COWI is a leading consulting firm that works with engineering, economics and environmental science across the globe. The 6200 staff are involved in some of the most exciting projects in Denmark, including the City Circle Metro line, electrification of the Danish railway network, more light rail networks throughout Denmark, the Green Lighthouse project in Copenhagen, the Storstrøms Bridge, climate adaptation at both state and local government levels, and much more.
In 2012, the COWI management team presented a new business strategy, known as Powerhouse 2015. As an extension of this, the COWI Group CIO, Claus Hagen Nielsen, wanted to develop a business-oriented IT strategy with close links to the overall Powerhouse 2015 framework. One of the key aims was to support a vision for the Group IT capabilities as an actual business partner, with a big emphasis on innovation combined with a strong end-user focus.
NO MORE EASY SUCCESSES FOR IT
COWI IT had already outsourced its business-critical platforms, and had established an IT sourcing centre in Lithuania. IT costs had been brought in line with comparable companies. This meant there were no more “easy” solutions or obvious measures available
Working with COWI IT management, KRING identified the areas that would be crucial for implementing the Powerhouse 2015 business strategy. KRING then analysed the parameters on which COWI IT capabilities would have to deliver in order to ensure the necessary business anchoring. A new mission and vision were formulated, and seven strategic themes relating to IT were identified. The result was a communicable, business-oriented IT strategy with a strong focus on both innovation and the end-user customer. All the work was rooted in the KRING New Practice approach.
KRING helped subsequently to establish a new governance model for the entire COWI Group, which included all internal change initiatives – regardless of the level of technology content. Part of the project involved preparation of roles and responsibilities, processes and templates, as well as the associated communication materials.
KRING has also worked closely with COWI on setting up an “Acquisition Cookbook” laying out strategic considerations pertinent to M&As, from an IT perspective. KRING also helped with the strategic IT communication in COWI. Furthermore, KRING advised on how COWI could benefit from establishing clear roles and processes around strategic, technology-driven innovation.
“In my long career, I have never experienced a consultancy operation with such a level of competency, and which has created value in such a short time. My management team and I can provide KRING with the warmest recommendations.”
Claus Hagen Nielsen, Group CIO, COWI