A Shift in Priorities
Posted on June 2018
Conventionally, the application of IT in each industry revolves around two separate areas. One is the automation of processes common to any business: management of finances, HR, material and technical supply, and electronic workflow. Another is the automation of production, logistics and other industry-specific processes. In the first area, the Russian energy industry is quite advanced, while operations in the second area have only begun to unfold.
The dissolution of RAO Unified Energy System of Russia in 2008 and the emergence of many private energy companies have led to a boom in the introduction of IT tools in the industry. At the time, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) concept reached the apex of its popularity. The power market turned into a battleground between the largest ERP vendors. Over the past 10 years, many ERP projects that got off the ground then developed into powerful IT systems. Most of the management processes were automated, including content management, to a large extent. However, the essence of the ERP approach, which involves planning the resources of an enterprise, has not been implemented in the vast majority of cases.
Notably, the vertical integration of applications remains an unsolved issue for many companies. The administrative «superstructure» makes broad use of advanced IT tools, whereas the production tier is largely based on 20 th century solutions. This is primarily due to the fact that the main production assets and communication systems have not changed since the 1970s, and in some cases even earlier.
There are three main segments in the power industry: generation, transportation/distribution and sales. This classification also determines the range of IT solutions used.
Infotech Group’s Director of Energy, Daniil Grankin, told ComNews (Standard magazine, No. 184) about the current environment in the industry and the outlook for its digital transformation.