French-headquartered Alstom is a major international player in both power supply and transport (rail), claiming a global market share no less than 18 per cent in delivery of rail infrastructure. It also built the world’s largest luxury cruise liner, Queen Mary 2, and employs nearly 70,000 people in 70 countries.
The company says it is now seeing the benefits of a major restructuring of its IT services. In the past such services had been provided by mainly site-based, isolated IT departments “working to generally very good, but not always common processes”.
With an increasingly mobile workforce and an extremely fast changing business, this approach was not always appropriate. The decision was made to move to a new centrally managed operation, the Alstom Information Technology Centre, which provides standard services controlled via formal service catalogues and regular internal customer reviews.
New tools and technologies are now in place and the unit’s costs for the major services are reducing steadily as the company “pushes hard to align our delivery with the demands of our UK and Ireland businesses”, though the deployment has been global in reach. Key to the transformation is extensive commitment to the service management approach of ITIL, which the firm believes is “providing real benefits in terms of control, availability and quality of service”.
Alstom acknowledges this has been a “difficult transition” but is confident efficiencies will soon start to be seen.