Talking about the future:

Will ecosystems improve our daily lives in the future?

Talking about the future:

Are we creating a form of intelligence superior to humans?

Talking about the future:

How will IoT contribute to a smarter society?

Talking about the future:
Cyber Security

How will cyber security develop in the future?


Computerization enters
the society in the Nordics

The 1960s were a decade of change: man flew to the moon, post-war feuds were lain aside, and the middle class expanded rapidly. Economic growth in the Western World enabled developments in different industries, such as that of computerization.

In the Nordics, a few computer initiatives were made, but most were dwarfed by limited manufacturing capabilities, and the relatively small markets. However, the decease of the Nordic hardware industry gave way to success in a different field: software.

Tietotehdas and Kommun-Data Ab are founded

In 1968, the Union Bank of Finland, UBF, founded an IT company to develop and maintain IT systems for themselves, their customers and a few forest industry companies. The company was named Tietotehdas.

Simultaneously, in May 1968, Kommun-Data Ab (future Enator) was founded by the Stadsförbundet (an agency serving Swedish local authorities) in Sweden, with the aim of concentrating all local authorities’ computing operations into one facility.

Tieto milestones

Collaboration between Kommundata (future Enator) and Örebro Municipality began. The city remained a faithful customer of Tieto to the present.
Union Bank of Finland became one of the first Tieto customers, establishing Tieto’s 49-year partnership with Nordea.


Computing takes significant
steps in the Nordics

The 1970s marked a significant period in computing, as the first microcomputers were introduced. Microcomputers allowed entirely new fields of technology development, such as system building, commercialising applications and developing maintenance services. Personal computers, however, remained unusual.

Some of the first computer networks were also established and tested during the 1970s. In 1971, Norway became the first non-English speaking nation to join the internet.

Punch cards represent state-of-the-art data technology

Punch cards had been adopted in the private and public sectors as early as the 1920s, but they experienced a short reign at the turn of the 1960s, before the computer would finally replace them by the end of the decade.

Punch cards are one of the earliest methods of automated data storage and processing, and were utilized for a broad variety of special uses.

Enator finds its niche

In the mid 1970s data processing was experiencing rapid growth, and there was a great demand for both programmers, and people who had insight to how computers could be utilized in solving corporate issues. This is where Enator defined their niche.

Enator’s founders, who had a background at Datema, combined their extensive social networks, with an expanding market and easy-to-sell business concept. The result was an IT consulting company, destined for rapid growth.

Digitalized systems are incorporated into important governmental procedures

The Finnish presidential elections of 1978 are a good example of the growing popularity of digitalized solutions, as they were the first elections to utilize digitalized vote counting.

In comparison to the previous 1968 election, that of 1978 was estimated to host an increased amount of voters, and thus required a more efficient method for vote counting. Districts delivered the results to the State computer centre (to merge with Tieto in 1996) on magnetic tape for processing and printing.

Tieto milestones

First energy efficiency project with Swedish data center.
Tietotehdas’ customer base grows to represent several industries.


Data communications develop and become an integral part of the society

The economic atmosphere of the 1980s was extremely favourable, and simultaneously with the freeing of the capital market and general boom in the economy, developments in technology supported the growth of the IT service business.

Personal computers, or microcomputers, also became more common. The Commodore 64, published in 1982, became the best-selling home computer to date. In respect to population quantity, the Commodore 64 sold better in Finland than anywhere else in the world

The rise of online banking

In the mid 1980s, as personal computers and the internet became more accessible, services began to transfer online. The Nottingham Building Society was the first European bank to offer online banking facilities, but Finland followed suite in 1984, when Kotisyp and the UBF (founder of Tieto) released their own online bank.

Elimination of queues, reduction of waiting times and a more personalized customer experience were such notable benefits that banks soon prioritized building an online presence.

Internationalization – the prelude of globalization

With the positive financial situation and a general atmosphere of growth, came also the realization that business would inevitably begin to globalize during the next years.

Encouraged by their rapid growth, Tietotehdas decided to expand internationally. Their significant acquisition of Swedish Datema Ab in 1987 gave birth to the first Nordic IT service giant. Unfortunately the acquisition did not take off as expected, but it was an important lesson learned for dealing with future hardships.

Mischief with malware

The first computer virus, Brain, was released in 1986 by Pakistani brothers Basit and Amjad Farooq Alv. The first known malware worm was developed by student Robert Tappan Morris some three years later, in 1988–89.

These first experimentations with malware paved way for what became a billion dollar business only a few decades after. Anti-malware software, released in the late 1980s, would generally remain reactive, rather than proactive, and thus an inefficient opponent.

The Nordics join the digitalized stock market

Norway, Sweden and Finland began to utilize electronic trading in their stock exchange in the late 1980s, all introducing digital trading systems within the three successive years of 1988–1990.

Digitalization of the stock markets allowed decentralised trading and enabled traders to conduct transactions on equal terms. Furthermore, it was the only way to secure their future: had the Nordics remained in the old auction system, all three stock exchanges would have probably been discontinued.

Tieto milestones

Tietotehdas listed in the stock market, NASDAQ OMX, in Helsinki.
The world’s first GSM call was successfully performed on Tieto premises.


Pulling through the Nordic banking crisis

Sweden and especially Finland were turmoiled by a banking crisis at the turn of the decade, resulting from unsustainable economic growth during the 1980s. Enator was hit hard by the crisis, but Tietotehdas was in better luck.

Whilst Finnish unemployment rates would stay above 10% , and even peak close to 40% in 1994, Tietotehdas was not impacted by the downfall – but rather benefited from the circumstances, as they organized the IT integrations of several bank fusions that marked the crisis.

The Nordics and the Internet

By the mid 1990s, PCs and household internet connections were becoming widespread in the Nordics. The Netscape www-browser entered the market in 1994, immediately seizing monopoly position. Followed shortly by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, the two began their battle over www-dominance.

For the first time in history, information was available in real-time. The Nordics also invested in the internet, which is probably why the region has one of the world’s highest internet penetration rates today.

The first steps of IoT

The earliest examples of a device connected to the internet date to the 1980s, when programmers at the Carnegie Melon University connected to a soda machine to check for available drinks, and John Romkey comprised a toaster that could be turned on and off over the internet.

However, it wasn’t until the second half of the 1990s, when the internet had become a thing of the ordinary, that the field began to gain momentum and was officially named the Internet of Things.

Data processing becomes more complex

By the end of the decade, information systems had taken huge leaps from the original mainframe environments to workstation server systems, and lastly to the network systems they are today.

Data processing was becoming increasingly complicated and IT services had to be outsourced from specialized service companies. Strong information technology partners became an essential asset in the move towards the information society of the future.

Tieto and Enator merge

Tieto held great growth expectations for the future. During the 1990s they had gained the largest market share in IT services within Finland, and to reach a similar position in the Nordics, Tieto fused with Swedish Enator in 1999.

The fusion was a response to the changes in customer base and customer needs, the dissolving of national borders within Europe and the new possibilities enabled by the digital revolution. In the two companies’ merge of 1999, the Enator brand was discontinued.

Tieto milestones

Tieto and Stora Enso, a Swedish-Finnish forest company, began a successful collaboration. Stora Enso works internationally with 26 000 employees in 30 countries.
TietoEnator develops a new population information system for Finland.
Late 1990s
Finnish public sector customers begin to develop Digital government, Tieto's consultants supporting in many governmental development programs and creating e-service strategies for ministries and other organizations.


The globalizing world

The beginning of the millennium saw the emergence of social media. Social networking websites, namely Myspace and Facebook, and microblogging platforms like Twitter gained popularity. Google established its position, and wireless networks became commonplace.

The first years of the 2000s also proved that the IT industry was sensitive to economic fluctuations, despite its rapid growth in the 1990s. TietoEnator, however, succeeded getting important customers of many globally leading companies.

The 24/7 economy

Consumers had become familiar with transacting online, and round-the-clock services were in high demand. The WorldWideWeb had become a vast and rapidly expanding business platform, as it offered a low-cost sales channel for businesses, and functioned as a highly convenient purchasing channel for end users.

The world was open irrespective of time or location, and a 24-7 concept became essential for businesses, whilst power was steadily moving into the hands of the consumers.

Privacy issues

By the 2000s, use of the internet had increased significantly. As people began to share a growing amount of personal information online, topics related to digital freedom, online anonymity and the right to privacy were on the rise.

It began to be broadly recognized, that digital personal information might be misused by officials, vendors, and strangers. Efforts at privacy lead to inventions such as the TOR network, which ensures anonymity by making a server impossible to track.

The app economy takes reign

In the mid 2000s it was broadly felt, that the development of new devices such as smartphones and tablets generated a great amount of business opportunities. Consumers had learned to expect flexible, fast and rewarding services, which meant that they needed to loosen from their earlier bounds of time and location.

Apps offered increased accessibility, and provided an opportunity of seamless connectivity and interaction between businesses and customers, making them valuable tools for modern life.

Bitcoin: anonymous cryptocurrency payments enter the market

Introduced in 2009, Bitcoin is a global, decentralized cryptocurrency. Bitcoins cannot be forged and they are not under bank or state regulation. Independent of middlemen, bitcoin payments are swift, unlimited and free of processing expenses.

For better or for worse, Bitcoins were and remain a volatile currency. Martti Malmi, one of Bitcoin’s first developers, used an amount of them to cover everyday expenses in 2009. Had he kept it, the sum would currently convert to a billion dollar fortune.

Tieto milestones

Early 2000s
First outsourcing by Nokia to TietoEnator. The first deal marked TietoEnator's major co-operation with global operators in the telecom R&D business.
First outsourcing by Nokia to Tieto. The first deal marked TietoEnator's major co-operation with global operators in the telecom R&D business.
A wide collaboration with the city of Espoo began, including e-services for citizens, business and city officials. Collaboration with the City of Stockholm was agreed upon shortly after, including wide IT outsourcing agreement and creating citizen e-services
Tieto and Rautaruukki, a global steel company currently known as SSAB, began their collaboration. SSAB produces 8,8 million tons of steel on a yearly basis.


The amount of data doubling every year – cloud services on the rise

Cloud services were already in general public use, but companies did not use them due to concerns about security, privacy and compliance. As a response, Tieto introduced a new consumption-based, private Cloud Server in 2012.

In general, cloud servers allow a more agile manner of data storage as the user can choose their server capacity flexibly, without any hardware investments. Lower expenses and all-around user friendliness make it an attractive alternative to both, corporate and private users.

Utilizing data and Artificial Intelligence to enable new services

The world has slowly developed into a place where big data is everywhere, and it is becoming growingly apparent that the extraction of meaning from this data will be the task of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The application of AI will allow decision-making to develop into a smarter, automated direction, creating excellent prospects in services of all fields. In 2016, as first in the world, Tieto nominated an AI called Alicia T to the leadership team of its data-driven businesses unit.


Towards autonomous systems

Powerful new technologies promise a similar productivity leap as that of the 1990s, when networking computers first became common. Innovations in mobility, sensors, analytics and artificial intelligence offer countless opportunities for innovators, entrepreneurs and consumers.


Enhanced ecosystems enable a more comprehensive service experience

Services begin to reach across different operators and industries. Forerunners of the phenomenon are in the field of finance, where new services are developed to enable real-time transactions between consumers, businesses and different banks.

Tieto, for example, developed Swedish Swish in 2016, and Finnish Siirto shortly after. Both services aim to reduce the necessity of cash by allowing real-time payments between customers of different banks.

Tieto among the Top 100 Technology Leaders

In 2018, Tieto was recognized among the Top 100 Technology Leaders by Thomson Reuters. Of the listed companies, 14 are headquartered in Europe and 3 in the Nordics: Tieto, Nokia and Ericsson.

The recognition reaches Tieto at a point where the company’s past few years’ focus on technologies and new services have began to materialize. The ranking is based on management and investor confidence, legal compliance, financial performance, innovation, risk & resilience, people & social responsibility, reputation and environmental impact.

Tieto milestones

Launch of Tieto's first cloud service, Tieto Cloud server.
Tieto establishes its first internal startups: Customer Experience Management and Industrial Internet
Tieto becomes the new strategic partner for Swish, a leading real-time payment solution in Sweden with over 6M users. During the same year Siirto, a similar payment service, was developed for the Finnish market.


The ecosystems of the future will build around services, that enable all-around better life. Our virtual and real-life citizen profiles will merge to form one, which will support better targeting of services. Robotics will make our lives seamlessly automated, relieving us from time-consuming daily chores and hindrances. Services will utilize prescriptive, rather than reactive analytics, allowing a more easy-going everyday life.

Whilst ecosystems will develop to a whole new level, we will be more connected to our devices and through them to the internet and other devices, than we are today. Whilst increased connectivism might seem like a threat to privacy now, the life it will allow will prove to be irresistibly effortless.

Increased connectedness will allow better services throughout life, from easier mobility between countries, enabled by urbanization and connected global cities, to the ways we acquire our daily lunch.

On a global level, developed ecosystems will enhance equality, and provide increased opportunities. They will allow the transition to automated and prescriptive services, which will free us to enjoy the humane experience, and the things we genuinely need in life.

Our work with ecosystems Watch in-depth video on ecosystems


We are currently moving into what might loosely be called the third wave of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where AI is beginning to demonstrate signs of humane learning capabilities. However, whilst capable of human-like learning, AI is not capable of free-form association, or in other words, true creativity.

Instead, AI will enable added efficiency and value to our everyday lives by eradicating the most insipid daily routines from our to-do lists. Systems relying on AI will function more efficiently, and life will generally become a more pleasant experience, further aided by the growing opportunities of utilizing AR and VR technologies.

In the future, AI will also make some decisions independently – but the scope within which AI may decide, will be carefully defined by humans. This is well demonstrated by current automatic braking systems in vehicles – it makes perfect sense to allow AI to pull the brakes, because it possesses technology that allows it to react faster and act more precisely than the human driver. However, it is the human driver deciding where the car travels. Such a dual relationship between AI and its human counterpart is likely to exist for the foreseeable future.

In a larger scale, the utilization of AI could enable us to save an incredible amount of assets and natural resources. Enhancement of processes and all-around efficiency could have massive positive effects world-wide: extinction of poverty in third world countries, protection and enhancement of biodiversity, and even gender equality.

Our experts’ insights: how will AI contribute to a smarter society? Our survey on AI and the future of work


The term Internet of Things was originally pinned in the 90s, but IoT technologies have taken huge leaps in just a few decades. In the future, it is widely recognized that IoT will strengthen the connection between human and machine, making it increasingly seamless.

The use of simulated and augmented reality will broaden the spectrum of services and contribute to a more effortless and rewarding customer service experience.

With enhanced services and service paths, it is likely that bureaucracy will decrease, and the significance of some institutions may diminish, making the society more 'flat'. Commercial corporations and authorities will undergo a balancing act, when the tumult in services causes shifts in power and influence.

IoT will be utilized for a significant all-around efficiency gain, with autonomous computing and system optimization paving the way for a comprehensively smarter society.

Creating smarter buildings with IoT Read our expert blog

Cyber security

It is an undisputed fact, that as long as malware proposes a business opportunity, it will exist. As the world becomes more complex, up-keeping expertise will become more demanding, and thus many services involved in cyber security are likely to be outsourced to managed cyber security service providers.

On an individual level, utilizing human behavioral analysis for the purposes of cyber security will increase. When computers are everywhere, everything can be controlled with them – but on the other hand, they can also be utilized in protecting everything.

In the future, the individual will inevitably face the choice between high security and high integrity. By giving away more personal data, services and systems can support our daily lives more seamlessly, but higher integrity certainly raises questions of responsibility.

The technical complexity of our lives, the services and devices we utilize everyday will also increase, but simultaneously become more user friendly. Automation plays a key role in building a more user friendly smart society, where security is a given.

Read more about our security services Our expert blog and white paper on GDPR