DICTU - Ministry Economic Affairs/Agriculture

Higher quality and lower costs through focus on user experience

DICTU - Ministry Economic Affairs/Agriculture
DICTU is one of the largest ICT service providers within the Dutch government and supports the core processes of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality (LNV). By focusing on user experience, the quality of ICT services has consistently improved in recent years. Division manager Bart Gottemaker explains how DICTU achieves this and what it delivers in concrete terms.

Improvement cycle

For many years, we have been measuring customer satisfaction with our IT services. Since we started taking it seriously, the overall satisfaction rating has increased from a modest five or six to nearly an eight. Mapping the user experience is an ongoing process. We have established an organization that utilizes the results in a continuous improvement cycle. Dissatisfied end users are systematically followed up with to identify areas where we can and should do better.


Higher customer satisfaction translates into higher service quality, both directly and indirectly leading to lower costs. Achieving high customer satisfaction requires better and faster processes, which result in cost savings. In addition, the entire organization functions better, preventing many indirect costs that would otherwise be incurred. The number of escalations is a good illustration of this improvement; they have significantly decreased from an average of 10 escalations per week to barely 1 or 2 per month. This saves a significant amount of time, effort, frustration, and money.

Additionally, the invaluable contribution of our Know Why service cannot be overlooked. Know Why takes care of the methods used to implement the philosophy of end-user satisfaction, as well as the collection of all experiences. Through the research setup, we receive continuous feedback on all IT services.

Comprehensive scope of service

We have a complete picture of the entire range of IT services. We measure overall satisfaction but also specifically assess the experience with different business applications, the digital workplace, and the service desk. Some aspects, such as infrastructure, are less suited for direct feedback from end users but are indirectly reflected in the rating of applications or services. In this way, we cover the entire spectrum of our ICT service provision.

Combination with operational data

We have a multidisciplinary team that examines the hard data (availability, SLAs) in conjunction with the "soft" data. These figures are combined into reports for our clients and DICTU's management, including analyses and recommendations for management. The combination of these data sources provides significant insights and increases the adoption rate of "IT Experience" at every level of the organization. Ultimately, it is a way of working, a vision, mission, and strategy that we have united. It is about fostering a mindset throughout the organization that emphasizes the end user and customer focus to improve our service delivery, with everyone at DICTU playing a role in achieving this.

Maximizing the potential of data

Bart estimates that DICTU utilizes 70% to 80% of the potential of the collected feedback. "The missing part is mainly within the software teams. We have between 60 and 70 software teams for business applications. These teams can generate more added value. We receive good feedback from end users about these business applications. By collaborating with the customer's functional management, we can significantly improve effectiveness. That's what we're going to work on."

Ambitions and the near future

Ultimately, it's all about experience and perception. From our end users, but also from our clients. In the future, we may link all performance agreements to these KPIs. However, as an organization, we still have a way to go before reaching that point. Letting go of all SLAs is currently a step too far. It is, among other things, a cultural and habituation issue. We quantify the experience and discuss with our clients how we can define the deliverables based on these metrics, shifting the focus from service levels to experience levels.

There is also work to be done from our side to achieve this ambition. We have recently launched a project to assess the satisfaction of our clients with our services and processes. In this way, we add a new dimension to the overall picture and contribute to building trust by examining the service delivery from multiple perspectives, including the specific perspectives that may be less important to end users but matter to our clients.

DICTU is one of the largest ICT service providers within the Dutch government. DICTU handles the ICT services for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality (LNV), including all their executive organizations such as the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. DICTU stands for 'Dienst ICT Uitvoering' (ICT Execution Service).

Customer stories

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