Digitalisation of the core business

The new plan envisages investments of Euro 500 million in technological innovation and digital transformation. With this in mind, in 2020, Snam:

  • introduced a Digital Asset Model project, which aims to define a digital replica of Snam’s assets, making it possible to interpret the data collected by sensors in the field, in a context similar to the real one. This model will enable the adoption of new asset management logics, such as remote management, network set-up simulations, augmented and virtual reality support for operators, and reduce the risk of accidents and optimise activities in the field, leading to a reduction in emissions;
  • signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at integrating and exploiting the opportunities of Cloud and Edge Computing, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). The Cloud Foundation programme will lead to the transformation of Snam’s technical architectures through a hybrid and integrated model, called Hybrid Cloud, which will bring benefits such as greater resilience of services and business continuity, flexibility, greater speed in the activation of new services, scalability of technological infrastructures and acceleration of innovation;
  • completed the process of renewing videoconferencing systems in all the meeting rooms at the Campus and Territorial Offices, which has allowed, to date, total coverage of the meeting rooms in the area to be achieved with almost 200 areas equipped with the latest generation videoconferencing systems. Following completion o the digitalisation of spaces in the company was the installation of Surface HUB2 – Microsoft interactive whiteboards – in around 100 executive offices in early 2021;
  • the Gas Transport Network Asset Maintenance System (SMART GAS) project continued, a corporate initiative aimed at improving the effectiveness of technical and operational processes relating to asset maintenance activities. In particular, in October 2020, there was the go-live of the Smart LNG for the maintenance unit while the development continues of the project for the operation and prevention and protection service unit. In addition, the dematerialisation of the territorial units’ archives continued with the eDoc document system, which will be fully integrated into SMART GAS;
  • the Smartness Matrix project continued, arising from the need to analyse in a structured manner the requirements of data acquisition and management processes relating to the control and operation of transport, storage and regasification assets, to increase their levels of effectiveness and to identify the best technologies to support the entire remote control process;
  • studies continued on plant solutions for the construction of the SmartPipeline, with the identification and installation of new digital diagnostic and operating instrumentation aimed at making the gas transport network increasingly intelligent. This project has also been extended to the SmartPlant initiative, launched in 2020;
  • the IoT Foundation programme continued, aimed at modernising the technological components supporting the systems that monitor and control the Group’s network and plants in real time;
  • developed a first project, for control room support, based on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms.

Digital pandemic management

To cope with the pandemic emergency, Snam has implemented a series of measures to extend on a large scale and consolidate the new ways of working already introduced some time ago in the company, such as smartworking.

Smart working requires remote connectivity to company resources, secure technological solutions that guarantee said connectivity, and platforms for managing calls, exchanging messages and, above all, holding virtual meetings with multiple users. Of all these aspects, the widespread distribution of technological equipment to users was the most demanding.

In terms of numbers, 889 smartworking kits (monitor and keyboard) were distributed, 147 headsets, 178 PCs assigned/replaced, 479 tokens for remote access to the Snam network, 300 smartphones, 605 data SIM cards.

Managing cybersecurity to ensure IT security

The evolution of business, investments in digitalisation and the use of innovative solutions require constant attention to the aspects of cyber security, better known as cybersecurity. Snam’s approach to cybersecurity is integrated and based on a framework defined in accordance with the main standards on the subject: attention to regulatory obligations and reference standards is in fact constant, and the Company already complies with the provisions of the ISO/IEC 27001 (Information Security Management Systems) and ISO 22301 (Business Continuity Management Systems) standards.

In the cybersecurity system, all domains are managed from a single direction through a Cybersecurity Incident Management model applied by the Security Incident Response Team, which prevents, monitors and addresses timely remediation and escalation plans to counter the latest cyber threats that affect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. In 2020, although normal working practices changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Security Incident Response Team was able to operate without interruption, ensuring high levels of cyber security. This was possible thanks to the experience gained in the past years on remote working methods, which had led to risk analysis activities and the adoption of suitable security solutions to preserve the company’s interests also with this working solution.

The human factor also contributes to cybersecurity: this is why Snam promotes awareness-raising activities among its staff, for example through “White Phishing” campaigns, i.e. simulations of fraudulent emails and forwarding aimed at identifying the company’s most vulnerable areas. Cybersecurity is not limited to internal security but also involves customers and the supply chain. With the latter, in particular, Snam has established an Ethical and Integrity Pact that also covers the cyber issue, with particular regard to transparency on incidents and methods of defence in the event of any criticality.

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