The Australian energy sector is facing a series of challenges and opportunities; many of which are being driven by technological change across the electricity generation, supply and consumption segments. The number of informed customers who expect greater levels of service, value for money and transparency is growing rapidly. At the same time, structural changes in the regulatory environment are also adding a new level of challenge for energy distributors.
Our client, a leading electricity distribution company, requested our assistance to define an IT strategy which allowed them to maintain and improve their technology capability to serve their traditional business – as well as prepare them for the business uncertainty that will be caused by the faster moving changes mentioned above.
Our review assessed the current IT situation as well as future IT capabilities needed to respond to these challenges and opportunities. As a means of engaging staff throughout the organisation, rapid workshops and interviews were used. This involved team members from all areas of the business as well as the IT team. We undertook interviews with executive management, senior IT managers, SME interviews, and a series of workshops with a large cross section of participants.
Our approach allowed us to “crowd source” the information we needed quickly and effectively with minimal impact on the organisation. The highly inclusive process also created a greater awareness of IT’s role in building the company’s competitive capabilities to respond to the business challenges ahead.
Three future IT model alternative options were developed. These incorporated both traditional and emerging IT capabilities needed to support the traditional and newer faster moving aspects of the business. The chosen model created a more flexible IT approach which recognized the core business service needs within a regulated environment. In addition, the model also catered for faster moving and somewhat ‘discoverable’ aspects where creativity and innovation were key.
Our client has progressively transitioned to the new model through adopting the change roadmap developed with the IT strategy. A more business aligned IT model is in place and continues to mature. Value has become a key element of decision making for IT capability. This in turn has strengthened the IT / Business relationship and positioned the IT function to be a more dynamic business partner.