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Top 10 enterprise IT in the Benelux region stories of 2019

Here are Computer Weekly’s top enterprise IT stories from the Benelux region over the past year

The Netherlands is usually seen as a forward-thinking nation when it comes to developing and adopting the latest IT, but it seems its government is not doing particularly well in this respect.

Read in this top 10 list how a major report into Dutch government IT revealed that it is in a bit of a mess. But the Dutch government is at least keeping a close eye on suppliers. Read how Microsoft is having to make changes to its Office 365 cloud service in the Netherlands after the country’s justice ministry raised privacy concerns.

Beyond the Netherlands, find out what Luxembourg has to offer the tech startup community. It seems the country’s Prime Minister is getting down to business and surprising tech startups with his accessibility.

Here are Computer Weekly’s top enterprise IT in the Benelux region stories of 2019.  

1. Dutch government must sort IT mess as priority

This summer, a parliamentary investigation was started into the ICT problems in the Dutch government and how to prevent ICT failures in the future, and it found that knowledge and skills are often too fragmented, with insufficient central control around major ICT themes. 

2. Microsoft increases data protection for enterprises following Dutch MoJ audit

Microsoft has made privacy changes related to Office 365 following an audit 12 months ago for the Dutch justice ministry, which raised concerns over data leaks. As Computer Weekly has previously reported, an audit conducted by Privacy Company for the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security recommended disabling any settings in Microsoft Office 2016 that send data to Microsoft servers. 

3. Luxembourg tech startups get premium connections

There aren’t too many company founders who can claim to have a direct line to a Prime Minister, but they do things slightly differently in Luxembourg. Alex Short, co-founder of cloud-based collaboration platform provider Vizibl, has met Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, twice since the company has been operating in the country. 

4. Dutch group works on digitising collaborator archives created in aftermath of World War

Digitising archives at Dutch tribunal archives project Triado entailed moving from kilometres of archive boxes in a depot to a search engine through which users can access any document. The Triado project started three years ago, with the aim of identifying which computer technology could best be applied to historical collections to digitise and unlock them.  

5. ABN Amro investigation lends weight to anti-money laundering collaboration by Dutch bank

Dutch bank ABN Amro is being investigated by regulators for allegedly failing to properly monitor and report potential money laundering activity. Regulators are clamping down on banks that have inadequate technology and processes in place to spot money laundering activity, much of which is linked to terrorism and organised crime. 

6. Amsterdam new-build datacentre ban is not an ‘attack’ on operators, says government

Amsterdam’s datacentre community has been assured by the government that its ban on new-build facilities in certain parts of the city should not be seen as an attack on their livelihoods, it is claimed. As previously reported by Computer Weekly, the Dutch municipalities of Amsterdam and Haarlemmermeer issued a temporary ban on the construction of new datacentres in July 2019, because of concerns about the growing burden on the local electricity grid from server farms. 

7. Loyal Dutch IT professionals not being rewarded enough, survey shows

Dutch businesses may be risking their digital future by failing to reward their existing IT staff with sufficient pay rises. Demand for IT professionals is high, with almost all companies undergoing a digital transformation and needing the personnel to drive it. 

8. Dutch lecturer researches the person behind the cyber criminal

It is vital to gain insight into the motives, working methods and earning models of cyber criminals to better understand the effectiveness of security measures. Research into the human factor in cyber crime is still in its infancy, both in the Netherlands and internationally. 

9. Dutch companies lack knowledge of IoT’s benefits

Almost 90% of businesses in the Netherlands are barely aware of the competitive advantages the internet of things (IoT) can offer them. The figure is striking, given that last year, Vodafone’s IoT trends report for the Netherlands found that organisations that do embrace IoT achieve a significant revenue increase, cost reductions, more satisfied customers or more efficient business processes. 

10. Dutch government to make AI national priority

The Netherlands was a leading nation in the development of artificial intelligence (AI), but it’s losing momentum. To reignite the sector, public-private partnership AINED has formulated a first draft for a Dutch National AI strategy, a setup that will provide a concrete action plan to make AI a national priority.

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