ProRail Uses Low-Code Automation to Deliver Reliable Transportation
ProRail’s core systems operation is sophisticated and of extremely high importance to the Netherlands, requiring a substantial amount of IT oversight. At the same time, the business at ProRail was constantly generating new ideas to create efficiencies in their processes, first asking IT for help solving these problems, and sometimes turning to third-party solutions. This situation was difficult – growing ProRail’s backlog and creating a proliferation of Shadow IT.
“The IT department had to have more influence on business processes,” said van der Linde, “we needed to use our tech-first perspective to prescribe the right solution to the problem the business was hoping to solve.” ProRail needed a new way of developing applications, enabling Johan’s team, and IT as a whole, to build applications that were fast-to-market, first-time-right, and highly reliable in the office automation domain.
ProRail is a government task organization that takes care of maintenance and extensions of the national railway network infrastructure (not the metro or tram), allocating rail capacity, and of traffic control. Prorail is a part of NS Railinfratrust, the Dutch railway infrastructure owner.
ProRail considered a number of options to address their growing backlog and proliferating of Shadow IT. Off-the-shelf solutions were proposed, solving for particular business initiatives, but proved too expensive or insufficient. “Off-the-shelf solutions often mean you end up with a bunch of features you don’t need or use – a big waste of money,” commented van der Linde. The decision was made to seek an application platform – a foundation for ProRail to develop applications that were fine-tuned to solve their own specific needs.
Johan’s team got to work quickly, and over the past five years, has built 37 applications on the platform, creating significant operational efficiency gains. These applications include: