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Tieto study reveals: Culture, not technology, biggest barrier to business transformation

Technology should be used to create an innovative, adaptive organizational culture, Taneli Tikka from Tieto says.


Changing the company culture is vital for transformation. In Tieto’s recent study on the future of business transformation, 54% of CEOs say culture is one of the top barriers for transformation, 20% say technology.

According to the executives in the survey, there is no way transformation can happen without the right culture in place. More than four out of ten point out culture as the most challenging barrier when it comes to transformation, compared to less than 20 percent saying technology. Many expect IT to be an enabler of transformation, but the fact is that leadership and culture are more important as IT processes are often difficult to establish.

“The world is not predictable and companies need to create a culture where the corporate climate accepts continuous change and where the employees are also willing to be drivers for change. They say that culture eats strategy for breakfast. And culture in turn is a part of a wider system the people of any company have created for themselves. If you put in new technologies but don’t do anything differently, nothing will probably change,” argues Taneli Tikka, Head of Industrial Internet at Tieto.

What is a transformative culture then?

A transformative culture is a necessary foundation for an innovative, adaptive organization. However, technology itself is not going to develop such an organization. Nor will talk. Only the implementation of new practices, supported by technology will. If culture is the foundation, then processes are the backbone of a transformative organization. Changing the culture is hard and tiresome, but without transforming the culture, it is impossible to achieve fundamental transformation. 

“Some of the main elements of today’s successful companies are openness and a flexible culture. For me, one of the most interesting challenges is to create a culture of continuous learning by bringing a start-up culture and way-of-working also to Tieto,” says Tikka.

Read also Taneli Tikka’s blog post “Transforming companies need transformational leaders” about the five main elements which are the key to building a culture of winning:

Upload the study of future of business transformation:

About the study

In fall 2013, Tieto conducted a study on the future of business transformation, based on qualitative and quantitative research. The study included an online survey, distributed to executives in Sweden, Norway and Finland, with 500 respondents. A majority of the respondent were members of the C-suite or business unit directors. The survey was supplemented by interviews with experts from Tieto and industry executive roundtable discussions, held in Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki.


Principal media

Tieto is the largest Nordic IT services company providing full life-cycle services for both the private and public sectors and product development services in the field of communications and embedded technologies. The company has global presence through its product development business and global delivery centres. Tieto is committed to developing enterprises and society through IT by realizing new opportunities in customers’ business transformation. At Tieto, we believe in professional development and results.

Founded 1968, headquartered in Helsinki, Finland and with approximately 14 000 experts, the company operates in over 20 countries with net sales of approximately EUR 1.6 billion. Tieto’s shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX in Helsinki and Stockholm. Please visit for more information.


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