Erkki Hartikka - 10.1.2017

Insta Group Oy – strategic partner of the Finnish Defence Forces

See what Erkki Hartikka, Director, Business Development at Insta DefSec wrote about the strategic partnership between Insta and the Finnish Defence Forces on our blog. The article was also published in the Logistiikkaupseeri magazine in November 2016.

At the core of the strategic partnership with the Finnish Defence Forces is confidence in the company's readiness and ability to provide the Defence Forces with the services that have been agreed upon even in emergency conditions. Preparing for emergency conditions requires detailed advance planning and preparation of various functionalities. Thorough planning ensures that both the company and the Finnish Defence Forces can be confident that continuity management is taken into account regarding any emergency conditions.

In terms of population and financial resources, Finland is a small country, even on a European scale. Nevertheless, we have in place a model of operation to secure our national independence and the living prerequisites for our citizens, even in emergency conditions. This model takes into consideration our national characteristics and inevitable economical, political, and societal conditions. The Finnish model has a name that says it all: comprehensive national defense. It conveys well our mutual goal to foster the comprehensive security of the Finnish society and ensure the continuity of vital activities through collaboration between authorities, businesses, organizations, and citizens. Over the past decades, our comprehensive national defense model has proven to be a very efficient and functional solution.

Finnish industries play a central role in comprehensive national defense. The Finnish Defence Forces and Finnish companies have already networked and established collaboration under normal conditions, which prepares them for collaboration in emergency conditions. In emergency conditions, the aim of collaboration is to ensure the national security of supply for military systems maintenance and other necessary services. The Ministry of Defence expresses this in its strategy, "Puolustushallinnon kumppanuus" (Defense Administration partnership), as follows: “In the future, the level of performance required to guarantee a credible defense capacity can only be achieved through greater collaboration both nationally and internationally. Through networking, the private sector plays a part in preparations undertaken by society as a whole, as well as in maintaining defense capabilities. The Finnish Defence Forces focus their core activities on military national defense. As for supporting activities, a model of operation based on networking and collaboration is developed and expanded.*”

A long-lasting partnership

Insta has been a partner of the Finnish Defence Forces ever since 1972, when maintenance of Finnish Air Force avionics was begun. During these 45 years, partnership and collaboration between Insta and the Finnish Defence Forces have intensified and expanded to all services. Over the years, the range of life-cycle services provided by Insta for systems operated by the Finnish Defence Forces has expanded considerably. During almost 30 years, Insta has developed several C4ISR systems both for various services and Joint Forces. For over 35 years, Insta has also played a strong role in developing simulator-based training systems for the Finnish Defence Forces. Information security is another significant area of collaboration between Insta and the Finnish Defence Forces, one that has become increasingly important as cyber threats have grown into a new evolving battlefield.

The Defence Administration partnership strategy  states the following about strategic partnership: “Strategic partnership is the deepest form of collaboration between the Finnish Defence Forces and a private-sector service provider. It is founded on a contract-based, solid, and long-term collaborative partnership that will also continue in any emergency conditions. Typical features of a strategic partnership include mutual development goals, as well as steps taken in peacetime by both parties to prepare and develop models of operation for times when readiness is raised and for wartime activities.*” The collaboration and partnership between Insta and the Finnish Defence Forces have met the definition of strategic partnership for years, even for decades. This was officially recognized by a strategic partnership contract between Insta and the Finnish Defence Forces, executed at the Defence Command on December 10, 2015.

Due to the long history of partnership between Insta and the Finnish Defence Forces, executing the strategic partnership contract did not substantially change the nature of the collaboration. The work and operational development will continue as before, and Insta will provide the Finnish Defence Forces with developing services, expertise, and innovations just like before. Slightly simplifying, you can say that the new strategic partnership contract between Insta and the Finnish Defence Forces, as well as the mechanisms and modes of operation detailed in it, merely serve to reinforce and reframe models of collaboration that have been in place for a long time and have always included continuous learning and development as a key element. A significant difference brought about by the strategic partnership is a stronger focus on ensuring the continuity of operations in emergency conditions in addition to peacetime operations. The strategic partnership specifically requires Insta to ensure its capacity to maintain activities and support core activities of the Finnish Defence Forces also in emergency conditions. Activities needed in emergency conditions are planned and prepared in close collaboration with the Finnish Defence Forces.

Strategic partnership creates continuity

Strategic partnership is an agreement that also requires the company to make a strong, long-term commitment to support the Finnish Defence Forces and places demands and requirements on company activities and staff. For example, the placement of key staff members as part of the wartime organization of the Finnish Defence Forces must be deconstructed and the company must reserve them for its own critical activities related to the strategic partnership. Strategic partnership is based on trust, open information sharing and continuity. Trust must be earned and it is a result of long-term and predictable collaboration between organizations. The Finnish Defence Forces must be able to trust that it will receive the necessary support and services from its strategic partner during emergency conditions, while the company must be able to trust that the collaboration will continue and enable the preservation of expertise and resources for activities during emergency conditions. The basis of a strategic partnership is a wartime economic contract. By agreeing to a wartime economic contract, the strategic partner commits to reserving the resources necessary to providing the Finnish Defence Forces with services compliant with the strategic partnership agreement, even under emergency conditions. In other words, a wartime economic contract sets requirements on the strategic partner related to maintaining the security of supply in order to ensure the continuity of services in emergency conditions.

The strategic partnership between Insta and the Finnish Defence Forces continues to be excellent. The operations agreed upon in the contract have started well. New collaboration processes and models of operation have been and will be developed as part of mutual partnership exercises. Many of them have already been successfully adopted. Strategic partnership is a demanding form of collaboration and maintaining such a partnership requires commitment and investment from both parties. Strategic partnership is one way of ensuring that the national security of supply is maintained in accordance with the aims and spirit of comprehensive national defense. The Finnish Government Resolution on Security of Supply states: “The Finnish Government employs necessary means to maintain and support critical defense industry related to key national security benefits, as well as the related expertise and service provision.*” As a Finnish family-owned business, Insta incorporates national defense and activities for ensuring comprehensive societal security as a key part in its values and vision. The strategic partnership is a concrete manifestation of this vision and reinforces it further.

*) unofficial translation


Erkki Hartikka, M.Sc. (Tech.) is Director, Business Development at Insta DefSec Oy. He has over 30 years of experience in projects related to the Finnish Defence Forces.


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