ICT manager about the results of the BusinessITScan

The innovative digital journey of Keolis

Keolis: an unusually good and innovative public transport service provider

Keolis Nederland is a service provider in mobility. In Utrecht, Almere, Gelderland (Veluwe), Overijssel (Midden-Overijssel and Twente), Keolis brings its travelers pleasantly and safely to their destinations. Whether for work, school, recreation or meeting. With naturally good service and good facilities, leading to naturally good public transport. That's what the traveler counts on and that's what Keolis does unusually well. The approximately 2,500 employees in the Netherlands, under the labels allGo, KeoBike, Keolis Blauwnet, Syntus Utrecht and Twents, provide optimal transport with 700 buses, 25 trains and almost 600 shared bicycles. Keolis Nederland is part of the global Keolis Group.



Without information flows no traveler flows

Modern public transportation involves a lot of IT. For example, passengers at the bus stop check what time the bus leaves via travel information screens, and they use various public transport apps and travel with the chip card or their bank card. The driver works with an on-board computer for real-time support in performing his duties. Behind the scenes is central traffic control and planning, who use IT systems to ensure the planning and execution of the timetable on the street. All this in a real-time 24/7 organization.

Within Keolis, the IT department has an important role. The department facilitates a stable, secure and reliable digital working environment for the office staff. In addition, IT manages the operational systems that support the primary and secondary Public Transport processes. This involves cooperation with both the internal operational departments and IT suppliers. The continuous further development of the systems, to match the changing needs of the organization or public transport market, is key.

Within the Public Transport sector, data is becoming increasingly important. By having reliable data available on time, the Keolis can make the right decisions regarding the service on the street. From within the systems, the IT department takes care of the timely collection, organization and availability of data to the organization. This is an essential role in the transition to a data-driven organization.


Why did you choose the BusinessITScan?

"The Keolis organization is in a state of flux. To clarify the IT strategy, a clear picture of the current IT situation is essential. Input from the entire organization is very important here. A change in the management of the IT department was a good reason to do a 360 degree baseline measurement of the IT department."


"We were looking for a practical tool to determine a baseline measurement how our IT service is perceived, but which at the same time goes much further. We wanted more than just a report grade from our internal colleagues. Much rather, we also wanted to examine business operations and IT in their entirety and collect improvement proposals from boards of directors, concession stakeholders, users and IT staff. This is in order to determine our priorities for our digital transformation."

ICT manager Guido Swinkels is ultimately responsible for all ICT services in the Netherlands. 


"The helpful part of the BusinessITScan is that this tool asks colleagues different questions based on different roles. Within the BusinessITScan, we invited more than 60 colleagues: from drivers and train drivers, to executives and IT colleagues. They answered the closed questions and entered their improvement proposals in a 2-week period."

What were the insights, and what is Keolis doing with them?

Guido continues, "Our colleagues cooperated wonderfully! In total they entered more than 150 improvement proposals. Together with the more than 200 pieces of advice generated by the smart BusinessITScan engine, this was in the dashboard and advice report at the press of a button. So we had very quick insight into IT satisfaction, the status of the Six success factors for digital transformation©, and the 26 underlying themes.

As you can imagine, it took some time to sink in how to maximize the use of all the information. The results were discussed with key business stakeholders and the entire IT department. It was nice to see that this led to recognition, surprise and new insight. In a number of 'brown bag sessions' three improvement paths were formulated that summarize the results of the scan:

1. Relationship between Business and IT: implementing regular meetings between Business Owners and IT. In these meetings we prioritze the improvement proposals regarding business operations and processes;

2. ICT Processing and quality: implement IT Service Management for more order in the IT work. Less ad-hoc, more planned, measurable performance and results;

3. Communication and visibility: regular communication about IT advice, IT developments, IT policies and IT guidelines.

The improvements are supported by the employees themselves, which only makes the implementation easier. Meanwhile, the plans have also been shared with the organization via intranet and in various MTs. There too, they are being received positively."


Where do you stand now?

Guido: "The plans have been included in the annual plan. It is now up to the department to make room for the improvement projects within the current plans and activities. This is a requirement for success. Finding a good balance between the internal projects and the ongoing work is an achievable challenge.  

The IT staff will work on the design and implementation of the improvements themselves. Meanwhile, the first improvement actions have been picked up within the department. In the short term, we expect the organization to start noticing the positive effects. Our goal is to have taken the first major steps by the end of 2022. In 2023, the focus will be on sharpening and refining."

How are you moving forward in this digitization journey?

"We are going to use the results of the BusinessITScan to test the development we have initiated. You can see it as a compass for the development of all of Keolis and our IT department.

When the improvement processes are completed and well secured, there will come a time when we test the results again, via research with the BusinessITScan Measure-up Module. This allows us to clearly determine the progress and draw up a follow-up strategy."