Powering vital processes as a partner in GovTech

Sander Verloop 9760small
Sander Verloop
jul 11, 2022 · 7 min lezen Engels
Crop Gov Tech LM 123 BE

When Dutch governmental institutions joined our customer portfolio, the fit felt natural because we have much common ground. And though we are indeed a Dutch company with offices in the Netherlands, our common ground is not only based on geolocation.

It is about our shared care for and guardianship over operations that are urgent, complex, and critical – and that accordingly must be enabled by mission-critical IT.

Our natural habitat

The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) identifies 28 vital processes that are essential to the functioning of society in the Netherlands. From energy distribution to transportation and logistics, from ICT and communications to financial services, much of this infrastructure is powered by the very industries that our teams have become experts at supporting. Whether we’re working with a utilities company or an insurance company, we provide the strategy and the tech execution needed to keep mission-critical services up and running.

The same holds true for the governmental bodies with whom we work. A difference, however, is that when a ministry or organization in the public sector faces outages or a security incident, it’s not necessarily a single group of private end users who is affected. It can be the entire country. If any one of these vital processes is disrupted, all of society can become vulnerable to disruption. We know this urgency intimately. Fortunately, we also feel very much at home handling IT that seriously impacts people. Vital processes are our natural habitat.

As such, we are committed to providing good GovTech. By that, we refer to programs and projects that let technology practitioners and public authorities collaborate in developing pragmatic, innovative solutions for governance. GovTech bears responsibility for how communities experience their digital government interactions in terms of user friendliness and accessibility. In our view, always-available, human-centric GovTech can also make society more just and inclusive.

Our 100% commitment to security

Our GovTech ecosystem includes a variety of customers, such as the Dutch Ministry of Finance, the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, and operating bodies GGD-GHOR and Bureau Keteninformatisering Werk en Inkomen (BKWI). Facilitating interactions with governmental institutions and partners requires fit-for-purpose solutions, some of which are tailored to the needs of everyday people and others to businesses. A common thread that runs through our collaboration with GovTech customers is data. Data-driven solutions improve service delivery by enhancing process accuracy and speed. The result is a more efficient user experience, benefiting end users. For this reason, we implement automation as much possible and enable robotics and machine learning.

Moreover, our SLA for 100% uptime means that government ministers and civil servants sleep well at night, resting easy with the knowledge that their vital services’ websites, apps, and databases are secure, compliant, and auditable. This also means that the government’s partners and end users aren’t disrupted by constant technical outages, privacy infringements, or security compromises.

In fact, for society to run and run well, vital processes need to be more secure than others. Our 100% commitment to security makes all the difference in GovTech. For these customers, we execute a zero trust strategy, which anyway is the standard for all our solutions for all our customers. If our engineers are sometimes referred to as IT’s heart surgeons, then it’s also worth mentioning that their bedside manner is extremely suited to caring for institutional bodies that need to stay alive and well. Agreements we make with all our customers are treated with confidentiality and discretion. Our teams undergo additional security screenings as needed.

“Working on tight-knit customer teams and sharing multidisciplinary, multi-domain knowledge empowers us to seek out the smartest combinations of resources for any project or program.”

Shared culture of practice

Being an effective GovTech partner is not just a matter of knowing which IT solution will unlock the most value. Key, too, is the culture of practice that we share with our customers and the greater GovTech ecosystem. In these partnerships, collaboration is essential because while we have technical knowhow, our customers have domain knowledge that we wouldn’t otherwise be privy to. The future feels less predictable than ever, but our close cooperation helps prepare for the unexpected and increase agility in delivering altered or alternative modes of service. Working on tight-knit customer teams and sharing multidisciplinary, multi-domain knowledge empowers us to seek out the smartest combinations of resources for any project or program.

This approach works especially well when responding to what an institution in the public sector needs because the needs of society are forever in flux. We have clearly witnessed this during the COVID-19 pandemic, its ensuing lockdowns, and new pressures on healthcare facilities. Testing, contact tracing, vaccinating, and proving vaccination status are just some of the many real-world priorities that suddenly required swift, secure, and scalable digital-world solutions to which we contributed.

Partnering with the government requires us to think in new dimensions and cultivate awareness of the broader continental context in which the Netherlands is embedded. By implication, this requires the Netherlands to meet European compliance standards and participate in cross-continental projects. We’re teaming up with all parties involved to meet targets set for 2030 that are known as the EU’s Digital Decade. Presented by the European Commission in early 2021, this vision foresees a digital landscape that is people-centric, inclusive, safe, secure, and sustainable while also promoting freedom of choice online and democratic participation.

Supporting financial systems

Handling real-world complexity and using IT solutions to simplify that complexity is in our DNA. The Netherlands’ critical infrastructure comprises multiple vital processes and is part of the European Union’s infrastructure. This high level of digital interconnectedness has plenty of implications for our customers in regulated markets, notably when it comes to banking and other financial institutions.

Yet, with some of our first customers belonging to the financial industry, we have longtime experience maneuvering within the tight parameters of regulate markets and their auditability requirements. GovTech organizations have comparable priorities around using and processing personal data responsibly and ethically as well as preventing cyberattacks and potential foreign interferences. This is why all our solutions, whether on-premises or in the cloud, have a built-in auditability that lets organizations stay in control no matter how quickly compliance rules and regulations proliferate or change.

We support commercial banks, financial institutions, and, as of the last five years, the Ministry of Finance. Working with the ministry gives us the opportunity to understand more profoundly the needs of non-commercial organizations and those of the people they have a duty to serve. The business model we follow here is driven by making impact, and we’re proud that the Schuberg Philis way of working in dedicated customer teams with experts in the lead continuously proves to have major impact.

There’s a pressure to meet the demands of this Digital Decade. And there’s a feeling of relentlessness in our era of multiple major global crises. We understand many of the challenges that governments will face in the coming years, and we know how to support their institutions through them. As Schuberg Philis, we want to make a difference for governmental institutions as well as the citizens and residents whom they serve. We do that by ensuring the country can continue to rely on its vital processes and strengthening their vitality with our mission-critical IT solutions.

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