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Information systems

The Group's activities are managed through complex information systems that support its most important business processes, whether operational or commercial and administrative.

The activity carried out in the first semester of 2013 was characterised, at a group level, by continuity in the activities of integration, consolidation and applicational and infrastructural optimisation of the Group's various companies, defined on the basis of the changes in company structure that were implemented in the previous financial years.

With respect to the Group's business requirements, any inadequacy, possible unavailability, or failed upgrading in its information systems would represent a potential risk factor that the Group has mitigated by way of specific controls governed by the Information System Department.

The guidelines through which the Information Systems Department's interventions are developed are indicated in the Business Plan and in the Budget, in particular:

  • guaranteeing compliance with the sector's regulatory requisites;
  • supporting business;
  • guaranteeing process and system efficiency and improving service levels;
  • reducing risks in the area of technology and the security of the systems managed

 

Continuous and timely efforts continue in bringing the information systems into line with sector regulations, and the important process of updating the information systems to comply with regulatory obligations regarding the separation of distribution and sales processes (for companies operating in the electricity and gas sectors - "unbundling") also continues.

Furthermore, the process of functional, architectural and infrastructural evolution of the main systems serving the company's Business continues, with respect to which a consistent improvement in performance has been reached. New functionalities have been activated in support of business, among which functions that support activities of collection and disposal in the Environment area, a new Electricity and Fluids technical call centre, and new business intelligence tools intended to support business.

Interventions aimed at guaranteeing a continual increase in process efficiency also continued, concerning for example processes in reading management, and commercial processes.
Some of the most significant activities include those involved in important technology upgrades, to ensure that the Group's systems are updated according to the latest technical/functional levels available on the market, while keeping the impact on Business to a minimum.

The information systems ensured service continuity, implementing configurations in High availability (HA) for the main systems, minimising the impact due to new projects and fulfilling ordinary maintenance and system-development requests in accordance with agreed-upon priorities.

The Group implements specific controls in the area of information confidentiality and security, both through internal policies and using tools for segregated information accessing, as well as through specific contract agreements with any suppliers that may eventually need to access the information.
The Information System Department has dedicated a special team to preventing and monitoring information attacks on the Company's systems, and specific solutions have been adopted for information security management and control.
As a further safeguard for this specific set of risk problems, the Group periodically carries out vulnerability assessments.
With regard to infrastructures, the stabilisation and reinforcement of the data centre also continues.

Lastly, periodical internal audits were carried out, aimed at maintaining the ISO 9001 Quality Certification.