The Hague Municipality introduces a 1.5M IT Dashboard to support a safe return to work

28 July 2020
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Many of the employees at The Hague Municipality work from home, and will continue to do so for the time being. However, for those colleagues who do work in the office, it must a safe environment. The municipality has therefore adapted its office locations to facilitate working at a distance of 1.5 meters. It has also marked workplaces as 'permitted' or 'not permitted'. In this way, the municipality knows if employees can keep their distance at their workplace, and are therefore using a 'safe' workplace. Using an advanced dashboard, a central record is kept to prevent too many people from being in the office, and adjustments can be made where necessary.

 

The Control Room

A dashboard was developed in the so-called 'Control Room' of the Municipality. It was developed in collaboration with IT service provider Ymor, which is part of Sentia, a specialist in the management of application performance and IT operations. The control room forms a central location within the municipality, where all relevant IT monitoring information is collected. This ensures that every element of the IT landscape is represented. The same information is now visible to all IT managers, who can switch or adjust quickly where needed. The control room has come to symbolize the qualitative improvements that have been made. In fact, it’s often visited by fellow municipalities as a source of inspiration.

 

Real-time occupancy

The new dashboard shows, in real time, where fixed workstations are in use. It shows the occupancy per location, service and floor. At any time of the day, the exact number of active workstations and their location is visible. The dashboard informs the security control room when a particular location is at risk of becoming too busy, allowing personnel to take any necessary measures. The 1.5m steering committee and the Municipal Management Team of The Hague Municipality receive a weekly report. Based on this report, they can decide whether to let more employees work in the office.

 

The occupancy rate of a location is key. This is calculated based on the number of 'allowed' workstations. If, for example, a location has 1350 workstations marked as 'safe', and 850 computers have been started, that represents a 63% occupancy rate. 100% occupancy means that all 'safe' workstations are active and no more employees can be safely accommodated. In addition, the municipality can track whether employees are working at 'unauthorized' workstations.

 

A snapshot from the dashboard:

  • The occupancy rate per building (top row)
  • The number of active computers per building (middle left)
  • Specific data per floor (in this case Leyweg, center right)
  • Which 'unauthorized' workstations are active and their location (bottom)
  • Use before Buy
  • The control room has various solutions for closely monitoring the stability and performance of IT components. Think of monitoring the digital end-user experience, the performance of applications and workstations, but also the use of machine learning to prevent imminent incidents. The monitoring information is analysed and visualized with help from the Splunk data platform. As tooling was already in place for the workstations (Nexthink) and for data collection, the dashboard could be set up quickly.

"The starting point was to set up the dashboard as simply as possible, without requiring expensive sensors to track movements. An approach was selected whereby if someone logs into a fixed workstation, we know for certain that someone is in the building. So, by monitoring the number of active workstations, we know how many people are present. The system only looks at whether a workstation is active, not who is active, so employee and data privacy are not compromised." says Helge Kooistra, 1.5m Project Manager for The Hague Municipality.

In short, the 1.5m dashboard gives The Hague Municipality a grip on people’s safe return to the office.

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