The spread of innovation

The digital revolution, the mass collaboration and the management of collective intelligence have created many new opportunities for the creation of services, improving the quality of life and creating shared values.

This process has also been driven by the widespread use of Internet version 2.0. 30% of companies in the EU used social media in 2013 and one third of these used these tools to exchange information and to share knowledge within the company.

This people-based “open” innovation is now an implicit element of the core Sustainable Development Goals, although it is an aspect that could benefit more from business experience, as underlined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development which, also for this reason, focuses on the topic of full employment in the pursuit of the global development goals.

Source: Eurostat, Social media - statistics on the use by enterprises, 2013.

eni’s investment in innovation starts with its investment in people. In addition to the creation and management of industrial know-how, made possible by the excellent skills and professionalism developed internally, eni has turned its attention to new methods of stimulating innovation, which draw on the idea of “open innovation”.

The ICT function is frequently among the first company functions to experiment with innovative work methods, as in the case of the eni STAR project.

STAR - Simplicity, Timeliness, Alignment and Resources - turned out to be a perfect mix of ingredients: in two years eleven project, called “work sites” were launched and completed, involving over one hundred people and extending across the entire professional ICT network in Italy and abroad. The projects highlight the company’s distinctive abilities with regard to innovation, with the development of end-to-end business models and processes, smart working (mobile office), and the sharing of experiences and knowledge in Italy and abroad through the company’s social network, Moka. Multimedia tools were also provided to enable more efficient communication.

eni’s ICT function wanted STAR to be a recognizable asset available throughout eni via an e-Book, as an example of a clear and repeatable project that has delivered important results in terms of motivating and involving people.

Based on the experience of around sixty people involved in innovation projects such as STAR, iTeam (technological innovation for a new way of working: the office of the future) Moka (the eni social network) and eniWave (IT services for mobile collaboration and communication) eni has decided to design a process that will make the creation of such innovative projects more systematic and continuous. The aim of the process is to allow all ICT personnel to participate in generating innovative ideas, sticking to the existing innovation management model while linking it to the company’s strategic objectives.