In 2018 we completed our first project with Digitalia. Digitalia is a research center that is formed by University of Applied Science of South East Finland (XAMK), Helsinki University and National Archive. The goal of the project was to create a business plan to productize a service and technical architecture of a “Citizens’ Archive”.

Digitalia – Utilize information through APIs

In the project, Osaango consulted in the areas of business, productization, IT architecture and service design. We also brought in information and knowledge management, also in some more niche areas like archiving and genealogy. Contribyte Oy, a company specialized in product management, participated in the first stage of the project as our partner.

Project started with the focus on a “Citizen’s Archive” system as the main product of the research and development project, only to change later as the customer understanding grew. We followed business, product design and service design processes, design thinking being the overall method. A business model was created in each phase of the project. This model was re-formulated as the understanding deepened during the project. Another reference point was Lean Startup. The project’s starting points were the following: To combine and utilize Digitalia’s technical solutions in archiving – especially concerning a long term archiving of converted files, and the commercialization of these innovations. Workshops and interviews were included with stakeholder participation.

The First stage: Preliminary assessment

In the beginning of the project we described the ecosystem and created customer profiles and customer journeys. We also documented intangible property with focus on IPRs, analysed the market situation, clarified targets on organisational level and examined legal limitations. As a result, we produced a description of the current state by defining preconditions, customer needs, competitive situation and recommendations for things to be look into separately.

The second phase: From business model to new integrations

On the second stage we interviewed customer segment representatives, reviewed results in a workshop, formed customer personas and “ads” to different segments. We also created a business model, which changed our perception remarkably. The target got more focused and a new direction was set. This direction would incorporate technical solutions and know-how of Digitalia, in addition to “Citizen’s archive’s” capabilities. At his point it was clear that the need for varous system integrations was substantial. In the very heart of Digitalia’s operations is knowledge management and combining information from a variety of sources, so it was natural that the role of API’s became significant instead of offering just one unified system.

The third stage: More customer insight

In this stage more customer insight was gained via interviews. Focus was on customers’ real-life situations and needs. During a final workshop results were analysed and changes to business concepts ideated. In this stage, as a result of clearer customer understanding, focus was more on productization and sharing of competencies and less on services produced with technical solution.

Consultant is not a swear word

Sometimes project plans change during execution despite profound preliminary assessment and good planning, This is typical for design thinking and research and development projects. This happened in our project as well. Instead of productizing a technical solution, the “Citizen’s Archive”, we ended up designing business model that utilizes Digitalia´s core competences. We also created a start of API-enabled enterprise architecture. This allows customers to try and integrate with the solutions and algorithms offered by Digitalia.

Digitalia was happy with the project, and the result was considered good. In their words, “Consultant is no longer a swear word in Digitalia”. Our co-operation has since continued with an API productization project. Digitalia, with its background organization, published a report in July 2019. In the report they describe also this co-operation project and shed a light on digital information management practices and solutions.

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