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MTRC CIO charts transformation path

Chee-Sing Chan | Feb. 13, 2014
Being a consistent standard-bearer for world-class public transport systems, the MTR Corporation (MTR) is no stranger to awards. Almost all rail operators and city-wide transport networks cast envious looks at the MTR for its efficiency, quality service levels and sheer reliability to shift more than five million passengers daily with smooth precision and metronomic timing.

"Separating these roles will mean project managers do not get caught firefighting when outages occur and fall behind in their other responsibilities and projects," said Suen.

The establishment of a transformation team has also been critical to manage these changes as well as those coming up. The shift in structure, roles and mindset of the functional units within IT has required collaboration between the transformation team, the individual functional groups such as the BPMs and the company's HR leaders to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Other areas undergoing transformation is the MTR's IT infrastructure which is due for retendering this year and the vision is to create a dynamic IT-as-a-service model for its core infrastructure.

Again this will require changes not just at hardware level but also in the management and orchestration side which means changes for users, vendors and key partners. "The overall net effect of these changes will improve the overall effectiveness, efficiency and output of the IT operation," said Suen.

Mobility effect
According to Suen, the items that have made greatest impact in his view are the raft of mobile applications rolled out to customers and internal users. In total there were eight consumer mobile apps that have improved overall customer experience as well as winning various industry awards.

One of the most popular MTR mobile apps (MTR Mobile) won the 2013 APICTA Government & Public Sector Category — Merit Award.

In addition to the consumer mobile apps, MTR also implemented ten enterprise mobile apps for internal enterprise users. One of the enterprise mobile apps (Material Testing System) won the 2013 HK ICT Best Mobile Award (Mobile Enterprise Solution) Gold Award.

In the last two years the MTR has excelled in its Enterprise Knowledge Management and Enterprise Social Networking development in an effort to impart greater collaboration and dissemination of key information across the company.

Suen's desire to see the IT team explore and leverage the latest technologies has also been evident with the creation of the ITSD Centre of Excellence (iCoE) which comprises of six different teams. Each team is composed of members from different functional units within IT department and is responsible for understanding of the latest technology developments and looking into how to apply the technology to different business units for better business values to the users.


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