Jyväskylä, one of the largest cities in Finland, is in the process of constructing its digital city brand on the foundation of seamless services and skilled personnel. To achieve this, the city is accelerating its cloud transition in cooperation with CGI and Amazon Web Services (AWS) through the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP).

Jyväskylä’s city strategy is driven by a strong vision of becoming a growing and international city where digital services are a natural part of the evolving service production.

Digitalization enables citizens to manage their affairs independently through service portals, while also promoting more flexible internal work methods, efficient operational processes, and management based on real-time information. The Smart City concept mentioned in Jyväskylä’s digital practices refers to a testing platform for smart city solutions.

Guiding the city towards these goals is Chief Information Officer Tuukka Vepsäläinen, who started in his role about two years ago. The development phase of Jyväskylä’s digital program, formulated in 2022, is currently moving towards the latter stages of the “Getting the Basics Right” step, which involves integration and ensuring the functionality of systems.

“Digitalization is not just about technology but also a significant functional change. This means that we need to enhance the competence and capabilities of our staff,” Vepsäläinen emphasizes.

Support for cloud transition from the MAP program

The starting points for Jyväskylä's digital acceleration were quite traditional, with legacy systems and minor digital experiments. A comprehensive view of the big picture was missing, limiting the rational development of initiatives. With the city's digital strategy, a new chapter has been added to the efforts. Plans for cloud migration are already underway.

“The cloud brings flexibility and enables faster development compared to traditional data center environments. In the chosen cloud solution, it is important to find a model where costs are controlled and data privacy concerns are addressed as required by regulations,” Vepsäläinen ponders.

The mapping of steps for Jyväskylä’s cloud transition began at the end of 2022 in collaboration with CGI and AWS through the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP). Based on the results completed in the spring of 2023, Jyväskylä now has a more comprehensive understanding of where to start cloud migration in its operations.

“The MAP program helped us better visualize various options for the cloud transition of Jyväskylä’s city operations. In terms of development, we also gained valuable insights into our current capabilities and where we need to invest in the future.”

Modern technology enables new services

Vepsäläinen doesn't believe that Jyväskylä will become a full-fledged digital city overnight or even within a year, but establishing a solid foundation provides a good starting point for such evolution.

Cloud migration provides the keys to the next phase of transitioning, which entails clear and novel operational models and service frameworks, as well as process automation. Following this, the focus shifts to innovative service solutions and leveraging advanced technology.

“The intention is to proceed with the cloud migration within this year. It is an important step towards development-centered directions, where digitalization is utilized to enhance the customer and staff experience offered by the City of Jyväskylä," says Vepsäläinen.

According to Matti Vesterinen, CGI's Director of Cloud Services Development, when properly executed, the use of cloud services is secure and can bring significant benefits to the public sector.

"Cloud services allow the construction of better services for citizens and staff, with multiple times the productivity compared to traditional technology. They also play a crucial role in building digital resilience and offer essential flexibility and scalability in changing situations," Vesterinen summarizes.