Organisation and IT systems

Organisational Development

During 2020, activities continued to support acquisitions and corporate rationalisations and to improve operations and competitiveness, in accordance with the Group's organisational model.
In this context, the structure of the Organisation has been redesigned, attributing to it all the activities of management and coordination of transversal projects and Change Management, and seeking greater synergies with the activities related to certified management systems.
In order to facilitate the achievement of the objectives of the Group and of the individual companies that are part of it, in line with the provisions of the Strategic Guidelines of the Business Plan, important transformation projects were launched or continued, developed together with an in-depth Change Management process; specifically:

  • a complex programme continued with the aim of redesigning the entire customer management and relation process, from the first contact to invoicing, entitled “Market Transformation Programme”;
  • in the Networks Business Unit, the project for the use of a new Asset Management system and an Asset and Work Force Management (AM-WFM) system was extended to the other companies belonging to Ireti; the "IrenWay" project continued, with the aim of creating a new and single technical-commercial information system for the management of the Gas and Electricity distribution service and the Integrated Water Cycle;
  • in the context of the Waste Management Business Unit, important progress was made on the “Just Iren” project, which provides for the creation of a new management, operational and IT model capable of optimising the management of the waste collection, sweeping and conferment process, facilitating also the interaction with Customers/Citizens and with local authorities to which the service is provided;
  • with regard to transversal projects, the "Digital Workplace" project was launched, aimed at allowing all Group employees to easily access information and collaborate safely and efficiently both in the office and remotely;
  • testing of the agile method continued as part of the "Digital Factory" program (consisting of several projects developed with the Business Units and some Central Departments) and of the lean method to support process streamlining and improve business performance;
  • The first phase of the project to define the model of corporate roles and the subsequent mapping of the entire Group organisation was also completed.

The beginning of the pandemic constituted a sort of stress test of the change paths that had been set in motion, forcing the acceleration of the spread of remote work and the general adoption of new working methods (such as, for example, the "departure from home" for the staff of the operating teams), based on the one hand on the empowerment and greater autonomy of people, and on the other on a different leadership system, a topic with respect to which an innovative training path for managers was launched.
Thanks to the foundations laid in advance both on an organisational and technological level and on a cultural level, and to the specific measures adopted to prevent and counter contagion taking into account the different operating situations that characterise the Group, notwithstanding some slowdowns during the lockdown months, all the organisational development programmes, as described above, continued successfully and no significant drops in productivity were noted.
It is clear that it is now necessary to consolidate the new manners of working that have been experimented, identifying new forms of monitoring activities and maximising their value for both people and companies, avoiding the risks of loss of relationships and cohesion that remote working puts at risk, and redesigning work spaces.


Information Technology

2020 saw the continuation and/or completion of important projects which are strategic for the Group, as presented below.
In general, besides the necessary adjustments, the computerisation and digitalisation plan provided for in the Business Plan is in the implementation stage, with a significant increase in investments and operating costs for sustaining the process of transformation, security, and development of the Group. In 2020 the incorporations/corporate mergers were also supported, proceeding to the integration or standardisation of the systems starting from the administrative‐management area.
In order to support this change and achieve the expected results, among other things, the Information Systems Function was reorganized, the Solution Market and Networks structures were strengthened, internal service levels were improved and numerous projects were launched.

At the level of transversal initiatives on the Infrastructure front, we note in particular projects related to:

  • Digital Workplace with the completion of the move of company mailboxes to the cloud and the start of the migration of company PCs to the new model office;
  • the extension of smart working in order to enable people to work remotely considering the health emergency;
  • the new enterprise wide area network in order to increase resilience and speed (ongoing).
  • IT/OT network segregation to increase IT security in compliance with new NIS regulations (in progress);
  • the unification of call center platforms for emergency response (Networks BU);
  • network virtualization with the implementation of a solution that increases enterprise security over infrastructure and enables operations automation;
  • raising the level of protection of servers and clients through the implementation of behavioural analysis tools that make it possible to recognise improper or malicious actions in addition to what is already detected by traditional antivirus (in progress).

With regard to the Corporate area, the main projects carried out in 2020 were:

  • The expansion of the functionality of the Performance and Recruiting system, Success Factor, through the adoption of a module for centralised personnel management;
  • The introduction of the Real Estate Platform for the digitalization of Property Management processes in the broader context of Facility, to be continued in 2021 with Building Maintenance & Construction;
  • Consolidation of the integration platform for Market Transformation projects and Iren Way as the new corporate communication bus.

Finally, numerous initiatives were carried out in the AFC area, including the introduction of VIM (Vendor Invoice Management) for the automatic reconciliation of supplier invoices and an application for Tax Framework Control.

With regard to the Energy BU, in 2020, the main areas that underwent significant improvements in ICT terms were:

  • the District Heating Area, through the introduction of a portal for the management and operation of substations, as well as technical and commercial quality management solutions in compliance with ARERA indications;
  • Thermoelectric Area, where a tool for document (technical) management was introduced for the Turbigo power plant.

With respect to the Market BU, several functional releases were made in 2020 in connection with the "Market Transformation" program and the migration of most electric power and natural gas customers to the new Customer Relationship Management and billing platforms. The year also saw the release of the new Iren You app for customers, on which the "PSD2" digital payment channels were enabled. The Transformation programme will continue in 2021 with the migration of business customers in the electricity and gas and water markets. In 2020, a new project was also launched that will lead to the release of the new Energy Trading & Risk Management and Forecasting Energy cloud platform, which will be able to manage and optimise Iren's portfolio.

With regard to the Networks BU, the release of the new Asset and Work Force Management (WFM) system was completed also for the electric power distribution business, thus completing the program implemented for the different business lines. The activities related to the "Iren Way" project continued, aimed at revising and standardising the processes and information systems supporting the technical-commercial activities of network management; at the beginning of October, the first release for the GAS stream occurred; the activities related to the EE and Water streams continue.
In November 2020, the activities related to the PMS2 project (smart meter 2G EE) were started, whose release is expected in November 2021, in conjunction with the release of Iren Way's EE stream. Finally, the "GeoIren" project concerning the unification of cartography was released in early November 2020.

For the Waste Management BU the activities linked to the “Just Iren” programme continued. This programme provides for the complete redesign of the application map starting from the sector of collection and sweeping and of the activities related to the relationship with Municipalities and citizens. In May 2020, functionality for AMIAT's environmental services and weight management was released. On the other hand, the activities for the release of Just Iren for Iren Ambiente continue.
During 2020, the systemic integrations into Iren Ambiente of the companies Ferrania and CMT were also completed. The integration of UNIECO and I.Blu is underway.

Two main initiatives were carried out in the ICT Governance area:

  • IT Iren Now, completed in December, relating to the complete revision and digitalization of IT Service management processes on the Service Now platform, with the aim to:
    • rationalise and accelerate user support and service management processes;
    • facilitate the request for IT assistance;
    • gain greater control over the ICT architecture, thanks to the complete visibility of the infrastructure and the relationships between its various components;
    • manage the integrity of the End to End service, given the growing demand for ICT services that are always available and flexible to frequent changes.
  • ISO 27001: in July 2020, the project for UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification was completed, concerning "Provision of ICT services (application and infrastructure design, maintenance of application and infrastructure systems, management of supporting assets) provided to Iren S.p.A.", obtaining the relative certificate; in June 2020, the project was also started for the extension of the certification scope to other Group companies.

2020 also saw a series of project initiatives aimed at raising the level of security against cyber events and threats; in addition to the actions undertaken in the area of 27001 certification, the most significant are:

  • Segregation of authentication systems to the enterprise network domain;
  • Adoption of a Threat Intelligence platform for cyber threat analysis;
  • Implementation of an Endpoint Detection and Response platform for workstations;
  • Introduction of a network traffic analysis tool to detect possible malicious actions (in progress);
  • Introduction of dual factor authentication for system access (in progress);
  • Adoption of a tool for the management of privileged users (in progress).