October 10, 2023

October 20, 2023

Defining a 5-year digital evolution journey for UK energy system operator

Supporting a Distribution Network Operator to craft a modern, future-proof IT and Digital estate to help them achieve long term digital transformation

Digital, Data & Technology


A Distribution Network Operator (DNO) embarked on a substantial five-year digital transformation initiative in a complex environment marked by regulatory intricacies, legacy IT systems, extensive operations, data governance challenges, and a diverse range of stakeholders. Addressing these complexities was vital for the success of the digital transformation and to position the DNO for a future defined by digital excellence.


In 2023, we supported a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) in developing a long term Digital Transformation to be implemented over 5 years. We deployed a team to support a newly appointed president in delivering a modernisation strategy for the IT and Digital estate in the context of a large-scale efficiency programme. This involved:

  1. Redesigned the IT and digital operating model: A comprehensive review of the IT and Digital Function, involving over 200 individuals, was conducted to identify gaps and limitations. Through interviews and work shadowing, clear recommendations were crafted around the design and leadership of the IT and Digital function. This process included portfolio office modernisation and improvements for request triaging.
  2. Reviewed and prioritised IT and digital projects: A review of more than 300 live projects was conducted through over 20 interviews and detailed documentation analysis. A prioritisation rubric was developed to assess these projects, considering their alignment with business and user needs. The final deliverable would recommend projects with the highest value and impact, directly related to business outcomes, user needs, and efficiency savings.
  3. Developed bespoke product ideas: Collaborative efforts led to the co-development of two innovative product concepts that aligned with new leadership’s efficiency and modernisation agenda. These proposals secured buy-in and sponsorship while working to leverage relevant funding approvals.


Our collaboration with the DNO led to the creation of forward-thinking product ideas, ensuring they were closely aligned with the efficiency and modernisation agenda of the DNO’s new leadership. Equally, our recommendations for project prioritisation helped the DNO to identify those with the highest potential to deliver value, aligning with business outcomes and user needs while achieving efficiency savings. Our work was instrumental in supporting the DNO’s digital evolution journey, putting them on a path to realise their digital potential and better navigate the complexities of their unique environment.


Photo by the author

Mahlet Yared

Head of Data Services

Photo by the author

Ryan Shea

Managing Director

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