Business Challenge

With over 8,000 miles of roads across Iceland to manage, IRCA wanted to help its workforce access quality and compliance information wherever and wherever they need it.

Transformation

IRCA’s employees can now view quality management information via mobile devices, using a Cloud Compliance and Quality (CCQ) solution from Origo, which is built and hosted in the IBM® Cloud™.

Results

Delivers

better value for public funding by increasing productivity for field-workers

Reduces

risk of procedural errors, helping to keep employees, roads and drivers safe

Eliminates

hours of IT maintenance work, helping IRCA focus on its core mission

Business challenge story

Working in an unpredictable climate

There’s an old joke: if you don’t like the weather in Iceland, just wait a minute: it will soon change. In the winter, however, the erratic climate is no laughing matter, especially for drivers on the country’s 8,000-mile road network.

Viktor Steinarsson, Director of Information Technology at the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA), explains: “The weather can go from clear skies to a blizzard in no time at all. Most Icelanders are used to it, but it’s easy for tourists to underestimate the risks and find themselves stuck on the roads. As tourism in Iceland is growing year on year, we need to do everything we can to keep visitors safe.”

IRCA is responsible for the planning, design, construction and management of the country’s roads. In summer, most of its workforce are occupied overseeing maintenance and construction projects, while in winter, the focus shifts to keeping the roads open in snowy and icy weather, and issuing road closure alerts and weather warnings to keep drivers informed.

To fulfil these responsibilities, IRCA adheres to a strict set of quality management policies, which ensure that personnel work safely, roads are inspected regularly, and maintenance is carried out consistently. To make the most of its resources, IRCA wanted to implement a system that would make it easier for quality management teams to update and share information about working procedures, and for field-workers to access this data outside the office—while minimizing the cost and complexity of IT management.

Our work with Origo and IBM is helping us keep the road network open for drivers, while keeping our employees safe.

—Viktor Steinarsson, Director of Information Technology, the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration

Transformation story

Embracing cloud-based quality management

IRCA transformed knowledge-sharing by deploying a new Cloud Compliance and Quality (CCQ) solution from IBM Platinum Business Partner Origo. CCQ is delivered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, and is developed and hosted in the IBM Cloud.

“Origo has been our main technology provider for the past few years, so they know us and our systems well,” says Steinarsson. “We knew that we wanted a web-based quality management tool to save us the cost and effort of deploying software to all our devices. When the Origo team explained that they were building CCQ in the IBM Cloud, we were excited by the prospect.”

In just a couple of weeks, Origo created a proof of concept version of the CCQ application, and soon adapted it for production use. IRCA was able to put its first CCQ module into production just five months later.

Steinarsson comments: “Initially we were skeptical that such a sophisticated solution could be built in so short a time, but the Origo team were very confident in the speed of development that they could achieve with the IBM Cloud.”

CCQ is written in JavaScript, with Node.js on the back-end and Angular.js on the front-end. It runs in an IBM Cloud Foundry environment, and uses IBM Compose for MongoDB to store IRCA’s quality management data.

Hilmar Örn Jónasson, Scrum Master at Origo, says: “IBM Cloud Foundry enables continuous delivery, so we can provide updates to users with no downtime, while we benefit from simple deployment and management. The IBM Cloud lets us scale our applications effortlessly, with total confidence that the infrastructure will adjust automatically as our clients’ needs evolve.”

He adds: “IBM Compose for MongoDB is great for agile development. Unlike a traditional database, you don’t have to decide on your schema up-front, so it’s ideal for rapid prototyping—and since most of IRCA’s data is not highly relational, it’s well-suited to a NoSQL document store. Better still, because the IBM Compose team handles all the hosting, updating and scaling concerns, our developers don’t need to worry about database administration, so they can concentrate on building new features for IRCA and other clients quickly.”

The Origo CCQ solution saves us a lot of time. Whatever issues arise, our employees can look up the information they need in a matter of seconds. They can be more efficient and accurate, which translates into greater value for taxpayers’ money.

—Viktor Steinarsson, Director of Information Technology, the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration

Results story

Ready for anything

With CCQ hosted in the IBM Cloud, IRCA has a central store for all its process documentation, with improved version control and monitoring to help it keep its working procedures aligned with the latest legal requirements and best practices.

Employees in the field can view information using smartphones or tablets via a user-friendly web interface. Each user can personalize the CCQ dashboard for themselves, putting the documents that they need most regularly at their fingertips.

Steinarsson resumes: “The Origo CCQ solution saves us a lot of time. Before, when someone was heading out to work on a project, they had to think about what documents they would need beforehand, and print them out. If they were working 200 kilometers from the office and they didn’t have right information with them, that was a problem! Today, whatever issues arise, they can look up the information they need in a matter of seconds. They can be more efficient and accurate, which translates into greater value for taxpayers’ money.”

By reducing the risk of errors, IRCA can make better use of its resources to provide an enhanced service to Iceland’s citizens and tourists. Steinarsson comments: “Our goal is that everyone can use Iceland’s roads safely. The CCQ solution is an essential part of making that happen.”

Because the solution is hosted in the IBM Cloud, the burden on IRCA’s in-house IT resources is minimal—infrastructure management, security and upgrades are simply no longer an operational concern. In addition, by providing a flexible, cost-efficient development platform, the IBM Cloud should also benefit IRCA by helping Origo enhance the CCQ application to meet future needs.

Steinarsson concludes: “Roads are the most critical part of Iceland’s transport infrastructure. Our work with Origo and IBM is helping us keep the road network open for drivers, while keeping our employees safe. We look forward to seeing where we can go with the CCQ solution next.”

About Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration

The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA) is responsible for approximately 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles) of roads in Iceland. Its remit includes planning, design, construction, maintenance and service of the entire road network, and it also manages ferry, harbor and lighthouse operations.

Solution components

Take the next step

Origo is a long-established and publicly listed Nordic IT services and solutions provider with offices in Iceland and Sweden. For over two decades it has assisted customers with technical leadership, through the supply of the best available technology, applications development, systems integration, facilities management and expert business process consultancy.

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