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Technology strengthens strategic processes for Intervial

Technology strengthens strategic processes for Intervial

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Juan B Arenas, CIO at Intervial Chile S.A., explains how the major provider of road infrastructure and management relies on technology for its most ambitious projects.

Juan B Arenas, CIO at Intervial Chile S.A

How is the technology arena key to Intervial’s innovation strategy for 2030?

The ISA2030 strategy considers digitalization as one of the main aspects of the period, aiming to safeguard corporate relevance. We identified which technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are prominent and established a work plan aligned with growth strategies, operational efficiency and customer experience with all sectors of the company to establish digitalization as one of the main capabilities to develop. This framework was defined at the end of 2016 and has been updated since then.

How relevant is it for the IT sector to drive a carbon-neutral initiative by the end of the decade?

It is critical to ensure efficiency while having a positive impact on the environment and at the same time providing business benefits. At ISA Intervial, there are three initiatives we are promoting: the migration of applications to the cloud, the use of collaboration tools and daily usage of critical information for workers.

Technological progress has facilitated hardware services to become software services, such as with telephony for example.

We have also introduced digital signature tools that have allowed us to streamline processes, break down resistance and significantly reduce paper consumption, positively impacting the environment.

Another initiative is the activation of operational leasing for the use of servers. We have been looking for suppliers and partners with state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly technology that have disposal processes in line with environmental management requirements.  

Finally, we are evaluating how to incorporate second-use technologies, giving new life to those that have already been discarded.

Which IT projects has ISA Intervial utilized to improve responsiveness to government, customers and suppliers?

We have implemented Robotic Process Automation (RPA), analytics, SD-WAN, hyper-convergent platforms, agile development methodologies and microservices-based development architecture that are required for the concession business that supports some of the technologies required by the Ministry of Public Works.

In this sense and concerned with users, we also added analytical solutions to predict traffic behavior at our toll plazas on critical dates. It is essential to enable traffic management plans during these periods.

Another crucial aspect is that we have reinforced our work in cybersecurity for the continuity of our services and the ecosystem we build with customers and suppliers.

Furthermore, we have advanced in Chilean legislation regarding data protection and privacy issues.

What impact has the Digital Transformation processes had on corporate clients and individuals?

The highway concession business has a slower change cycle than other industries due to regulation, but, despite this, we are optimistically seeing the incorporation of technology in new tenders and the conversion of concessions into operations.

The incorporation of electronic tolls in bidding processes and the evolution of some toll plazas are examples.

We also incorporated technologies that support the Building Information Modeling (BIM) methodology for managing highway assets from the construction phase.

In addition, highways will be an excellent platform for digital integration. They will enable the deployment of technologies such as 5G and Edge Computing, and much of these technologies will use, for example, the fiber optics placed on the highways to carry data that will enable the use of Artificial Intelligence in cars.

How have you addressed security risks to protect assets and infrastructure against cybercrime?

Facing risks is a constant effort. We fight cybercrime by educating our employees, making them part of our first line of defense, and driving people to behave safely when accessing information. We work from breach identification to risk analysis.

We also have safeguards and policies for cybersecurity cases, with the support of the audit team to analyze the company’s overall situation. Some of the technological projects we address are to protect our network perimeters, identity management, use of two-factor authentication, and application of pentesting to detect vulnerabilities, among other solutions.

What can we expect in the next few years in terms of IT management from a company like Intervial?

Highways will become an integration platform for services and people.

Services such as banking, insurance, health, telecommunications and tourism will interact digitally with users, vehicles and the environment. In this regard, we must think about our IT management to support the delivery and reception of data that generates value for those who pass through the highways.

What final message can you leave Latin American CIOs regarding the challenges and risks they face at work?

Most importantly, we must be clear that we cannot lose focus on service availability, cybersecurity and continuity plans. Moreover, we must work with talented teams to incorporate the changes our employees require to make the best use of new technologies for the benefit of people and the company.

It is necessary to strengthen the analysis of the impact of incorporating new technologies, including measures such as usability metrics, operational efficiency, consumption of functionalities, customer experience and rapid action in the face of obstacles that may arise in the processes due to technological changes.

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