Digital technologies enable us to improve our traditional business, as well as to tap completely new market spaces, helping to leverage the large amount of information available and to anticipate new trends.
Aware of this, the Enel Group has adopted a Strategic Plan for the 2017-2019 period in which digitalization is a fundamental pillar to promote further growth and efficiency, with an investment of €4.7 million in the period.
In the energy industry, Enel has set in motion the digital revolution by installing electronic meters already in 2001. Starting from 2017, the first generation meters will be replaced with the new meter 2.0, the second generation smart meter. This effort will involve 32 million Enel customers in Italy. Enel is the first electric utility in the world to launch a project like this on a large scale.
Things and people
Digitalization allows us to promote economic, environmental and social sustainability, through greater awareness in consumption, attention to vulnerable groups, access to energy, and the promotion of a more aware use of resources that is attentive to the environment.
From a technological point of view, in addition to the smart grid - smart grids for energy distribution - digital technologies have led to the development of the Internet of Things, the interconnection of devices via the web making the physical world an information network, which is increasingly penetrating the world of labour and everyday life. These tools can further improve the management and monitoring processes of plants, as in the case, for example, of the thermoelectric power plants of Torrevaldaliga Nord in Civitavecchia, Brindisi and Besós (Spain).
As regards relations with customers, the digital initiatives of Enel range from powerful computer tools, such as the Salesforce interface that simplifies the interaction with customer smartphones, to targeted accessibility projects such as the digital self-service kiosks that in Romania allow customers to view all the information they need even in areas where there is no Enel Point.
Through these initiatives, Enel’s digitalization effort addresses two of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals Sustainable Development Goals - SDG: SDG 9 (Innovation and infrastructure) and SDG 11 (Cities and sustainable communities).
Less paper, less emissions
Digitalization is also an instrument for supporting one of the main objectives of the Enel Group to protect the environment: the progressive reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere through the reduction of the number of pages printed, the development of telepresence systems and video conferencing, as well as the initiation of actions to reduce the idle hours of PC, laptops and monitors. The “Up Paper” project for the digitalization of supporting documents for the refund of expenses for service needs has made it possible to print approximately one million sheets less a year, in addition to reduced management time. In Italy, thanks to the web bill, the sheets printed for invoices were 57 million less than the year before. With an equivalent project called Online Billing, in Spain, the reduction amounted to about 21.6 million printed sheets. And the initiatives of this type are spreading also to other countries where the Enel Group is present, as in the case of the “Cero Papel” programme in Colombia.
"In the continuous search for economically sustainable optimization of processes, Enel is working on the realization of various initiatives aimed at digitalizing the activities based on the use of paper"
Seeding Energies - Sustainability Report 2016
Invest in information security
In a scenario in which the management of IT risks, which are continuously growing, has become a priority at global level, at Enel, cyber security is a fundamental element of the digital strategy.
An accurate assessment of the possible risks from the early stages of the design of applications, systems and processes, and the determination of countermeasures at global level are the foundations of the new model.
The results of this strategy have been immediate. In 2016 alone, the protection systems of the Enel Group have blocked approximately 600,000 incoming e-mails, whether malware or spam, 800 viruses and 700,000 attempts of malicious incoming connections, managed 150 computer security events of varying severity and reported more than 400 suspect Internet domains with illegal use of the Group brand and about 80 hostile attacks by cyber activists on average every day. About 300 activities have also been carried for the systematic review of the level of protection achieved by computer systems and applications.
The “ICT Security Awareness” programme continued in 2016 as well. It is a permanent and ongoing initiative at Group level that provides for both campaigns on general issues and specific initiatives related to specific risks with the purpose of creating and constantly promoting a culture of cyber security. The goal is to improve behaviour in response to threats and attacks that exploit the habits and expectations of users.
The year 2016 also saw the global campaign “Cyber Risks” addressed to all people working at Enel, divided into four thematic modules including the risks deriving from the ease of connection, the security of data and information, the use of secure technologies also outside the workplace and security in the use of mobile devices.
Appreciation and accolades
In 2016, within the framework of the “Governance Advisors Digital Award,” an accolade created by the consulting firm Governance Advisor for the effort made by Italian companies in the digital transformation process, Enel won first prize in the “Processes” category. This accolade follows the one obtained by Enel in 2016 for innovation: the WAIA (Wired Audi Innovation Award) in the “Big Company” company, that was awarded mainly for the support to renewable energies and to digitalization, thanks to the widespread dissemination of smart meters, remote monitoring and system connectivity.
"Enel is transforming its business model by leading an energy transition focused on digitalization, renewables and networks"
Seeding Energies - Sustainability Report 2016