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Kari Salmi

Career story February 17, 2017

Successful change requires cooperation

How do you make an organisation work in line with common operating principles? Head of Business Applications at Enfo’s CIO Office, Kari Salmi, talks to us from the perspective of information management at Enfo.

Enfo is growing fast. The company has acquired Finnish and Swedish companies, equipping Enfo with extensive know-how in various fields of expertise. This Scandinavian company, the employer of more than 1,000 experts, consists of a number of teams, departments, business areas and operations.

Operations at Enfo’s information management, the CIO Office, are run at a Scandinavian level. Throughout Enfo, information management plays a supportive role, but it also has the task of ensuring that, in terms of the entire company, appropriate and smart action is taken, rather than creating individual information management solutions for various parts of Enfo. Consideration has been given to issues such as the harmonisation of work methods, processes and systems.

Most of the growth at Enfo is the result of business acquisitions. In a way, Enfo has been a group of companies under a large company name and brand.

“We need group-level operations and teams that manage the operating methods of the Scandinavian company and that make sure agreed procedures and solutions are implemented throughout the organisation. Information management is responsible for issues such as the development of information management at group level, harmonisation of the CRM, development of the business intelligence system, and implementation of various services and tools. We need a common way of working and common systems that enable us to generate standard data on the results of our work,” Kari Salmi says.

Praise for the communication of change in information management

Information management is one of the key operations driving forward Enfo’s new strategy. It is responsible for the harmonisation of Enfo’s information management procedures at group level.

Since it was established, one of the focal points of the operations at Enfo’s CIO Office has been active communication.
“We have given a lot of thought to the way we communicate, the channels we use and what it is we wish to communicate and when. We have received thanks for communicating that no decisions have been made yet, but that the process is moving forward. This has enabled people to keep up with what is going on in information management, and what they can expect. We do not wish to communicate unfinished and uncertain issues – that would only create confusion,” Kari Salmi clarifies.

Information management and Mr Salmi are also responsible for implementing changes.

“Receiving news of a change often provokes emotions in staff, which is entirely understandable and human. Sometimes change is eagerly awaited and sometimes it is not welcome at all. When it comes to information systems, change entails many issues that concern the end users, such as learning something new. Resistance to change and prejudices should not be underestimated. In all projects, time must be allocated to listening to people and giving them time to take in the new,” says Salmi.

According to him, traditional project models are a good tool for implementing change. Careful planning and looking at the bigger picture before you start implementing change are vital steps.

“You only get one chance to make a first impression. Making things right afterwards is always difficult and time-consuming. If you say things as they are, you can normally make things happen faster than trying to work without a culture of open dialogue,” Salmi says, summing up.