Dutch Court System Rules in Favor of Real-Time Data

De Rechtspraak

Without insight into real-time data and performance metrics, the Judiciary of the Netherlands couldn’t effectively meet business needs for support, information and performance metrics.

Thanks to greater operational visibility and live analytics, the Dutch Court System delivers useful insights, more uptime and faster response times to critical events.

When passing down life-changing verdicts, judges need access to the right information at the right time.

That’s why De Rechtspraak, the Dutch judiciary, needed a reliable and responsive IT service to handle over a million cases per year that pass through its 11 district courts, four courts of appeal and one Supreme Court.

The IT teams must provide judges and lawyers with dependable access to court documents and systems while also delivering insights into court activities and team performance. Because the teams lacked visibility into system performance and relied on historical data, they struggled to meet these business needs and justify funding.

Data Driven Outcomes
300
unique users using more than 500 unique dashboards filled with real-time data
92%
more people now have access to vital business metrics and insights, including two dashboards that measure progress toward business goals and help secure funding
80%
more insight into IT components, 50% less time to resolve issues or outages, and 90% noise reduction on machine data metrics

Greater Uptime and Shorter Response Times Minimize Court Disruption

For the Dutch court system, technical glitches are more than an annoyance — they can impede justice. If a judge can’t access case documents in a timely manner, for instance, a court session must be postponed.

Before adopting Splunk technology, the IT teams lacked visibility into the performance of their data center and infrastructure of 16,000 workstations, 1,300 courtroom PCs, and desktop and mobile devices for 9,800 employees, including 2,500 judges. When outages occurred, it was hard to understand what went wrong and which team was responsible, meaning delays in restoring access.

Now the Data-to-Everything Platform provides teams with insight into real-time performance and availability, allowing them to anticipate and prevent outages that might leave case documents unavailable. When an outage does occur, teams use these insights to fix the underlying problems in a matter of hours, not days. “Through visibility with Splunk, we’re able to diagnose issues rapidly, allowing the continuity of the IT systems.” says Dennis Landman, site reliability engineer at De Rechtspraak.

As COVID-19 has required employees to shift to remote work, the court system’s IT teams have used real-time system performance to create a reliable work-from-home experience. Alerts from the Splunk platform immediately notify IT team members of problems with virtual workspaces and video conference calls, allowing them to respond quickly and restore productivity.

Splunk is very worthwhile, it allows us to focus on making strategic decisions, and that’s when changing mindset happens.
Erik Boerma,
Senior Judge at De Rechtspraak

Real-Time Data Brings Business Insights

De Rechtspraak relies on Splunk and other technologies to understand how its courts are functioning in real time. Previously, teams had to make do with historical data, which did not provide judges with visibility into current trends or needs. “One of the main things we always said is don’t think about documents and dossiers. Think about data,” says Erik Boerma, senior judge at De Rechtspraak.

Thanks to insights from Splunk, judges including Boerma are now using data to better understand and serve Dutch citizens. During the coronavirus pandemic, when a judge requested information on the number of bankruptcy cases coming through the courts, a team instantly provided a Splunk dashboard showing a breakdown of current cases. “The question was asked in the morning, and we could provide the answers in real time,” says Landman. “Previously, our business intelligence tools would have shown the numbers from January to March, which would not have shown the impact of COVID-19.”

We used to be deemed crisis managers, but now we’re seen as strategic business partners.
Dennis Landman,
Site Reliability Engineer, De Rechtspraak

IT as Business Partners, not Crisis Managers

Since adopting the Data-to-Everything Platform, De Rechtspraak’s IT teams play an integral role in planning for the organization’s future. Thanks to insights from Splunk, IT team members equip the rest of the business with vital metrics, such as how people use the website, to determine which services and IT should be upgraded for a better experience.

Moving forward, IT’s role at De Rechtspraak will only continue to expand. To meet a business goal of reducing critical incidents by 30%, for example, the teams are investigating the AI capabilities in Splunk Phantom to replace manual ticket creation with automatic incident notifications. Landman says, “We used to be deemed crisis managers, but now we’re seen as strategic business partners.”

We don’t view IT as IT anymore, it’s so integral to business. It's not even a business partner. IT is business."
— Erik Boerma, Senior Judge, De Rechtspraak
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