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Develop your business with shared data

New business models based on shared data can be a lifeline for many companies following a downturn. The time for selfishness is over and co-operation is power. Apply to join the IHAN business programme.


Anna Wäyrynen


So far, companies have considered owning data as an important competitive advantage. This way of thinking comes from the platform economy. Big players like Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon have grown their business by developing services and leveraging the individual data they collect online mainly for their own benefit. For the last few decades, companies and individuals have acted selfishly in the platform economy.

Competitive advantage can be achieved by sharing data together with partners in data networks in a fair data economy.

The time for selfishness is now over and co-operation is a necessity for survival – for individuals and companies.

Ownership of data will no longer provide the greatest value in the future data economy. Competitive advantage and success can be achieved by sharing data together with partners in data ecosystems – in a new, fairer data economy. New business models will be based on cross-industry data sharing and related innovative services and products.

Good intentions cannot lead to a lack of transparency. For example, China has sought to control the coronavirus (COVID-19) by combining data (link in Finnish). Cities have required people to install an app on their phones that reports on a person’s movements in places where the virus has been detected. Stopping the pandemic has required data from many different sources of information, co-operation and data sharing. The intentions have been good, but there is no definite information on how and for what purpose the data will be used after the crisis.

The importance of transparency has steadily increased in commercial applications, and the General Data Protection Regulation General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the European Union’s ("EU") new General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"), regulates the processing by an individual, a company or an organisation of personal data relating to individuals in the EU. Open term page General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
has enabled Europe to set an example of a fair data economy for the whole world. In Sitra’s citizen survey 43% of Finnish respondents said that lack of trust in service providers prevents them from using digital services. As many as 71% called for a fair data symbol that would indicate that the services operate in a transparent and fair manner. This should be a wake-up call for companies using data for their digital services.

Sitra’s IHAN business programme provides tools for developing new data-driven business

In the IHAN business programme, small and medium-sized enterprises can renew their business and create new data-based products and services – in accordance with the principles of a fair data economy. Finnish SMEs have a unique opportunity to apply to join a free six-month business programme pilot organised by Sitra.

The 30 companies selected for the programme will be able to make strategic decisions on the development of data-driven business together with partners and leading experts. Experts in service design, business model development, technology architecture, legal and contract issues, and financing will ensure that the development ideas generated during the programme are put into practice. The companies will form their own data networks to bring new data-based services and products onto the market.

Now, if ever, companies and people must pull together. Could your company recover from the recession through new business created with your partners – fairly and with respect for individual rights?

Take a closer look at the programme and apply! (Please note that the IHAN business programme will be carried out in Finnish.)

Watch also a webinar recording about the business programme (link in Finnish).

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