Andrew Bilecki's business transformation programme at UK Power Networks is an end-to-end IT refashioning to “deliver the business we all want”. And unusually, he's made it genuinely outcome-driven, with the systems integration partner contracted to deliver 150 business and regulatory targets, as well as business-engaged by putting minimal business disruption and customer satisfaction with the end product among the five key measures of success. When did you start your current role?August 2011. What is your reporting line? Chief executive officer. Do you meet with and discuss business strategy with the CEO every week? Yes, through weekly executive meetings plus transformation steering groups and one-to-ones. Are you a member of the board of directors? No. What other executive boards do you sit on? Executive committee. Does your organisation have a CDO? No. Our customer services directorate has a digital manager who is responsible for the front-end design of our web and social technologies; the information systems directorate is responsible for recommending technologies and their usage, agreeing design, implementation and support. What non-technology responsibilities do you have in the organisation? We manage the business change portfolio budget and delivery, and lead data management/architecture for the company. My department also has extensive OT responsibilities, significantly more than what I typically see in other companies. How many employees does your organisation have?5,000. What number of users does your department supply services to? 6,000. How do you ensure that you have a good understanding of your business and how your customers use your business's products?One of our organisation's leadership principles is to be visible. In practice this means all members of the executive team engaging with staff directly, regularly. I visit one of our operational business sites at least once a month and spend time with customers at the coalface understanding what they do, listening to what opportunities they see ahead and listening to what challenges they face. We spend time sharing our experiences at the executive committee to enable shared learnings, develop future plans and if needed facilitate rapid resolution to emerging problems. UK Power Networks technology strategy and agenda Is your organisation being disrupted by the internet, mobility or technology-oriented start-ups? Yes. Are you empowered by your organisation to disrupt from the inside? Yes. Describe a disruptive measure you’ve led or played a major part in? The IT team is supporting the business across a range of innovation projects, including:• first British trial of day-ahead electricity prices and one of the largest electric vehicle monitoring trials in the country• trialling how energy storage could be used to defer traditional network reinforcement• use of power electronics to enable deferral of reinforcement and facilitate the connection of low-carbon technologies and distributed generation in urban areas• increased participation in energy efficiency and 'time-of-use' tariffs by the fuel-poor• cheaper and faster integration of distributed generation electricity connections, such as wind and solar farms We are the first company in the world to integrate GE's Automation Power Restoration System (think self-healing – automated response to faults) into a live electrical system. UK Power Networks was a finalist in the BCS/Computing IT Industry Awards 2014 Business IT Innovation of the Year category for our work on the first online distribution generation mapping tool. Our online service offerings have also won multiple awards. What major transformation project has been recently completed or is under way at your organisation? We are half-way through our business transformation programme, an end-to-end transformation to “deliver the business we all want”. The programme has an employee proposition of “improving, simplifying and reducing the numerous processes and systems that you use on a daily basis so that it’s easier for you to do your job”. The scope of the programme is work management, asset management, customer service, new connections, supply chain, capital programme management, HR, finance and regulatory reporting. The programme is unusual in two ways: the first is that it is genuinely outcome-driven, with the systems integration partner contracted to deliver real business results in line with around 150 business and regulatory targets; the second is the delivery model, which ensures engagement from all directors, managers and staff through incentive and engagement mechanism – one of our five key measures of success is minimal business disruption, another is customer satisfaction with the end product. What impact will the above transformation have on your organisation? The programme is one of our main mechanisms to deliver our eight-year business plan to continue delivering a highly reliable, low-cost electricity network for our eight million customers, with high levels of customer satisfaction and an industry-leading health and safety record. Virtually all our staff and supply chain will be impacted by the programme, which introduces a suite of new business applications as well as mobility devices and tools. Specific target business outcomes of the programme include:• Connections for small services: fulfilling connection requests as and when the customer requires (including the possibility for next day, out of hours and seven days a week if required by the customer).• Asset planning: annual health index delivered within five percentage points of annual target health index (capex).• Capital programme: deliver an earned value (EV) of greater than 1 at a portfolio level in year and across the regulatory period.• Faults: all fault excavations to be reinstated within 24 hours for non-specialist surfaces (from jointing complete).• Human resources: modern self-service tools available across the organisation.• Regulation: regulatory reports can be generated efficiently, accurately and in a timely manner without manual intervention. How has your leadership style contributed to the outcomes of the transformation projectMy style is inclusive. We rely on a significant number of people from numerous organisations to deliver successfully, so embracing this is critical. I believe in being patient during design and impatient during delivery. I like to be challenging to both the requirements and to the team, giving significant responsibilities to help them develop. I spend a lot of my time supporting the team and the stakeholders to complement the challenge. The goal is simple: to enable the best possible solution to be delivered as expeditiously as possible. What key technologies do you consider enable transformation? A lot of our new/refreshed technologies are SAP-based. We'll be deploying Panasonic Toughpads and smartphones to our field workforce, which, along with MaaS360, will enable the introduction of a range of powerful home-grown and packaged mobile applications; an example is Sigma Seven's Geofield application. Our customers will have a Java-based web portal alongside our open source (Alfresco) as well as our telephony platform, delivered via Content Guru's multi-channel cloud communications platform integrated into SAP. Are you increasing the number of cloud applications or infrastructure in use at your organisation? Yes. What is your information and data analytics vision for the organisation? That the behaviour of our assets and our customers can be predicted. How is mobile and social networking impacting operations and customer experience? We have seen a huge growth in use of social media and our website over the last two years. With customers still being able to use their mobile phone during at least some of a power cut, we have found that the majority of our website traffic is now from mobile phones. We have been gradually evolving our web offering to better serve this demand. Twitter has become a channel of choice for a number of customers, putting our ability to respond with good customer information in the public eye. Responsiveness to this demand is a key part of our transformation programme, with technology pillars including tablets/smartphones for employees to provide updates from the field more easily, improvements to our customer website as well as a recently launched outages map to improve the customer offering, and a new CRM system to better manage customer information. Smart metering will, in time, have a huge impact on our business, enabling us to know precisely who has gone off power and when without any need for customer contact. We will be able to pass this information straight back to our staff in the call centre and field as well as use it to proactively notify customers of restoration progress. Describe your strategic vision towards shadow IT and BYOD. How do you influence and engage executives and employees around choice? The vision is to improve flexibility and choice while ensuring appropriate controls are in place. Our BYOD solution began as a response to customers wanting to send work material to their personal devices. My view was and remains that if it is a good idea, we should make it happen in the right way. We take the same approach to shadow IT. While procurement of all IT is centralised and tightly controlled, we encourage the increasingly tech-savvy business to take advantage of ever more user-friendly (cloud) technologies. We then focus on more technical matters such as integration, infrastructure and resilience and the data model. An approach that encourages things out of the shadows is an easy one to engage with. What strategic technology deals have been struck and with whom? TCS for applications management. A number of strategic deals were also set up at the start of transformation and remain in implementation. Who are your main suppliers?GE, TCS, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere, CGI, Capgemini, Enzen, SAP. UK Power Networks IT security and budget Has your organisation detected a cyber intrusion in the last 12 months?No. Has cyber-security risen up your management agenda?Yes. Does your organisation understand the potential cyber-security threats it faces?Yes. Has this led to an increase in your security budget? No. What is the IT budget? We'll spend about £40m maintaining and improving the corporate IT estate. The IT expenditure for our transformation programme, smart metering, innovation projects and OT expenditure will be on top of this. How much is the IT operational spend compared to the revenue as a percentage?2%. What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year? • Deliver transformation programme• Deliver smart meter readiness to government/industry timetable• Deliver IT operational efficiency programme• Improve internal customer satisfaction• Improve employee engagement• Meet/beat financial targets Are you finding it difficult to recruit the talent you need to drive transformation? Yes. Has recruitment and retention risen up your agenda as a CIO? Yes. Are you looking for recruits in the EU to fill the skills shortage you have? No. Does your IT organisation operate an apprenticeship scheme?Yes. UK Power Networks technology department How would you describe your leadership style?Inclusive, challenging, sometimes impatient (see earlier), committed. I am a big believer in having a plan – even if it doesn't last very long – and extremely customer-focused; IT only exists because the business does. Explain how you’ve supported and developed your senior leadership team to support your overall objectives and visionMy team and I set out our strategic plans and goals together, so we are aligned from the outset. We have departmental measures of success that we share and are incentivised to deliver as a team. Individual objectives are set and are appropriately challenging, and individuals are empowered to deliver. We regularly review progress as well as our strategic plans. I set out to lead from the front as best I can, to set clear direction as needed, to always be available to them, to encourage the growth of their internal and external networks, and to encourage them to recognise and celebrate their own success. The spirit of increased recognition, has seen them win enterprise project of the year at the TechWorld Awards 2014, and get to the finals of the IT project of the year at the Utility Week Achievement Awards 2014, and IT security manager of the year and IT project team of the year BCS/Computing IT Industry Awards 2014. How many employees are in your IT team? Just under 100 including non-technology scope. What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff? About 30% in-house. Does your team include key skilled workers from the EU? No.