Secure GCP infrastructure and architecture for BHG Finland

Cooperation in brief

Starting point

BHG Finland was looking for ways to respond to its changing and growing business needs in an agile and cost-effective way. A detailed study and a comparison of a few options indicated that Google Cloud would be the best way to achieve the desired outcome. A skilled Google Cloud partner was needed to make sure that everything would work properly, securely and as planned.


The cloud service deployment was planned in cooperation. After that, Gapps’ specialists created a secure foundation for the GCP infrastructure and architecture. The three key cloud environment areas are microservices, data warehouses and integrations between systems. In addition, Gapps’ continuous GCP support service ensures the continuity of cloud services.


The planned infrastructure and architecture is now in place in GCP, and it will evolve as new business needs come up. The greatest benefit of cloud services to the business is the ability to automate data collection, storage, processing and distribution, leaving employees with more time for productive work. Systematic work in the field of information security is a significant factor in the effectiveness of cooperation – it ensures that business continuity is protected from potential threats.


Starting point and aim of cooperation

The companies’ cooperation was sparked by BHG Finland’s need to cater for the changing and growing needs of its business in an agile and cost-effective way. For example, how could product availability information be standardised between various systems? A detailed study and a comparison of a few options revealed that Google Cloud would be the most effective way to provide suitable solutions for the business needs.

Responding to the clear business needs was the impetus for BHG Finland’s cloud transition. BHG Finland possessed strong planning expertise in-house, but an expert Google Cloud partner was needed to ensure everything worked smartly, securely and as planned. Gapps has played an indispensable role, from the design of the cloud environment to implementation and continuous maintenance.

The study made it clear that our in-house expertise and resources would not be enough for a cloud deployment. We needed an expert partner to help design and implement the cloud environment.

Pekka Rantanen, Solution Architect

It was also clear that everything needed to be secure. When business-critical functions run on a cloud service, it is not enough to assume everything is OK. That is why information security was a crucial factor in every part of the cooperation from the outset rather than a separate part of the cooperation. As cloud services take on an increasingly central role at BHG Finland, a strong partner was needed to ensure continuity.

We do not want to end up in the headlines for leaking data due to poor information security.

Pekka Rantanen, Solution Architect

Solution: a secure GCP foundation

Everything began with the basics of GCP – how could Google Cloud address BHG Finland's business challenges? The partners discussed how GCP could support the business, and the need to support the cloud environment was planned in cooperation. Gapps’ specialists implemented an entire GCP infrastructure and architecture based on the plan: how everything is arranged and how things are done securely in the cloud.

In addition to the secure GCP foundation, Gapps provides BHG Finland with continuous support services for investigating any threats and actively monitoring the GCP environment. The admin users receive an alert if anything unusual is detected in the environment. In addition, a comprehensive information security audit is carried out at regular intervals to verify the state of the environment. The audit ensures that everything is in good order in terms of information security. If any shortcomings are identified, they are rectified.

A lot of business-critical data streams are now in the cloud, and GCP’s scalability offers limitless expansion potential whenever the situation requires it. At the moment, data related to products, orders and deliveries is processed in the cloud.

What solutions have been built in GCP?

Cloud services have been built around these key topics to enhance the efficiency of BHG Finland’s business:

  • Microservices, such as an availability service
  • Data warehouses for external data sources
  • Integrations between systems

Google Cloud Platform products in use

Compute Engine, Cloud SQL, Cloud Functions, Pub/Sub, Secret Manager, Cloud Storage, BigQuery, Networking, Cloud Scheduler, API Gateway, App Engine, Cloud Build, Cloud Logging, Stackdriver monitoring, VM Manager

Presenting: Availability Service, one of the microservices built in GCP

BHG Finland had identified a clear business challenge – product availability data was dispersed across several different systems, the data was not readily available, and it was not always up to date. This situation gave rise to excess work in, for example, the customer service and product management functions of the online stores. No ready-made technical solutions were available.

The challenge was tackled by building an availability service in GCP. This microservice is responsible for collecting and storing data about BHG Finland’s warehouse inventory balances and availability data from suppliers connected to the service. It then distributes the data to the parties who need it (such as the online stores).

Availability data is collected from a variety of data sources from different parties and converted into a standardised format for storage in the service’s data warehouse. The service contains standardised, up-to-date data on the availability of products that can be distributed to everyone who needs it. In practice, the availability service is the “single source of truth” on the availability of products throughout the organisation.

The availability service is the first microservice built in GCP, and it has been in production operation on the cloud platform for several years.


Today, GCP plays an important role in BHG Finland's operations: the planned infrastructure and architecture was built on the cloud platform, and it will evolve as the business comes up with new development projects and needs. Cloud computing will only grow in importance for the business in the future, as it has already delivered clear and tangible business benefits.

We develop cloud capabilities whenever our existing tools do not meet our business needs.

Pekka Rantanen, Solution Architect

At the moment, the greatest business benefit of cloud services is the automation of data processing (data collection, conversion and storage). It can be used to provide completely new business support services or facilitate routine work, allowing employees to spend their time on more productive work. For example, providing up-to-date availability data in the online store means that consumers cannot order products that are no longer available. As a result, the customer service team is no longer bogged down in investigations of such situations, and customer satisfaction remains high.

This is all about using automation to harness data in a more direct and expansive way to support our business. For example, automating routing work helps us to focus on more productive work.

Pekka Rantanen, Solution Architect

Systematic work in the field of information security is a significant factor in the effectiveness of cooperation – it ensures that business continuity is protected from potential threats. The GCP infrastructure remains secure thanks to Gapps’ continuous GCP support service, as Gapps’ specialists monitor all the resources and their usage in detail.


Pekka’s three tips for cloud services

1. The cloud is inevitable – one way or another. Prepare yourself for your cloud transition and changes in good time. Move your operations to a cloud environment on your own terms in advance, before you have no choice in the matter. Ideally, the cloud transition should be driven by a systematic approach and a clear need.

2. Find a good partner if you do not have enough in-house expertise. An expert partner goes a long way towards smoothing out the bumps in the road. A partner can make the cloud transition faster and more secure.

3. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Choose a concrete application, and test how things could work in the cloud. You may be positively surprised.


Introducing BHG Finland

BHG Finland develops successful and growing online stores and leads the Finnish DIY sector. Every month,,,, and attract more than 2 million visitors interested in building, renovation and interior design. About 250,000 products from more than 1,000 brands are available online. BHG Finland is part of the listed company BHG Group.