Published: 24 August 2017

Finns are cautiously positive about the adoption of the Suomi.fi services

Fewer than every sixth Finn is aware of the introduction of the Suomi.fi electronic communication services in 2018. Despite this, the majority of Finns are reasonably prepared to communicate with authorities and use public services electronically. Preparedness for electronic communication among persons aged over 60 is considerably weaker than among younger people.

Public administration will introduce in 2018 a web service called Suomi.fi, where public administration customers can manage affairs, see their own data in various registers and receive electronic messages from authorities. To make communication easier with authorities, all people resident in Finland will get access to the Suomi.fi messages service. The web service can be used on all devices with Internet access. The Suomi.fi services are developed as part of the implementation programme of the Ministry of Finance's National Architecture for Digital Services.

The survey on the use of information and communications technology in 2017 explored with two questions the population’s preparedness for taking the Suomi.fi service into use. The first question inquired whether Finns were aware of the new service as follows: “Public administration will take into use the Suomi.fi service on the Internet next year. At the same time, Finnish residents will get access to the Suomi.fi messages service to facilitate their communication with authorities. Did you know that you will be offered the Suomi.fi messages service for communication with authorities?”

Finns’ preparedness for starting to use the electronic communication facility of the Suomi.fi service was examined by asking email users: “Messages received via the Suomi.fi messages are in future meant to replace paper letters sent by the state and municipality. The user is notified of the messages received in the web service as an email or text message, for instance. Are you going to take into use the Suomi.fi messages service to replace official letters and communicate in future through it with authorities?” It was assumed in the survey that the Suomi.fi messages service would be used generally via email or that the use of email would in any case represent such information technology skills and abilities that those who start to use the service would have. The response alternatives for the question were “yes”, “I’m not sure about it” and “no, I am not”. As it could be guessed in advance that the matter was unfamiliar to most respondents, limiting the answering to just yes/no alternatives was considered too sharp.

Fourteen per cent of the Finnish population aged 16 to 89 were aware of the Suomi.fi service and knew it would be offered to Finns. It is not surprising that the matter was little known. At the time of the survey, in March to July 2017, there had yet been no information campaigns on the matter. Seventeen per cent of those using email knew about the coming service. On the level of the population, persons aged 45 to 64 were best aware of the matter, but among them just close on one fifth.

When examining the population using email, familiarity with Suomi.fi grows with age all the time. Nearly all Finns until approximately the age of 50 use the Internet and as part of it email, too. For older people than this the use of the Internet and all its services falls sharply. Such older persons who otherwise follow matters closely are also web and email users.

Knows that Finns will be offered the Suomi.fi messages services, shares of the population aged 16 to 89 and those having used email for private purposes during three months

Knows that Finns will be offered the Suomi.fi messages services, shares of the population aged 16 to 89 and those having used email for private purposes during three months

However, information acquired from the media in advance appears not to have much effect on people’s preparedness for taking the new public administration web service into use. General IT skills and familiarity with web use are more significant. The question whether to take the Suomi.fi messages service into use was answered most positively by young people, although they knew less about the matter than middle-aged. Correspondingly, email users from older age groups who knew in advance best about the matter, were, nevertheless, the least willing age group to take the Suomi.fi messages into use.

Is going to take into use the Suomi.fi messages service to replace official letters and to communicate through it with authorities, shares of the population and those having used email for private purposes during three months

Is going to take into use the Suomi.fi messages service to replace official letters and to communicate through it with authorities, shares of the population and those having used email for private purposes during three months

When those who are not yet certain about the matter are added to those who say they will take into use the Suomi.fi messages service, a rough estimate can be had of Finns present preparedness to move to new electronic communication with authorities’ services. Excluded from this preparedness would be those who say they will not take the Suomi.fi messages service into use or who do not use the Internet and email. It would appear that until the age of 55 or 60, the majority of the population are reasonably prepared to communicate electronically with authorities. For older age groups, this readiness weakens fast. Fewer than every sixth of those aged over 75 are ready to consider the matter. The age group-specific distribution of the “prediction” is fairly similar when asking about Finns’ data searches on the websites of authorities and public service providers.

Ready to take the Suomi.fi messages service into use or at least consider its adoption, shares of the population aged 16 to 89

Ready to take the Suomi.fi messages service into use or at least consider its adoption, shares of the population aged 16 to 89

The educational background of respondents is also of great significance. One-half of those with tertiary level education said they would take the Suomi.fi messages service into use. One-third of those with upper secondary level education and one-quarter of those with basic level education were going to use the service.

The statistics on the use of information and communications technology will be published more extensively on 22 November 2017


Source: Use of information and communications technology by individuals, survey 2017

Inquiries: Rauli Kohvakka 029 551 3448, Perttu Melkas 029 551 2511, tietoyhteiskunta.info@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 24.8.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Use of information and communications technology by individuals [e-publication].
ISSN=2341-8710. 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 25.11.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/sutivi/2017/sutivi_2017_2017-08-24_tie_001_en.html

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