there was a super-interesting discussion about the state and future of the local IT industry. With a few independent consultants, staff from the world’s leading technology vendor, and a network expert for a large company sitting at the same table, opening up perspectives on the future is a snapshot quickly shared. Unfortunately, one relevant party was missing from the table – the service provider. Our local IT market is a pure service market, so wisdom without this third wheel is a bit pointless.

In enterprise network strategic planning projects, we are often in a situation where there is no local service provider for the new solution or technology. The consultant has to balance under the cross-pressure of local supply and technological opportunities. In summary, the following is about our market.

Finland lacks an efficient service provider and thought leader for modern network and security services, which primarily considers the issue from the perspective of the corporate customer. We have drifted in siloed supplier organizations, fragmented solutions, loose marketing speeches, and slow renewal.

Many customer companies are not satisfied with the current situation. Global new services and their potential are known. However, there are no new ideas and concrete proposals in the field. The development is apparent, and the focus is too much on maintaining the old contract and turnover. On the other hand, the same dissatisfaction is reflected in the frustration of the top management of the service providers. In marketing speeches, products, services, know-how, and brand are in good shape, but there is no trade. I can find one explanatory factor in the trend of enterprise networks:

The local IT infrastructure market is shrinking as global services grow. The customer company must succeed in international competition. Thus, their interest in global cloud provider benefits and service platforms is natural.

Is your roadmap renewing or wrinkling in hyper racing?

The roadmap for corporate networks and related security is on the tables of many large companies. In these workshops, dissatisfaction with local “leading” supplier organizations is growing. The fact is, there are dozens of supplies from the past world. In practice, service concepts, products, and operational activities are almost identical between dozens of suppliers. This fact, in turn, leads to fierce price competition, but rarely the creation of new customers and added value. There is room in the market for fresh thinking and new service concepts. It is necessary to find courage, vision, and energy, but above all, an open mind.

Who takes the lead?

The Cisco Studio 2021 panel discussed an industry change that we cannot ignore on the enterprise networking and security roadmap. The driver of the significant difference is in the new cloud application architecture and its consumption. We need new and modern NaaS suppliers for this need from someone whose interests are not in maintaining the turnover and operating model offered by legacy but in generating customer value. The change that is coming is drastic and will happen quickly. However, don’t oppress to build “thought leadership” through marketing without fundamental culture changes. The IT staff of large companies is experienced and professional. Without substance and new modern services, you will only increase your marketing budget.


Hannu Rokka, Senior advisor

5Feet Networks Oy