Centre stage with Hanna Karppi, Digital Workplace Manager at Sigma IT
Born – I was born in Finland but moved to Stockholm Sweden a bit more than seven years ago.
Studied / Education background – I’m a master of Social Sciences and had political history as my major together with communications and political science. How I ended up working with IT is another story.
Current role / bio – I work with marketing and strategy and manage a group of consultants in a Sigma business unit specialised in digital workplace solutions on Office 365. We help our clients on their digital workplace journeys both from technical and people perspective. I have over 10 years of experience of digital workplace projects, change management and digital communications both in Nordic and Global organisations. Before Sigma I worked as Head of Digital Workplace for Skanska Group and led the implementation of digital workplace tools for over 40,000 whitecollar and bluecollar workers around the world.
What does your day to day role entail?
My role is very broad which I love. I am in charge of marketing and strategy in our unit and work a bit with sales and advising our customers with their digital work life projects. I am also managing our consultants in Stockholm so I have enough things to keep myself busy.
What’s been your biggest work achievement of the last 12 months?
We are currently merging two different units together and worked a lot with strategy, change management and our market positioning the past few months so I would say that is my biggest achievement.
What is the biggest challenge facing the industry?
Having enough diverse and skilled workforce and understanding the people side of the digital transformation.
What are the top 3 challenges facing your organisation personally?
If I approach this question from my own specialist area which is digital workplace I would say the challenges are very similar in all industries, even for us working in IT. Huge and growing amounts of information and tools, which are often poorly managed. Also change reluctance and user adoption are big challenges.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Say yes to opportunities that seem scary at first and do things that are out of your comfort zone.
What are your predictions for the IT industry for 2020/21 or beyond?
There will be a growing need of skilled IT workforce but also more diversity is needed. As change management, usability and knowledge on business will become more important there will be more jobs also for people with no specific IT education in the industry. We are already seeing a shift from only technology focus to more human centric view and this will continue.
Why do you think everybody is talking about AI being important for digital transformation but companies are still reluctant to invest?
In my experience there are too few people in the companies’ top management teams who would have enough knowledge about IT or digital transformation. Many companies still have very old fashioned management teams that are shaped around operations and finance. The visionaries are missing and the truth is that many companies are already too late with their digital development…
What do you think is going to be the next big technology development?
It is really hard to say but I wish there would overall be more focus on people and usability. It would also be important to emphasize how we need to change with technology. This means for example future workforce and what kind of education and skills people should have.
Do you think GDPR has impacted your role in a big way since its introduction?
Actually less than I expected. It has had a big impact on companies for sure but not really my own role except that I of course need to know on overall level how it affects digital solutions and their implementation for our customers.
What does digital transformation mean to you – what in your opinion is most important to a successful implementation?
Digital transformation is everywhere, so rather than trying to define it I think it defines us and our daily lives. Successful implementation and change is always depending on people, so I think those companies that invest not only in IT solutions but also change management and people will be the most successful with their digital transformation and different implementation projects.