There is continual demand for further development of our IT systems due to both operational and security requirements (in particular because of cybercrime risks). There is a risk of shortages of the right levels of expertise and capacity due to the tight labour market, as a result of which not all IT systems can satisfy the requirements. The consequence of this is that NS fails to live up to its strategic ambitions and cannot guarantee the continuity of its service.
Reliable IT systems are needed for running our timetable and delivering sufficient services to our customers. IT is an increasingly important and critical factor in running NS’s operations, in particular in the provision of information for our passengers, and the control and adjustment of the timetable. To facilitate this, three cornerstones are crucial: a stable, efficient and scalable IT infrastructure; sufficient and qualified staff; and systems that are sufficiently manageable. There are currently risks for each of them. Legacy systems are an issue for a stable, efficient and scalable IT infrastructure. In an increasingly tight labour market, recruiting and retaining the right staff is increasingly a risk. The manageability is negatively affected by strong dependence on external suppliers.
Outdated business applications will be replaced as necessary. We have set up separate programmes for highly critical systems for this. We are making conscious choices within the IT portfolio to make sure we stay within the limits of scarce resources. For the recruitment of staff, NS works intensively with training institutions and suppliers of temporary staff. Centralisation and sound architecture are used for keeping the IT environment manageable.
Risk control trend
IT support for increasing our resilience in the face of cybercrime risks continues to require attention, both in the construction of new systems and in modifications of existing systems. In addition to the problems in recruiting permanent staff, it is becoming more and more difficult to recruit temporary staff too. Further reductions in financial and staffing resources may cause delays in improvements. The overall level of control is the same.