The project aimed at contributing the formation of international networks of
security companies in four business areas which were: senior care, supply
chains, situation awareness and built urban environment. Within the project,
the areas of significant growth or internationalisation potential in security
business as well as product and service packages for identified customer needs
and groups were described. Also, the value networks and business models to
support them were examined, as well as the extent to which the companies are
ready to share their knowledge of internationalisation and what kind of
business cooperation models support this. Moreover, the concepts of network
leader companies were described.
During the project, seven networking workshops were organized in order to
collect research data and to deliver the knowledge produced by the project to
the participating organisations. In addition, altogether 62 persons from
public and private organisations that are integrally related to the business
areas were interviewed. As a result, the actors and roles, know-how and
competences, relationships and business models, as well as possible need for
integrator concerning the potential networks within the four business areas
were defined. A framework of adequate networking forms for security sector was
developed, and the operation concepts of a network leader were modelled. In
addition, different paths and steps of internationalisation as well as
competence needs were studied.
Offering a comprehensive solution consisting of various security products or
services was revealed to be the essential form of network cooperation. This
requires a uniform view of the client and the client's needs among the network
partners. Also, a specific customer order is required before the business
potential of a network can be realised. Personal relationships and trust are
important when starting collaboration. This is contributed by various network
events and workshops, where it is possible to familiarize oneself to the
products and services of other companies and establish social contacts. In all
of the business areas studied, a common need for such companies that can take
responsibility or initiative of the network building was revealed.
Within the international security markets, the recognised competence areas and
strengths of Finnish companies included high level of GIS (geographic
information system) technology, strong level of expertise in one’s own field
of business (resources and efficiency), ICT know-how (e.g. interfaces),
Finland's positive security reputation, the neutrality, knowledge of local
conditions and customers, shipping expertise in special circumstances and
customs expertise, among others. Finnish companies are also considered
reliable, which is very important when developing security products.
Special characteristics of security – its immateriality and thereby challenges
in marketing, context and culture-specific nature, difficulties in identifying
the actual paying customer as well as quantifying and investing in – gives
also networking in the security business field a special nature. However,
security is a factor that often integrates other product and service elements.
This and the growing consciousness about security issues creates a promising
starting point for the companies in security business field to look for
strategic partnerships in order to utilise the market potential and to create
additional value to customers.
The main results of the project were compiled as a toolbox for a security
company in networking and internationalising. The toolbox provides knowledge,
models, methods and tips for the self-assessment of internationalisation
potential and taking the first steps in international markets as well as
building international networks.