Uniper CIO seizes on company split to move to cloud

When power company E.ON spun off its gas business as a new company, Uniper’s CIO started modernizing.

Uniper CIO seizes on company split to move to cloud
Uniper SE

Splitting a business — and its IT systems — in two is a challenge, but one that Damian Bunyan says he is lucky to have, as it makes it easier to argue the case for modernization.

He had been working as chief process officer for German power utility E.ON when it decided to reinvent itself as a renewable energy company specializing in smart grids. E.ON spun off its legacy activities in natural gas storage, trading and electricity generation as a new company, Uniper, of which he became CIO.

As such, Bunyan is responsible for delivering the IT systems used to monitor and maintain power plants, bill gas customers and support trading activities.

During discussions around the creation of the company, someone asked him how he thought the CIO role should be shaped. “I hadn’t realized it was an interview question,” he says so gave “a flippant answer”: In addition to IT, make the CIO responsible for part of the business so that they suffer like everybody else, but can also exploit the up-sides.

So now he’s also responsible for the enterprise reporting function, the billing function, and the back office for Uniper’s $100-billion-a-year energy trading activity.

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