Utilities: How to Successfully Implement Enterprise Information Management (EIM)
The first phrases that spring to mind when Enterprise Information Management (EIM) is mentioned usually are “time consuming” and “costly.” These can certainly be true if Enterprise Information Management isn’t done properly, but when implemented correctly EIM is invaluable to utilities.
Our earlier article, “System Integration: The Key to Smart Grid Success,” touched on the importance of understanding and knowing your data. In order to accomplish this, you must be prepared with the necessary tools to make it happen. Governance, policies, process and people are all linked to your overall company direction – and each is a vital element in ensuring EIM functions properly.
Narrow Your Focus
Utility companies fall short by attempting to tackle all elements of the business at once, making successful EIM implementation near impossible. The key is to focus on a specific area or a subset of items within the organization. Define what, when where, who and how EIM works for this sector. Consider the following during your initial approach to EIM:
- Focus on a specific business unit or line of business such as transmission, customer service, distribution, etc.
- Focus on a set of related projects, such as Smart Grid Distribution analytics.
- Focus on a single large project or program, for example a CIS replacement project, SCADA replacement project, work management replacement project, etc.
You want to attach EIM to an essential deliverable within the company which would affect a specific area; this builds interest and ensures the involvement of the required people needed to implement EIM. Once your parameters are established for the given project, you can begin the process again for the next project, program or business area.
Develop a Strategy
At Xtensible Solutions, we developed the Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Framework to help you define your objectives. Using the EIM Framework, we sit down with clients to determine where their focus should be and to help develop their strategy. Our framework can be broken down into major components and subcomponents in which we use to establish a strategy. Our major components include:
- EIM Vision and Strategy
- EIM Governance
- EIM Core Processes
- EIM Organization
- EIM Infrastructure
Map Out Responsibilities
How do you go about defining what to do in each area? The second part of our EIM Framework involves a 10-step process to help delegate responsibilities as part of creating your roadmap to a successful EIM strategy. Following these steps enables you to:
- Gain a clear understanding of what EIM is and what it is expected to accomplish within the organization.
- Establish a mission, vision and goals, all which identify key subcomponents of the EIM framework and give the strategy a focus.
- Understand the current situation (i.e. projects, programs, pain points, etc.) and relate those to the main EIM’s subcomponents.
- Focus development around the people, process and technology of key subcomponents in the EIM Framework while achieving your mission and vision.
- Develop a compressive roadmap with metrics to ensure success that is measureable.
With the steady increase of data availability and the exponential growth of “smart devices” within the electrical network, along with an increase in possibilities for micro-grids, residential power generation and storage it is vital to act now to prevent a nightmare of maintenance and unanswered questions within utility companies.
Interested in learning more about Enterprise Information Management? Speak to a member of the Xtensible team.
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