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Norwegian Railway Directorate the first in public sector to go 100 percent cloud-based

The goal is to realise gains in efficiency, ensure maximum flexibility and adapt to modern work processes – while complying with the government's legal requirements and strategy for cloud services.

Kimmo Hannus

Head of Sales

The newly established Norwegian Railway Directorate has been in operation since 2016, with IT solutions that are 100 percent cloud-based. Public enterprises have been slow to choose cloud-based solutions, mainly due to perceived limitations in current legislation. Despite the legislative challenges when it comes to archiving, the directorate has found a cloud-based solution from us.

'Since we are a newly-created directorate, we have the opportunity to be forward-facing in our thinking, without having to apply old solutions. The question is not if the public sector is going to use cloud solutions, but when. This approach has placed high demands on us as a customer, but the demands on our suppliers are at least as high. That’s why we would like to commend Tieto, which goes the extra mile to deliver standardised cloud-based solutions that comply with today's legislation,' says Ståle Hagen, Head of Department and Project Manager at the Railway Directorate.

Start-up inspired

The directorate was established to facilitate improved organisation of the Norwegian rail sector, which will contribute to more efficient operation and better customer orientation. The directorate consists of about 250 employees, with only one person employed in ICT. By choosing cloud-based solutions, the directorate ensures increased cost-effectiveness, security, scalability and flexibility compared to traditional installed solutions.

'We are proud to say we take the government's digitalisation strategy seriously, and we hope that we can inspire more public enterprises to use the cloud. All of our features are operated from the cloud, including the switchboard and print server. Now we are well-positioned to promote digital work satisfaction, support work processes, and involve and expand the perspectives of all users,' says Hagen.

It took six months from the directorate’s establishment until it become operational. The directorate obtained inspiration from different countries, sectors and disciplines, and wanted to learn from the best startups in the world. Choosing a cloud-based solution can create increased digital work satisfaction; at the same time, the government's requirement to evaluate cloud services allows companies to work in completely new ways and change the culture of interaction.

Cloud-based solutions today - even as archiving legislation is under review

In the spring of 2015, the municipality and modernisation department launched its strategy for the use of cloud services. One important measure in the strategy was a review of the archiving legislation, in order to assess whether the public sector can use cloud services outside of Norway for archiving. The proposed new regulation opens up the possibility of archiving outside of Norway, and the real value of cloud services comes when the customer can take advantage of economies of scale by using the major international players.

'It's really great that the Railway Directorate is stepping fully into the cloud before the archiving provisions have been processed. With Microsoft, we have found a solution that in-line with our security considerations, today's Norwegian regulations, and the cost scenario desired by the directorate. The directorate's decision is both forward-looking and innovative, and we hope that more public sector actors can be inspired to embrace new thinking in this area,' says Christian Rognes, Head of Cloud Services in Tieto Norway, Software Innovation Department.

We're delivering a Noark 5-approved cloud service for case and document management, so that the Railway Directorate can comply with statutory requirements for log entry, archiving and case processing with a cost-effective use of ICT. A standard cloud service gives the directorate predictability and flexibility, the latest version of the solution every time, and access to latest technology. Digitalisation of processes, information flow and archiving is thus achieved more efficiently, while allowing users to focus on their core tasks. Standard integrations for well-known work tools, search portals, public disclosure, and access to directorate case management mean that both users and residents benefit from the solution.

The Norwegian Railway Directorate shall ensure that the railway sector is operated as efficiently, safely and environmentally sustainably as possible for the benefit of travellers, freight transport and society. Our task is to develop the railways as part of the overall transport system in the short and long term. We will also manage the sector by defining and purchasing passenger traffic services, as well as entering into agreements on infrastructure and train development. These services will consist of an annual portfolio of more than 20 billion NOK. The directorate was established on 1st January 2017, and will be central to the reform of the rail sector in Norway. The Norwegian Railway Directorate is a government agency under the Ministry of Transport and Communications and has its headquarters in Oslo. The Railway Directorate will also be responsible for the Norwegian Railroad School and the Norwegian Railroad Museum. For more information see www.jernbaredirektoratet.no

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