Real Strategy Delivery
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Deregulation of utilities in the early 90s consolidated departments from different energy sectors. Ten years later utilties restructured with independent directorates as focus moved away from a pure ‘asset management’ towards an ‘asset within a utility’ emphasis. IS departments, practised in delivering small-scale, tactical solutions for short-term benefits, needed to move towards an ability to deliver strategic, core operational replacement systems. In doing so we were asked to provide a strategic but deliverable programme of change that made it possible for a major utility to manage IS as a strategic enabler, but not necessarily 'own' the entirety of IS.
The key principles of pragmatic change
We developed and delivered a strategy for change based on key principles:
  • Trusted client-supplier relationship (partnership working)
  • Transparency
  • Open book accounting
  • User-driven agenda
  • Commercial framework agreement
  • No longer possible to man-mark ergo process-based assurance required
  • An agreed code of conduct
Key roles and responsibilities within a new organisational restructuring offered a stable, transitory migration plan that took account and managed the potential loss of personnel across the following areas:
  • Business systems
  • Client-suppler relationships
  • Contract facilitation
  • Leadership
  • Informed procurement
  • Making technology work
  • Enterprise architecture
  • Vendor development
  • Contract monitoring
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The business was no longer willing to invest in IT improvement, had difficulty recruiting and retaining the right staff and had no desire to become a core IS provider. We developed a federated client-supplier solution clarified a joint-working model, an agreed process for IS delivery and success measures.

The target to reduce IS staff from several hundred to less than 20 was initially achieved within six months. The programme enabled £million operational cost savings as IS operations moved. Key IS management were retained to become the intelligent client.