A Way forward in developing the key capabilities of Nation Defence in Finland by using Enterprise Architecture views


The strategy for the FINDEF was first to create an enabling ICT structure that would provide leverage to process rethinking and integration. The third phase was to build new capabilities required in National Defence. The sequential strategy was based on the understanding that strongly siloed ICT structure was preventing information and processes from integration. Further, there was understanding that without platforms to develop integrated processes and shared information environments, there were no gains achieved in developing asymmetric military effects illustrated in Figure 36. 

By 2008, the first phase was achieved, and the description of enabling ICT structure as part of the defence system in Finland was described as a nationally defined service platform for common and joint processes. The technical structure included core network that connected data centres providing application and content services accessed via access networks. Tactical level field networks were connected to nation level structure via connection points.

Figure 36: Simplified model for improvement strategy for the Finnish Defence Forces 2004

This writing was focusing on the first phase - transforming the ICT structure so that it would enable further proceedings in developing common and joint functions of military affairs. The transformation of ICT structure in Finnish Defence Forces 2004 – 2008 was following basic lines of evolution in using ICT to support military strategic and operational functions as pictured in the following Figure 37. The evolutionary model for ICT application includes interrelated layers of Networking, Computing, Information Security and Information Management. 

On 2004, the Finnish Defence Forces were using transport networks based on Synchronous Digital Hierarchy in connecting garrisons and command posts together. Computing and communications services were provided mainly within local areas and branches in each garrison. Each garrison created a local domain that was loosely connected to other garrisons enabling data sharing. Information security was based on ownership of physical and technical domains. It was trusted since it was operated and developed under each line command: North, East, West, Air and Navy. Connecting the trusted domains to other domains was untrusted. Unstructured official and unofficial digital information were produced in files created in various formats and stored in Folders managed mainly by individuals. For sharing of information, there were some shared Folders and disks accessible to carefully defined users. Most of the files were shared by intranet electronic mailing system between individuals.

Figure 37: The journey of the FINDEF 2004 – 2008 on the roads of evolution of Military ICT usage

The transformation accelerated the ICT structure to the level where networks were specified supporting more centralised computing and multichannel access. Computing was based on virtual infrastructure providing both distribution for survivability and flexibility for new requirements. Information security was based on a trust in systems as they were more controlled, end users were separated from services, and there was a structure for defence in depth built. The file oriented information management culture was gradually moving via page sharing to more real-time sharing culture of enterprise social media.

The transformed ICT structure enabled the major change of the Command structure of the Finnish Defence Forces. There remained only three commands: Land, Maritime and Air. The National University of Defence provided a level of academic knowledge and education needed in Force Production and specialised units directly under the Defence Staff were providing unified support to all Commands.  

Defence Forces had taken its first step towards process supported matrix and virtual enterprise. The step was enabled by new ICT structure dividing Military Affairs into four domains of shared information: Tactical, Operational, Support and Public. The domains are described in Figure 38.

Figure 38: Information domains of the Finnish Defence Forces 2008

Tactical domain remained further divided into Intelligence, Sensor, Fires and Land Forces deployable field networks. OPNET provided a platform for nationwide military missions at operational and tactical levels. Tactical domains were connected to OPNET providing interoperability and coordination required in joint and combined operations between Services, Allies and other Governmental Agencies. HALNET and INET were connected in a way that enabled establishing the Force Production and Support in the more cost-effective manner by using example strategic partners for Logistics and Training.

The four domains provided Information Environment to further process development in all three military areas: Force Utilization, Production and Support. The ICT infrastructure enables information flow within the Defence Force but also between its key partners. A basis for more efficient National Defence value chain illustrated in Figure 39 was created. Further papers will explain proceedings at the process level and the development of Land Forces Tactical domain on their journey towards a new strategic basis for National Defence.

Figure 39: The 2008 platform created with ICT structure for developing essential capabilities in Military Affairs of Finland

This is the final paper in the series of eight (A - H) studies describing how the ICT structure of the Finnish Defence Forces was transformed before 2008.


Architecture for Information Management Transformation; Part G of Introduction to ICT rationalization program of the Finnish Defence Forces from Enterprise Architecture viewpoints



The digitization of unstructured formal information had started already in early 1980’s in the Finnish Defence Forces. First there were Personal Computers introduced to replace typing machines. Then, at mid-1990, the first digital content management system was implemented to capture both personal emails and formal correspondence together with the publication of standard operational procedures. The system was based on Lotus Notes in the beginning and included taxonomies and metadata models for all formal unstructured information exchange and records keeping within the FINDEF. There was a demand in early 2000 to update the content management system and migrate from Lotus file types towards Microsoft files. The main driver was to achieve interchangeability between other stakeholders. 

The same time, there was a need to update the whole content management system. Thus, a roadmap for migration of file types was created starting from early SmartSuite version 4 evolving through Office XP towards more open file types based on eXtensible Markup Language, XML. The roadmap is illustrated in Figure 31.

Figure 31: A roadmap for migrating the file types for unstructured content within the Finnish Defence Forces

There was a migration window for all legacy file types from SmartSuite version 4 to most current version 9.8 defined. The migration window pushed all content towards one format, SmartSuite 9.8, which was to be supported in read-only function until 2008. All earlier versions together with their applications were cancelled by 2005 (version 4) and 2006 (version 97). The simplifying of office suites also helped in cutting the local support and providing a more stable configuration in workstations. The Microsoft Office 2003 version was defined to be the first family of file types providing a path towards next MS Office versions and more open file types that enabled publication of content as well as archiving better that proprietary file formats.

New file formats opened integration opportunities in IBM Domino, SAP and IBM WebSphere platforms as they were introduced as part of process integration programs in Enterprise Resource Management and C4ISTAR implementation. Integration improved the transferability between unstructured and structured data.


When the maturity of content management was assessed in the FINDEF, there were three main levels found pictured in Figure 32.  The lowest level was based on individual interests, separate ways of working and personal applications in personal computers that stored personal files. Individualism was recognized the hardest cultural boundary to break as some of the Branches and Units within the FINDEF were using Confidentiality as an excuse not to share any information.

Figure 32: Measuring the maturity of content management in FINDEF

The second level of maturity was found in teams and units that were competing against each other, sharing within the team but not elsewhere and sometimes having surprisingly advanced applications to manage their files. There were many closed workplaces established in Lotus Notes platform; each  Unit had their intra-web page for internal publications, and closed networks hosted shared drives for restricted content.

The third level of maturity found was Defence Forces wide. Official letters, records and standard operational procedures were captured in common parts of Lotus Notes.  People were thinking disseminating information beyond their particular department or team. There were some attempts to share instruction and training content between Defence Schools and Units of Force Production. There were repositories for forms and templates to assist in writing more structured letters and orders. Official letters were accessible to all authorised personnel back to three years in time.

Since the variance in content management culture was found wide, a significant threat was detected for process integration. Thus, ICT rationalization program was tasked to enable the acceleration of content management maturity. The acceleration intention included following goals:
Enable social communication
Enable more formal publications
Enable content sharing with stakeholders outside of Defence Forces 
Improve the confidentiality of content through all sharing and exchange transactions
Enable content transformation between unstructured and structured repositories 
Build ability to improve formal and structured data exchange between all relevant stakeholders.


TIERA implemented tools and services to improve communication between people and machines as well as the maturity of content management as defined in Figure 33.

Figure 33: Enabling communication and content sharing in the FINDEF

Social communication between people was enabled with Collaboration tools like IBM SameTime. It enabled people to have virtual meetings by sharing presentations, white board and exchanging opinions both in voice and chatting. The collaboration was later enabled also with Video Tele-Conferencing, VTC service between all Units. VTC also enabled unintended signals, body language, included in virtual meetings. These enablers were used 2010 when remote work was officially allowed in Defence Forces. People were permitted to work from the nearest garrison rather than commuting through half the Finland every day.
As telephone devices were taken away from desks, the Computer Telephony Integration in SameTime enabled better awareness of presence and conference meetings. Intranet chatting was also adopted quickly by personnel for informal communication while working. 
Shared folders and web pages were substituted with two portals both for Administrative and Operative Environments. People were recommended to publish content on those platforms rather than in their restricted web pages. Pages begun to capture more content from shared files as HTML editing and publishing become easier.

Content sharing with outside stakeholders was improved by creating digital workspaces to be used in integrated projects and development tasks. The official Internet email MIL.FI was secured better, accessed directly from Intranet workstations and file transfer was allowed in controlled manner to get rid of private file sharing with memory sticks.

Similar file sharing was enabled online between Administrative and Operative Environments to have control over the content that flows between confidential levels. Filters and content screening was applied in gateways for monitoring purposes. Enabled official file sharing gradually throttled the informal file sharing and security improved.

As SAP was extended to be the Enterprise Resource Management platform and WebSphere become the portal platform, there was a path created by improving exchange between unstructured and structured data. The Excel-application from MS Office suite was integrated with SAP platform and allowed transfer of data between two worlds. It was imperative that commanding officers were able to extract data from SAP and create reports and presentations quickly and based on factual information. The Word application was similarly integrated with Domino platform and enabled the transformation of Word-document to Domino content.

XML-interfaces (XI) were prepared between SAP and the stakeholders along the value chain via electronic message broker. A gateway structure was providing secure and unbroken transactions between nodes in a long chain of value creation. Another gateway was created to allow outsiders access the SAP of FINDEF. The gateway allowed strategic partners to manage essential information on material warehousing and repair. Information integrity was important for the Defence Forces ability to sustain readiness and be able to deploy forces as needed. The third gateway enabled operations abroad to access home services. It was not necessary to establish isolated entities for support systems in operations anymore. The crew in operations focused only on providing battle management system services to troops rather than running administrative support systems. They were provided via global connections from Homeland. See the concept of information exchange between stakeholders in the value chain in Figure 34.

Figure 34: New gateway structure for data exchange between relevant stakeholders in Defence


In enabling the cultural transformation of content management in FINDEF, there were three parallel lines of operation adopted: Information Management, Information Assurance and Computing. The transformation to these enablers is illustrated in Figure 35.

Figure 35: Basic plan in transforming information management, assurance and computing in the FINDEF

The line of information management included support to get rid of last paper-based content and migrate towards electronic documents. It was enabled by content integration, collaboration and new publishing services. The second course of action was to migrate from file based content management towards page and database data management. The migration was enabled by publishing services, tool integration and improved information security. The third course of action was to change the feeling from individually owned content towards Defence owned content. It was imperative to change the culture of “need to know” towards “need to share” to build the Defence Forces as learning organization.

The line of information assurance included increasing the awareness of rights and responsibilities to an information user. The user profile means both consuming and creating information. The awareness was established with the integration of security guidance and operations guidance into the same document of standard operational procedures. The integrated procedures made it was clearer to the user, what was possible and what was not allowed. The second course of action was to improve understanding of publishing and accessing information. There was a profound mistrust of people that prevented publication of sensitive information. It was mitigated by showing what role based access management means and providing exemplary behaviour models of improved ways to publish information. The third course of action was improving the awareness in information confidentiality among users. From individual responsibility, the transformation was done towards organizational responsibility for managing content between levels of confidentiality.

The line of computing included improved access, identity and role management. It enabled an access both for strategic partners and via wireless access. Identity was uncoupled from terminal devices, and Microsoft relied on functions. A full smart card based identity management was introduced together with Single Sign-On, SSO feature in making the life of end users easier but simultaneous the access more secure. Assured identity was transferred to role management instead of applications. Role management provided an underlying layer to manage different roles and their rights to access services and use information. It was possible to differentiate individual and his roles in peace time and war time. Definition of roles become a responsibility to superiors and organizations. Human resources were accountable for issuing smart cards to true identities. A Chief Information Officer was responsible for the whole in each Unit of Defence Forces. 
System administration was linked to service management and extended with role and identity management with rigorous implementation of ITIL-processes and IT-service management system. The integrity of services and availability of information become a driving force for ICT Service Provider organizations together with information security.

This ends the series presenting the Transformation of the FINDEF from Enterprise Architecture viewpoints but the conclusion still to be published!


Architecture for ICT Service Management; Part F of Introduction to ICT rationalization program of the Finnish Defence Forces from Enterprise Architecture viewpoints



The FINDEF had IT Management distributed to all its units, and each provincial command had a provider for communication services before 2004. All ICT was mixed as same units were providing both tactical, operational and strategic services. A strategy was defined to consolidate gradually existing structure and then specialise and network towards future in creating more core value to information enabled Defence Forces.  This transformation is depicted in figure 26.

Figure 26: a plan for transformation of ICT service production in the Defence Forces of Finland 2004 

From all distributed and organic ICT units, the first step was to consolidate them under one umbrella of ICT service provider for all operational and strategic services. Only tactical ICT remained with Services and units. The Services (Air, Navy, Land) also became ICT service providers as tactical services were also delivered in the operational and support domains. The consolidation also prevented hasty and sub-optimized decisions of outsourcing as single units were facing a lack of human resources.

The consolidated in-house ICT service provider, C4I Agency, was then planned to network and co-operate with other providers of ICT services in the public sector and also with major telecommunication service providers in the private sector. The networking was after increased cost-efficiency while using the whole weight of the FINDEF ICT budget. There was also some out-sourcing done while ICT infrastructure was transformed. The telephony was outsourced to two operators: Erillisverkot providing TETRA -trunk radio services  and Telia-Sonera providing GSM-services. Partnering with them also accelerated the maturing process of the C4I Agency. 

As the professionalism of ICT service provider was improving more production responsibility was given to it. The Services were tasked to provide tactical information services in tactical domains, but the C4I Agency was ordered to provide them in operational domain. So Land Command became a sub-provider to the C4I Agency, who provided Army Command and Control Information System as a service to all troops that were operating on land. The sourcing steps gradually matured the capabilities of ICT providers for network operations in the time of war.

The final step in ICT business strategy was to improve the National Co-operation in crises times by providing common operational information to key agencies within the Government. The C4I Agency then provided service to Police, Border Guards, Customs, Civil Defence and all ministries. The new segments of users also provided more volume for ICT services, ensured critical mass and helped to sustain both competence of people and negotiation status with vendors. There was also a plan to partner with other service providers. The Enterprise Resource Management system built on SAP-platform was decided to be a joint venture with prominent SAP service providers  as the FINDEF did not have enough flexibility in their policy of hiring high-level IT-experts. The other dimension for partnering was considered to be in basic network services when the initiative for government network was launched by the Ministry of Finance. 


The transforming ICT business architecture called after maturing service operations and culture. There was a vision that ICT would be gradually considered as an enabler for improvement and finally a bringer of new opportunities for the core military affairs instead of considered only as support or worst case just a cost item. The vision in Figure 27 was based on a gradually improving understanding of information and its value for military affairs. As the value of information increases, the focus turns towards information and knowledge management. Technology turns into an asset for Command, Control and Information. The information defence becomes essential as the value and dependence increases. 

Figure 27: The vision and Journey for maturity in ICT Service Production in the FINDEF 2004

The journey towards the end state defined in the vision started from very low-level goals in improving existing system management capabilities. The movement towards process and team based working was launched substituting the way where isolated individuals were doing heroic deeds. With new ICT system management technology some manual functions and processes were also automated. 

The second step included steps towards more mature value chain management in all C4I matters. The relationship between provider and client needed more trusted foundation. The cost awareness and cost projection required to be established in Enterprise Resources Management. There was a degree of force behind this change since new requirements were expected to rise during major change of Defence Forces towards 2008.

The third step would bring C4I Agency to level that it would be up to the level with other Service Providers. Teams inside Agency needed also be more responsible and connected with other to shorten the reaction time and improve efficiency in process based service delivery. There was also need to clarify the differences between ICT Management and Information Management as the role of Chief Information Officer was introduced in each unit.


As the Defence ICT transformed and matured towards the vision, there was a need to define market segments and specific business strategy for each segment. The six main segments illustrated in Figure 28 were:

  • Administrative customers within the Finnish Defence Forces included all units within FINDEF in their peacetime role
  • Operational customers within the Finnish Defence Forces included all units within FINDEF in their crisis time role and units of other government security agencies
  • Other Security Agencies via Security Network Operator as TETRA mobile service.
  • Other governmental entities via the IT-centre of the Government mainly with IT related services.
  • International operations either via NATO ICT-service provider or Crises Management Office, CMO (intended avenue for further United Nations Operations)
  • Open ICT-market via commercial service providers (mainly telecommunications related services).

Figure 28: The business and market plan for ICT service provider of FINDEF 2004

All ICT services were delivered with metrics for quality and cost. They were measured by agreements, contracts or objectives defined with clients in each market segment. Service Level Agreement, SLA was typically used within Defence Forces, where costs were transferred but there was no in-house billing in place. Service Level Contract, SLC was used with other service providers when money was transferred against delivered value. 

There were different pricing and billing policy in each segment because of their market status. Within government only direct costs were charged. The value creation of open market was tightly controlled by the law preventing the distortion of private markets with public financing.

Besides the pricing and different quality of service attributes, all services to each segment were produced in the similar process, which simplified the actual ICT service production. Network connections between air defence radar stations for the Air Force were provided the same way as connections between TETRA base stations for the SECNET operator.
There were two main ways to provide the service: centralized and distributed. The centralized meant that there was only one unit providing that service. The distributed meant that several regional units were providing ICT services in their particular area of responsibility. 

The ICT value chain included sub-providers both in-house FINDEF and outside of Defence Forces. They were bundled in as channels and integrated by contracts and processes. Architecture Team was taking care of the interoperability through changes and migrating in new systems. Business Team was taking care of advising in contracting, vendor management and measuring value through the chain.

Development of new ICT features was accomplished through Development Department. It managed several integrators that were assembling material, information and programs together before delivering them to C4I Agency for final integration.


With rationalization of ICT structure and service production, the role of local ICT unit changed the most. The local Chief of IT or Technology or Signals that used to manage the whole stack of technology, administrators, operators, end users and their information changed within few years as depicted in Figure 29.

Figure 29: The role and responsibility of local Chief of IT before rationalisation 2004

The workstations and terminals were provided as service and the only thing remaining was to monitor the quality and cost-efficiency of working tools. All servers were consolidated to C4I Agency together with their administrators. All applications were provided as service, so only their usage and cost-efficiency remained under local responsibility. All cabling, networks, exchanges and their operators and technicians were transferred to the C4I Agency and provided as service to units. Even ICT service support was rationalised with ITIL processes and accessed via phone and trouble ticketing systems. Problems with workstations were solved online with remote access. The once so great manager for IT and Technology was suddenly left with no job or responsibility – or so it seems at a quick glance.

The new role of Chief Information Officer, CIO was created. She turned the focus from technology towards information, users, and processes to provide benefits. As C4I Agency provided all ICT assets as service from cable installations to applications, there was but planning, ordering and monitoring left for CIO in managing technology. She was supported by Liaison Officer from C4I Agency, who helped in transforming the items in ICT Service Catalogue to valuable services for her unit and agreeing on all this in Service Level Agreement as illustrated in Figure 30.

Figure 30: The new role of Chief Information Officer after 2006

Then the actual information management was begun. With improved cost-awareness in technology, there was a foundation to start planning and monitoring the cost-efficiency of the information usage within the unit. Focus was also turned to process improvement and skills development as information was creating more value to core functions of military affairs. The CIO was improving the working habits, ergonomics and productivity of those involved in staff and knowledge working. She also started to pay attention to staff processes and their improvement as the heads of 6 in each Service became more aware of this potential.

The change was major from an individual perspective. People were supported with information, training for further understanding, workshops to create participation and with recognition of successes in change. Some of the former technical chiefs were able to change, but many moved to other responsibilities and gave room to new competencies. The figurative change in gender actually happened in some units.

End of part VI