Our Digitalisation Strategy

Digitalisation and the better use of data are at the heart of our plans to reach our Net Zero targets while improving the services we provide and ensuring a just transition.

overview-iconDigitalisation Strategy Summary

Our ED2 plan is now available in entirety on the RIIO-ED2 BUSINESS PLAN pages of our website.

We've created this immersive website for you to explore the 6 pillars of our Digitalisation Strategy and associated projects. For the full version of our Digitalisation and Action plan, please click one of the documents below.

Our archived files can be consulted here.

 
 
 

The first half of 2022 has seen us launch our new Ways of Working programme, moving towards a more agile methodology. We have set up new agile tribes and squads covering our assets and customer services initiatives.

In 2022 we have delivered phase 2 of our ongoing GIS improvement programme. This RIIO-ED2 readiness programme has been established to ensure the current business processes and use of systems will cater for the expected increase in volumes of customer requests. New infrastructure has been built, a new method of desktop access been introduced, 6 web applications have been migrated, over 20 interfaces migrated, 15+ new reports introduced, an FME server implemented, ArcMap software upgraded to the latest version and a new reporting database has been built. We have also created our future GIS roadmap.

We continue to enhance our Energy Net Zero platform and have also kicked off our LV readiness programme demonstrating our commitment to providing access to a safe and reliable electricity network able to support our customer needs. We will manage the load increase of our network using a combination of traditional and new digital solutions to reduce costs for customers, and to drive towards a Net Zero future.

Customer Connections plays a key part in our strategy due to the expected increase of customer requests resulting from low carbon technologies (LCTs). Our connections agile squad has selected 8 specific areas of focus to align with our commitments, with the first 3 projects underway; enhanced self-service connections quotation tool, SAP process efficiencies for our internal teams, and we are also introducing a new graphical design tool to automate and streamline our current design processes.

From a customer services perspective, we have reviewed our systems estate with a view to rationalising our applications in line with our RIIO-ED2 submission. Work is underway on a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application, which seeks to provide a single, shared view of our customer enabling end-to-end journey management. This project also includes self-serve functionality for customers to check on their project status and receive more regular updates, to map, manage and improve critical stakeholder relationships and enable automation / trigger-based actions reducing the amount of manual and repetitive tasks

The introduction of new digital solutions will enable us to respond to the anticipated increase in customer contact to support their decarbonisation journey.

Our Evolving Digitalisation Strategy

Digitalisation and the better use of data will enable us to drive the modernisation and decarbonisation of our energy system. Digitalisation will improve the services provided to our customers and stakeholders while leaving no one behind, make our operations more efficient which will save customers money on their bills, and drive better engagement and opportunities for our people, all while working towards the UK's Net Zero target.

We have already implemented our Network Asset Management System (NAMS) which provides the backbone for our asset management and field operations. We have also established our business "Centre of Excellence" and "IT Digital Hub" which will work alongside our IT and Business Change teams to implement our Digitalisation Strategy.

Following engagement with customers and stakeholders we have developed 6 key pillars which will be our key areas of focus during the RIIO-ED2 regulatory cycle. As part of the ED2 planning, around 300 development opportunities and ideas have been identified, and have been developed into a series of initiatives under each strategic pillar. These initiatives consider both enhancements to current SPEN platforms as well as new technology and opportunities.

Our Evolving Data Strategy

Improving the Mastery of Our Data is one of the 6 key pillars of our Digitalisation Strategy. Our Data Strategy establishes the framework to ensure we carefully collect, manage, share, and extract maximum value from our data. Our vision is to put data at the heart of our operation, creating a solid, insightful base for our decision-making, operations, and performance improvement as we deliver our RIIO-2 ambitions. Good quality, reliable data will enable us to respond to the challenges of Net Zero, facilitate the connection of high volumes of low carbon technologies, and integrate solutions across the wider energy system.

We have already implemented our Data Landing Page, the Energy Data Hub, which has been created to house all data that SPEN currently shares openly in the public domain. There is a particular focus on making our data open within our strategy because we recognise the important role that it will play in enabling a flexible energy market.

Our Data Strategy is broken down into 6 critical data capabilities which we will need to invest in to support the delivery of our digital and data projects. These 6 key capabilities follow the good data management principles of Ofgem's Data Best Practice Guidance which underpin our digital journey.

Our IT Cyber Resilience Plan

ScottishPower and Iberdrola recognise that the security of its people, assets and data is vital to the continued success of these business functions, therefore investment in security is an ongoing priority. As part of our plans for RIIO-2 we have created an IT Cyber Resilience Plan which will help ensure the safety of the transmission and distribution networks. The confidential plan demonstrates how ongoing IT security measures aid in both preventing and minimising the impact of incidents on essential services.

Deliverability

Delivering a significant Digitalisation and Data transformation programme will impact our workforce, business and supply chain and we recognise the need to recruit new skills, train our current workforce, implement new ways of working and generate external partnerships to meet the challenges ahead. We have developed plans to support our transition and have already established our business "Centre of Excellence" and "IT Digital Hub" which will work alongside our IT and Business Change teams. A critical part of our Digitalisation & Data Strategy is the adoption of agile ways of working and we have developed a team of agile delivery professionals within the Digital Hub to bring new agile delivery methods into our organisation.

Our strategic principles are as follows:

  1. We will use Just transition principles to develop and grow our workforce for the future
  2. Grow our own core talent through multiple channels to be the modern workforce we need for our delivery plans
  3. Inclusive recruitment from the communities we serve to build a diverse workforce
  4. Attract new entrants into our industry through a wider range of channels and collaborative working
  5. Safeguard the health and wellbeing of our people and support their needs as an inclusive employer

monitoring-iconOptimised Network and Asset Management

Why we are doing it:

Digital technology will significantly increase the productivity of our field operations and support better decision making when planning the work needed on our network. It will play a key role in enabling us to navigate this transition and deliver on our commitments to lower our carbon footprint while maintaining a safe and reliable network and reducing the cost of the energy transition to the customer.

 

How we will do it:

  • Development of digital twins to enable better decision making (a digital twin is virtual representation of a physical object or process that simulates relevant aspects of behaviour to enable forecasting, scenario modelling and optimisation).
  • Deployment of advanced field technology such as wearables (i.e. smart technology that can be worn similar to a google glass).
  • Automation, fault location technology and predictive analytics to increase network resilience and accelerate our response to outages.
  • Digitalise our inspection regime using aerial LIDAR and drone footage image processing technology, using the lessons we learn during our RIIO-ED1 pilot project.
  • Optimise and automate our processes for capital project delivery, enabling us to deliver a higher volume of work more efficiently.
 

peak-loads-iconDeveloping Options to Manage Peak Loads

Why we are doing it:

The rise of distributed energy resources, and the electrification of transport and heat will result in a significant expansion of load on our low voltage network. We need to manage this load increase using a combination of traditional engineering and new digital solutions to reduce costs for customers and enable the low carbon transition.

 

How we will do it:

  • Deployment of advanced digital monitoring and control equipment on our low voltage network including 14,000 monitors at 50% of our local substations.
  • Development of 10 constraint management zones in SPD and 12 in SPM enabled by data and digital.
  • New technology to enable new choices for our customers 'behind the meter' to support the low carbon transition.
  • Digitalise our inspection regime using aerial LiDAR and drone footage image processing technology.
  • Projects in this pillar will begin in 2022.
 

mastery-iconImproving the Mastery of Our Data

Why we are doing it:

Digitalising the energy system and improving access to this growing, rich data landscape will unlock stakeholder benefits and accelerate the transition to net zero. Our data is an organisational asset, capable of improving our decision making, operations and service to customers. Sharing our data with external parties will lead to better whole system solutions and new, innovative ways of working.

Data can improve our decision making, operations and customer services. Sharing data with others will lead to better whole system solutions and innovative ways of working.

 

How we will do it:

  • We will introduce enhanced data governance across each of our business areas.
  • Deploy fully integrated reporting and analytics using a new big data platform.
  • Utilise enhanced data capture to maximise the value of our digital twins.
  • Implement solutions to comply with the principles from the Data Best Practice Guidance, enabling open data sharing.
 

business-models-iconSupport the Development of New Business Models and Markets

Why we are doing it:

Reaching Net Zero will require alternatives to traditional working practices such as network reinforcement. By adopting an open, collaborative approach across the energy ecosystem we will harness innovation to lower costs for customers, accelerate the low carbon transition and take steps on our journey towards becoming a DSO.

 

How we will do it:

  • Development of flexibility markets and solutions.
  • Active participation in cross industry initiatives to identify and develop whole system solutions.
  • Building partnerships with other participants in the ecosystem such as academia, third party organisations and innovators.
  • Sharing operational and market data with our customers, stakeholders and market participants through an online data portal.

customer-service-iconUsing Digital Technologies to Deliver Enhanced Customer Service

Why we are doing it:

Digitalisation and the better use of data present a significant opportunity for us to drive the modernisation and decarbonisation of our energy system. We will use new technology to provide full visibility of our customers’ decarbonisation journeys, help us to make our own operations more efficient, which in turn will save our customers money on their bills.

Digital technology can significantly improve customer service by providing more choice for our customers and by accelerating the delivery of our services. Moreover, integrated digital solutions are required to enable us to respond to the anticipated increase in customer contact as we support their decarbonisation journey. It also helps us to serve our most vulnerable customers, ensuring they are not left behind by the energy transition.

 

How we will do it:

  • We will build a single view of our customers and our interactions with them across different services.
  • Open new digital channels and develop self-service options for key customer journeys to give our customers more choice.
  • Implement a customer data portal, customer data line and building on our strong governance of our vulnerable customer data (PSR).
  • Develop a suite of digital tools capable of supporting the anticipated significant increase in the volume of connection enquiries.
  • Supplement our workforce with virtual support agents, taking care to ensure that all of our new services and channels are tailored for our vulnerable customer base.
  • Our digital customer service will be fully integrated with non-digital solutions, ensuring that the digitally disengaged are not left behind.
  • We will use technology such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual / augmented reality, robotic process automation, drones.

skills-iconInvesting in the Digital Skills of Our People

Why we are doing it:

Investing in our people will accelerate adoption of digital technology and enable our people to identify new, innovative ways of using digital technology. We will create highly skilled, future proof jobs in our local community. We will recognise the value that these skills bring to our organisation and provide exciting opportunities for our people to play their part in a modern digitalised energy system.

 

How we will do it:

  • Delivery of a cultural change programme so that our people recognise the importance of data and digital and the value it can unlock for our customers and our organisation.
  • Support our people in this transition by equipping them with the right digital skills.
  • Expand our graduate programme and recruitment policies to focus on digital talent.
  • Use digital technology such as gamification of training and knowledge-based AI assistants to enhance our learning and development programmes.
  • We have appointed a Business Transformation Director who will be responsible for building on our existing capabilities and transforming our business throught the use of Digitalisation and Data.

Key Focus Areas

 
 

Impacted Personas

 
 

What are we doing, and when are we doing it?

 
 

Get involved

 

Your feedback, insight and views are at the heart of all our future plans. We'd welcome your feedback on the steps we're taking to update and deliver our Digitalisation Strategy and Action Plan (DSAP). Your insight will be used to inform the development of our future plans.

Give us feedback

We would be delighted to discuss our Digitalisation Strategy and Action Plan including any projects, initiatives, timescales, and more with you, and look forward to receiving your queries. If you have any questions regarding any of our current or future projects please complete our feedback form.

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