National Grid is currently establishing a shared services function in the UK, which includes finance, HR and supply chain management. As part of that change it is taking a process centric view of its business and transforming all its end-to-end processes. It is also replacing its legacy back office systems with a single instance of SAP.

“We are focusing on as simple an implementation as possible,” says Andy Pearman, head of IT, Gas Distribution. “We have managed to establish very effective governance involving members of the company’s executive and this has helped enormously with making the ‘right’ decisions.”

The organisation also has just finished an infrastructure upgrade, which included updated communications, new XP desktops and changing its main sites to Voice over IP technology.

“We have invested a great deal in our IT processes over the past few years particularly for new project implementations. Through use of one way of working, single set of reports and KPIs, focused training and top down support we have been able to transform our new project delivery,” says Pearman.

Over the next 12 months National Grid will begin to bring its regions together. “We see lots of opportunity in sharing best practice and realising a shared IT infrastructure to bring a common IT experience across the whole business,” says Pearman. “A great deal of focus will go into developing a single set of technology standards, the appropriate governance and initiating the priority projects that balance both managing risk and delivering value.”