Gazprom is a large natural gas company. Its headquarters are in the Cheryomushki District, South-Western Administrative Okrug, Moscow. Gazprom was created in 1989 when the Ministry of Gas Industry of the Soviet Union transformed itself into a corporation, keeping all its assets intact. The company was later privatised in part, but currently the Russian government holds most of the control in its hands.

In 2011, the company produced 513.2 billion cubic metres (18.12 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, amounting to 17% of worldwide gas production. In addition, Gazprom produced 32.3 million tons of crude oil and 12.1 million tons of gas condensate. Gazprom's activities accounted for 8% of Russia's gross domestic product in 2011.

The major part of Gazprom's production fields are located around the Gulf of Ob, Western Siberia, while the Yamal Peninsula is expected to become the company's main gas producing region in the future. Gazprom possesses the largest gas transport system in the world, with 158,200 kilometres of gas pipe lines.

IT leader: Rob Pringle, Director of Global IT.

In role since: January 2009.

Reporting line: Executive Director, Finance.

How often does the CIO meet with the CEO: Conversation probably once every couple of weeks on average. Mostly through company governance meetings at Executive Committee, Finance Committee etc.  Ad-hoc conversations on specific topics as required.

Board level seat: Board of Directors limited to CEO and MD only.  Executive Committee consists of MD, CEO, CFO plus four Commercial Executive Directors of one per business unit. I am a member of Operating Committee, a sub-committee of Executive Committee and member of Senior Leadership team that consists of approximately top 25 in the company.

IT budget: Financial metrics for GM&T are as follows. Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) in 2012 was £232 million and turnover in excess of £21 billion. To give you an idea of the rate of growth, IT Capital Expenditure has increased by a factor of about 10 since 2008, and total company headcount has increased by 400%.

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: Issue approximately 180 log-in accounts for IT activity, which represents approximately 20% of the workforce.

IT staff currently employed: Approximately 150 with some roles filled by contract staff.

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: Approximately 20% outsource, 80% in house.

IT management team and reporting structure: Eight direct reports:

  • Head of Business Analysis.
  • Head of Architecture.
  • Head of Programme Management.
  • Head of Operations.
  • Head of Commercial.
  • Head of IT, Global Retail.
  • IT Manager, Americas.
  • IT Manager, Asia.

Primary technology platforms at the organisation:

  • ERP platform: SAP.
  • Strategic Energy Trading Platform: Openlink EndurEnterprise Technology: Typically Microsoft stack.

Primary technology suppliers: Microsoft, SAP, OpenLink, Dell, NetApp. System Integrators: Baringa Partners, Planlogic.

Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: Renegotiation of Microsoft Enterprise Agreements and three year SAP Support contract.

Percentage of your applications/infrastructure run from the cloud: No business critical apps or infrastructure is cloud-based.

Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation:

  • New trading platform for European Gas.
  • SAP platform covering HR, Finance, Procurement, Treasury.
  • Integration of Trading and Finance platforms.
  • Trading platform for Liquefied Natural Gas.
  • Credit Risk Management Platform.
  • New European Gas Logistics and Operations platform.
  • Establishing new Swiss subsidiary including trading capabilities.

End to end transformation of the capability we have to support core energy trading activities.

Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: Yes the aim of investments is to enable further business growth, improve operational efficiency and enhance business controls.

Business transformation programme – beyond technology – that the CIO owns or is a major contributor to: Member of working group of Directors to review and recommend changes to internal corporate governance structure.

Part of workstream (led by CEO) to drive forward and embed performance management system for all staff.

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: Enable business growth, drive operational efficiency and enhance business controls.

Strategy in the use by employees of their own technology, use of mobiles and how social networking is impacting operations, customer experiences or the organisation: We have a proportion of knowledge workers in the organisation who are very technology savvy and have high expectations on what the IT group can deliver. The strategy is to align with the trend of the increasing consumerism of end user computing and not to fight it. Global unified communications platform has been deployed to enable collaboration (online meetings, instant messaging, desk-to-desk video conferencing). Mobile access to IT services is increasingly important, especially for business development activities. Tablet computing (Windows) has been supported since 2009, and there is now widespread use of iPads (personal and corporate) that are in use. New Intranet platform has been deployed enabling social compute features (eg Teamsites, Wiki etc) and internal global Group Chat facilities are available.

Strategy for dealing with shadow IT and BYOD including influence and engagement with executives, to place the right controls around employee choice: Specific policies in place to allow employees to connect personal mobile phones and tablets to the corporate infrastructure. Ensuring IT delivers the right IT services and has an appropriate governance and engagement model limits the growth of Shadow IT. Where it exists, there is good business rationale (eg quantitative analysts/modellers) and IT actively provides support to these groups.

Technologies are being considered to enable transformation: General approach is to be an early adopter of technologies where there is a clear business benefit and rationale.

Transformational inspiration sources:

  • By talking to other CIOs and understand their challenges.
  • Reading relevant research on Leadership / Management.
  • By the desire to continuously improve the way in which the organisation works.