Research at the Information Systems Science

We are the biggest research unit in information systems science in Finland. Our team consists of 3 full professors and around 25 researchers and teachers. Our research project portfolio is extensive, from small short-time company cases to large projects with several stakeholders and partners. 

Research areas are many, thanks to "academic freedom" that we do respect. However, there are a couple of umbrella topics under which we all operate, such as

  • strategic IT management,
  • IT ethics and
  • health care IS's.

Since the 1990’s our unit has produced more than 30 doctoral dissertations.​​

Information Systems Science
ISS as a discipline

As a discipline, Information systems science has a socio-technical nature. That defines our approach: we are not interested in technology itself, but in

  • deploying of IT, normatively thinking, or
  • effects of IT, descriptively thinking.

Research is done is individual level, organizational level, or society level. In a business school, we focus mainly on deploying IT in business organizations. So, our perspective is management-oriented, without forgetting the individual (user) level. Effective use of information systems in business processes is based on well-defined business requirements, good management of the use and implementation of systems, and high-level user skills.

Some examples of research topics in ISS are presented in the picture below. Our main focus as a business school unit is deployment of IS's in organizations.

Matrix describing ISS research areas

ISS is a discipline that exploits other disciplines. Theories and models from sociology, psychology, economics and business administration are widely used.

Quite often ISS is mixed up with computer science. In computer science, the focus is on developing better technology, i.e. algorithms and data structures. We take technology as given and try to develop the processes where IS’s are used, i.e. make something good of the technology. A computer scientist asks “How”, we ask “Why”.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


MetaQRD - Envision Case research database
MetaQRD is a database front-end software to access and share empirical research data in multiple formats gathered by multiple partners in different countries. The raw data can include e.g., interview tapes, transcripts, videos, annual reports, photos, and so on. Some data will be derivative works for reporting and publicity, and this is also expected to be available to the researchers and public, because in H2020 open data is required, whenever possible.

MDSS - Maritime Digital Supply Space
Maritime Digital Supply Space is a Tekes-financed research project about digital business. The objective is to find between companies order-supply chain processes and IoT data integration cost savings, new business and digital procedures to automate data transfer. The objective is also to create a new procedure based on company cooperation to achieve systemic benefits, to secure cheaper and better availability of working capital finance and to strengthen product data's life cycle.

KATAJA Qualitative Methods in Business Research
The objectives are three-fold: to broaden the participants’ basic knowledge and skills within the qualitative research, to show the variety within the existing qualitative approaches and to identify methods and methodologies suitable for doctoral research projects. The course consists of readings, hands-on exercises, individual consultation, dialogue and collective learning.

Virpa-D ecosystem project (Tekes funded)
Virpa-D project belongs to a Business Finland's Fiiliksestä fyrkkaa –program, where there are financed high-level research about feelings, new technology and digital customer experience, among other things. Projects preparer and coordinator will be Jalecon Oy. Financiers will be Business Finland, companies and research parties.

D4V - Design for Value (Tekes funded)
The aim of the DIMECC D4Value program is to enable the best possible use of digital disruption for business growth. The D4Value program has a strong industry demand which has been emphasized by the rapid development in different supply chain parts (factories, ports, ships, etc.). The program focuses on door-to-door supply chain which is under digital disruptions and is rapidly changing towards an ecosystem of fully autonomous system-of-systems. Although changes are ongoing in many fronts of the supply chain, the overall value network has not been disrupted yet.

Fuelwood ja ash order-supply system
In this project there is created a business model to purchase fuelwood, where supply chain is producing with new order-supply system regions fuel to thermal- and electricity power plant. Supply chain returns the ashes to fertilize vicinity forests and to build sand roads in forest.

EQUAL-IST (Horizon 2020 funded)
The EQUAL-IST project (Gender Equality Plans for Information Sciences and Technology Research Institutions) aims at introducing structural changes to enhance gender equality in Information Sciences and Technology (IST) research institutions.

WIS - Wellbeing in the Information Society 2018 Conference
WIS 2018 seeks high-quality contributions based both on scientific research and practical experience. The conference is multidisciplinary in nature, gives room for qualitative and quantitative analysis, empirical surveys, case studies as well as for conceptual work; thereby making WIS 2018 a perfect forum for exchange of information and ideas.

DaaS - Data as a Service
In the DaaS, Data-as-a-Service, (EAKR, 1.9.2017-31.8.2019) project circular economy, AI traffic and business models digital renewal meet possibilities of open data. Together with our partners (Turun AMK, koordinaattori, Metropolia and XAMK) we are going to conduct 28 hackatlons. We are going to examine business models pressures to renew in our national innovation workshops with excisting open data, semi open corporate data and having open minds with new demands.


1.9.2018-31.12.2020 European Regional Development Fund

Cybersecurity matters for all either directly or indirectly. New and cost-effective IoT solutions require a more inclusive approach to SMEs cybersecurity issues. KyberVALIOT seeks for novel holistic solutions from a systemic perspective.

KyberVALIOT project focuses on business opportunities and cybersecurity threats due to the digitalization of manufacturing industry. Starting point for the project is EU-level preparation for Cybersecurity act, which aims to improve and guarantee the cybersecurity and reliability of SME companies. Another starting point are cybersecurity testing needs reported by companies. The strategies of Councils of South-West and South-East Finland emphasize digitalization, renewal of manufacturing industry and cybersecurity as main goals.

We develop a regional cybersecurity innovation platform together with our partners. The platform consists of IoT cybersecurity laboratory activities, processes, and services to relevant stakeholders in the cybersecurity ecosystem. In the project, the focus for the innovation platform is manufacturing industry and secure IoT devices as a part of service production. The goal is to define a platform that supports IoT business development and manufacturing industry in the SME sector.

The project has three major work packages that are tightly connected:

• Cybersecurity test laboratory in Salo IoT Campus (Turku School of Applied Sciences)
• Virtual laboratory hosted on Kotka CyberLab datacentre (XAMK)
• Cybersecurity service productization (University of Turku, Turku School of Economics)

Contact: project researcher Mikko Vermanen ( and lecturer Antti Tuomisto (
Web page:

SparkUp Portti
SparkUp Portti will continue developing services to be suitable for an even larger target group, even wider with student and steering resources. Main aspects of the project are information technology, marketing and environmental business. The object is to form college services so, that Portti’s wide customer base will find for their needs easily the right operators and right contents at the right time, with quality results. Easy? So you could think. In the project there are participating in addition to Work Informatics Turku University’s Brahea-center, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Humak and Turku Science Park oy.

Hot potato
Hot Potato is a project that is financed by European social fund. The objective of this project is to bring digital leap to the Finnish enterprises.

Inside the box
Inside-the-Box (ESR, 8.2.2016-31.12.2018) examines thorough SME utilization in the fields of digitalization (new processes, customer service, internationalization) and work wellbeing. The project is conducted together with Turku University of Applied Sciences and TeliaSonera Oyj is participating in the financing

Näyttämöt ja kasvunpajat
In the project Näyttämöt ja Kasvunpajat (6aika, EAKR, 1.9.2016-31.12.2018) we take the work systems sustainable development into a new environment. In addition to the target companies, we have unemployed and graduating students from different fields developing new job. Work informatics is trying to secure that new jobs demands and needs are considered in the part of change- and transformation process. City of Tampere is coordinating this project, and other partners are Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and Turku Science Park Oy.

D2I - Data to Intelligence (Tekes funded)
Data to Intelligence (D2I) was a research program focused on big data, data reserves and user-centric service development. The aim of the program was to develop intelligent tools and methods for managing, refining and utilizing diverse data in order to enable innovative business models and services. The work was guided by the needs and challenges of 7 business sectors, in which existing competencies provided a strong foundation.

SINOFIN Capstone
The SINOFIN Capstone is a CIMO-funded multidisciplinary education co-operation project between selected eBEREA member universities. The SINOFIN Capstone project ran from 2016 to 2017. During the project, various teachers and researchers from China and Finland gathered together in both countries to improve the IS curricula around capstone courses. The results include a state-of-the-art analysis of Capstone courses and lessons learned from both sides on how to improve the curricula.

Digiwars - Keeping the Force
Finland has so far been reasonably successful in the digitalisation of society. However, there are still areas that need to be developed further: domestically, the opportunities of digitalisation remain largely unexploited, and in the global export arena major digital success stories are still few and far between. Willingness to adopt new technology is significantly – perhaps critically – influenced by the level of trust people have in it.

The International Workshop on E-Business (2016)
The Workshop on e-Business (WeB) is a premier annual one-day conference on e-Business and e-Commerce held in conjunction with International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). The purpose of WeB is to provide an open forum for e-Business researchers and practitioners world-wide, to share topical research findings, explore novel ideas, discuss success stories and lessons learned, map out major challenges, and collectively chart future directions for e-Business.

ICT restructuring
The need for information security is a modern challenge that effects all sectors of society. Organizations use information security policies to guide data processing. Yet many organizations have difficulties to create policies that can cause various problems. The objective of this project is to create new procedures to develop information security policies.

Big Cities meet Big Data - a case of Turku
Incremental improvements in cities’ operational effectiveness, democratic development and service to customers are hardly enough to keep up with the demands from the citizens. Radical new innovations in these must be sought in the spirit of business scope and process redesign. One untapped resource that has already been witnessed to improve the operation of several different types of organizations is Big Data.

Material value flows
The objective of this project is to examine business opportunities related to recycling and to develop needed expertise. Project is also aiming to create new methods and concepts to control material flows on the global markets.

Platform operator
The objective of this research is to develop guidelines and milestones towards a comprehensive knowledge management of health and social services reform, regional goal architecture and ecosystem.

Well-Being in the Information Society 2016
The topic this year was ''Building Sustainable Health Ecosystems''. Every time WIS looks for innovations and new fresh ideas in the cross-section of urban living, information society and health understood in a wide sense. The conference looks for contributions based on high-quality scientific research (research track) as well as on practical experience (industrial track). WIS is a place for scientists and practitioners to challenge, test and develop their thinking and actions on health enhancement in urban settings.

Measuring municipalities IT operations
”KunnIT” project aims to examine the situation of the ICT cooperation between Finnish municipality. Behind this examination is a comprehensive and national study “ICT-muutostukiohjelma” made by Ministry of Finance 2014-2015, where they examined the municipals readiness for the upcoming municipal merger and structural changes of ICT.

SWiPE - Knowledge resources and knowledge management
SWiPE, Smart Work in Platform Economy project together with Turku University, Etlan and Finnish Institute of Occupational Health researchers will examine among other subjects the global change of economy, new technologies and new work platforms. In this project the impact of these phenomena will be inspected to content and form of work, how the work will be done, to entrepreneurship and education needs.

Workforce Incubator
In the project Workforce Incubator we examined the problem of how expertise of unemployed does not meet with undone job of employees. The special viewpoint was to compare the education providers relationship with expertise markets (platforms and services job applicants use) and companies (hidden) workplaces.

DigiKoeAjo (AIKO, Varsinais-Suomen liitto, 1.1.2017-31.12.2017) brings to even surprising industries machine-to-machine experiments. We examine from the results the experiment itself, the target and its impact and all this from the perspective of developing the business model. The objective is a broader understanding almost industry independent IoT-solutions’ content to develop SME’s business.

YSI-project aims to develop an operation model, which will help to develop new business from hospital born innovations. In Turku, we focus to find reactive innovations that are evolved from actions. In selected units, surveyed innovations are brought for enterprises interested from the field. In Oulu, we focus to develop together proactive innovations, where different stakeholders, as enterprises product- and service developers, patients and hospital staff, are being taken to be part of the development team in the project to develop procedures.

Digital Futures –profiling
Digital Futures –profiling offers a next generation laboratory and networking possibilities for Turku University researchers. It also offers a possibility to enhance cooperation nationally and internationally together with other universities, research institutes, corporate world and public officers. Digital Futures has been funded by Academy of Finland’s Profi2-program, which it supports profiling of universities.

ENviSION (Horizon 2020 funded)
ENVISION is an EU funded program aiming at Understanding and supporting business model innovation, with a specific challenge set out by EU in HORIZON 2020 INSO-2-2014 call: "Technologies as such do not have a specific value. Their value is determined by the business models used to bring them to a market. The return on Europe's investments in technology and process development therefore depends not only on the overall framework conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship, but also on effective business models. However, many European enterprises, whether large or small and medium sized, lack awareness and tools to innovate their business models. Against this background, the challenge addressed by this topic is to facilitate innovation in business models and allow a maximum number of companies to innovate their business models."

Salo-connecting things (EAKR, 1.6.2016-28.2.2018) is a project together with Information Technology Institute. Coordinator for the project was YritysSalo Oy and as a partner Turku Science Park Oy. The object is to have fast but quality realization of IoT and digitalization utilization to respond to the structural changes of Salo region.

Health- and Wellbeing Technology Education
Turku University organizes for ICT specialists’ an updating education program of health- and wellbeing technology, which aims to renew ICT fields knowledge, to get more specialists on the field of health and wellbeing, and to develop know-how of entrepreneurship.