The Benelux region has always punched above its weight in terms of IT, boosted by a tech-savvy and well-educated population.
The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg have all the ingredients for advanced technology take-up in business and the public sector. They have the academics, the tech suppliers, the wealth and the government will.
As a result, the take-up of digital services is high and all sectors are kept on their toes by a user base that is highly critical when things go wrong. Like pretty much all other developed regions, as digital transformation increases, things do go wrong, whether it be vulnerabilities in security or high-profile government IT failures.
It might seem at first glance of this top 10 that the Netherlands is a disaster in terms of government IT, but it is important to remember that the Netherlands is a healthy democracy and everything the Dutch government does in IT is scrutinised in detail.
The country is also considered a gateway to Europe with its major transport hubs and, as a result, there are major challenges, increasingly cyber in nature, to secure these. The first article in this top 10 describes the challenges facing securing systems at one of the world major airports, Amsterdam’s Schiphol.
But it’s not all security risks and government challenges with digital transformation going on in the region, which is improving people’s lives. Obviously the fact that a Dutch IT company is helping the Belgian football team improve might not go down well in the Netherlands, but the gamification of scouting is a great example of innovation in the region. As is the development of an app to help Alzheimer’s sufferers. Read more about these in this top 10 list.
But where would we be without at least one article on the need to improve digital skills among the population? We oblige.
Here are Computer Weekly’s top 10 Benelux IT stories of 2020:
A report has revealed problems with critical security systems in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
A Dutch university has taken the difficult decision to pay hundreds of thousands of euros to Russian hackers that compromised its systems through a ransomware attack.
Tech experts discuss the challenges and potential solutions to the Netherlands government’s IT problems.
The Dutch government’s revamp of its construction planning law faces major IT challenges and scepticism.
Promoter of human-centric scientific research techniques claims the prestigious 2020 Netherlands Prize for ICT Research.
An app aimed at helping dementia patients and their families has been developed by the Alzheimer Society in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has good telecommunications and IT networks that can be used safely and reliably, but there is room for improvement in digital skills among the Dutch.
Tech company that helped the Belgian football team in the last World Cup is changing the way footballers are scouted and teams are trained.
De Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways), ensures, among other things, that 1.2 million train passengers arrive at their destination every day. Through a subsidiary, it is using data to improve both the customer experience and internal processes.
The sector building and supporting the Netherlands’ digital infrastructure wants to be valued as highly as Schiphol airport and the port of Rotterdam are for the Dutch economy.