Working together for change: IT Lead Martijn’s mission

When Martijn Groen joined Rabobank 11 years ago, he was working with a six-person team on data solutions. Today that team is 350 colleagues strong and data has never been so important. Martijn spoke to us about his job as IT Lead, about the Global Data Platform, his role as an ambassador, and his vision for change. As he sees it, “we have to work together to create a better world.”

Global Data Platform

“As IT Lead, I work with my teams on the Global Data Platform. This is the platform used to gather, analyze, manage, and process all of Rabobank’s customer data. It makes it possible for different parties within the bank to exchange data rapidly and easily and helps us improve our services. I like the challenge of working on this with excellent, skilled colleagues, and encouraging them to deliver their very best.”

“The engineers on my teams are responsible for IT services and solutions, but their work involves much more than providing services. We value our Engineering Culture, which is highly employee-oriented. It helps colleagues discover what their talents and ambitions are, while exploring how Rabobank can help them achieve their goals and hone their talents. As IT Lead, I’m responsible for this process and I coach members of the team to reach their full potential. Cooperating this way leads to more innovative ideas and solutions.”

Discover our Engineering Culture

“Rabobank is a top IT company in the Netherlands with endless opportunities. This makes the work environment thrilling. However, the dynamic projects are not the only attraction for me. I work at Rabobank because it offers more than just the listed job duties. There’s scope for growth in all areas and the company encourages employees to contribute to its mission of making the world a better place.”

Growing a better world together

“When we talk about our mission, a lot of people wonder what we’re actually doing. For me, pursuing our mission is something I do outside of work. For example, I am also an ambassador at the Junior IoT in Alkmaar. We give children the opportunity to learn about technology. They learn soldering, programming, and experimenting. Every year we have a Robot Wars event, and the kids wage battles between the robots they built themselves.”

“The Junior IoT foundation came across my path when a colleague told me about it and asked if I wanted to get involved. One day I hopped on my bike and went to see what it was all about. It’s in Alkmaar after all, where I live. I saw it and thought, ‘hey, that’s cool.’ Eventually I arranged for the local Rabobank in Alkmaar to sponsor the foundation and we helped to professionalize it. The sponsoring has ended, but I still volunteer there. I get energy from it and I think it’s important that children learn to work with technology. That’s going to mean a lot to us in the future.”

Even my activities outside work add to my job satisfaction.
Martijn Groen

More than “working in IT”

“If you work at headquarters, Rabobank’s regional activities don’t always register on your radar. But if you take the time to have a chat with employees at a local Rabobank, you realize how much we really do to support regional initiatives. That’s how I discovered Artiance too, a center for arts and culture in Alkmaar.”

“During the corona lockdown, Artiance had to stop their music and dance lessons. I helped them explore the possibilities of a digital platform. Rabobank sponsored and led part of that transition. My work as an ambassador is my way of giving substance to Rabobank’s mission of having a positive social impact.”

Working together for change

“In my work I also think a lot about how we could do things better. We are in the middle of the process of transitioning to the cloud. The data centers are working overtime. So to save energy, we are exploring ways to improve the efficiency of our processes. We want to use state-of-the-art techniques to find smart solutions that work for us and keep the impact on the environment to a minimum.”

“We are not doing it alone, either. We are in close contact with Microsoft in Seattle. It’s great to see how well we can work with them; they take us seriously. I’m always pleased to see people working together for positive change.”

“Often, individuals can change things that they are directly involved with. We can achieve more through cooperation. I see it at work, when different colleagues manage to get a lot done together. But by working with the right outside parties, locally and internationally, we can achieve more and help each other improve.”