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Q&A: United Energy & Multinet Gas CIO, Alistair Legge

Q&A: United Energy & Multinet Gas CIO, Alistair Legge

Legge talks about smart meters, business transformation and why he loves Bang & Olfusen stereos

United Energy and Multinet Gas CIO, Alistair Legge.

United Energy and Multinet Gas CIO, Alistair Legge.

It has been a busy time for United Energy (UE) and Multinet Gas (MG) chief information officer, Alistair Legge, who joined the Melbourne electricity and gas distributor only seven months ago.

During that time period, Legge has spearheaded a $100 million IT transformation project designed to update UE & MG’s aging platforms and help UE with its digital smart meter and smart grid network rollout.

Legge discussed the IT transformation project with CIO Australia.

What does an average work day involve for you at UE and MG?

It involves a lot of face-to-face time with stakeholders across the organisation going through the strategies of this business transformation and the delivery issues.

What are some of the challenges you face in the role of CIO?

Everything is changing at once. The electricity industry is going through a significant change with technology such as smart meters and our business is also changing. While this happens, we still need to make sure we’re doing our day-to-day job.

What are some of the major projects you have been working on?

We’re currently replacing the UE and MG supervisory control and data acquisition [SCADA] platform which controls the electricity and gas networks. The SCADA replacement is being run as an internal project with some help from external vendors such as Logica.

We’ve also rolled out a UE customer portal called Energy Easy which is in trial at the moment. The portal allows customers to track their daily, weekly and seasonal electricity use on their computer, tablet or smartphone.

What are the biggest issues facing CIOs today?

Keeping business and technology decision making aligned and also dealing with more complex end-to-end environments. For example, we’re now linking consumers with our back-end technology through the smart meter program.

What is your favourite gadget?

My 12-year-old Bang & Olfusen stereo system. In this environment where some devices tend to last only 18 months, the stereo is still cutting edge in design and function.

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