University of Oulu

Saunavaara, J., Laine, A., & Salo, M. (2022). The Nordic societies and the development of the data centre industry: Digital transformation meets infrastructural and industrial inheritance. Technology in Society, 69, 101931.

The Nordic societies and the development of the data centre industry : digital transformation meets infrastructural and industrial inheritance

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Author: Saunavaara, Juha1; Laine, Antti2; Salo, Matti3
Organizations: 1Arctic Research Centre, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
2Information Technology, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
3Department of History, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-27


While attempts to conceptualise the future course of societal development often emphasise the high-level integration and blurring of boundaries between physical and digital space, digital transformation has already made current societies highly dependent on the flawless functioning of the digital infrastructures built globally around data centres. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the recent emergence and maturation of the Nordic data centre industry. While paying special attention to questions concerning technological and societal change, as well as industrial and infrastructural inheritance, the research explores the development of the field that has a short history but strong ties with processes that can be traced back tens or even hundreds of years. Examining the continuity between old and new, the focus is not only on the material infrastructure but also on policies and practices that have paved the way for the evolution of stable Nordic societies with relevant human capital and business-friendly environments that support the incubation of new industries and the deployment of new technologies.

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Series: Technology in society
ISSN: 0160-791X
ISSN-E: 1879-3274
ISSN-L: 0160-791X
Volume: 69
Article number: 101931
DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2022.101931
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
616 Other humanities
Funding: This work was partially supported by the Arctic Challenge for Sustainability II (ArCS II), Program [grant number JPMXD1420318865].
Dataset Reference: Supplementary data to this article can be found online at
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (