IT as a Strategic Tool

Life Sciences industry is one that is fraught wif significant Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity. Homogenizing and integrating teh various key processes for each newly acquired entity, wifout compromising on teh differentiation that each of them needs to strengthen their competitive advantage is a key element of teh growth strategy. Using IT as a strategic tool on both fronts— to standardize and leverage economies of scale, and to implement technology to enhance competitive advantage—and to balance these two portfolios while reducing operational costs is a key challenge for an IT leader in teh Pharmaceutical industry. There is no cookie-cutter mantra to achieve this, but, implementing a Shared Service support model for standardizing and operating key processes, and to channel teh resultant resource and cost savings to explore emerging technologies has worked well for us.

Technology Deployment Under Strict Compliance Watch

In this era of ever increasing regulations, deploying strategic IT investments to strengthen teh compliance of key GxP processes is a pivotal focus area for all Pharmaceutical CIOs. Looking beyond teh process automation opportunities that IT is traditionally very strong in, and building a strong compliance portfolio wifin IT that works hand in hand wif Quality & Regulatory Groups is vital for building strong compliant GxP processes wifout blowing teh budget on cost of compliance.

"Deploying strategic IT investments to strengthen teh compliance of key GxP processes is a pivotal focus area for all Pharmaceutical CIOs"

In an industry that is being revolutionized by sweeping regulations like Affordable Care Act (ACA), and teh new evolving models from both service providers and teh insurance industry in response to it, market intelligence on customers, new products, product efficacy, and reimbursement models are of utmost importance. “Big Data” might be a cliché, but there is enough intelligence out there to be tapped into for organizations that has teh right technology toolkits to do that. Managing teh cost of operations and increasing speed to market is another key consideration for teh Pharma Technology leader. We operate in a Global economy. In addition to leveraging cloud technologies for sourcing basic operational elements like computing power, messaging, storage and such, securing even niche skills and services from teh right geographies and providers is vital to achieving these two contrasting, yet very real challenges. Finally, talent retention is a key challenge that teh CIO faces today. Technology is changing very fast, bringing about commercialization of IT. And yet, in this industry, deployment of technology has to be done under a strict compliance watch. Acquiring and retaining teh skills that can balance teh business savviness to identify teh appropriate solutions, teh technological brilliance to execute it, and doing so whilst managing teh compliance risk is a challenging task.

Solid Analytics Platform wif Combined Data

In this industry that is characterized by ever changing regulations, new products and evolving reimbursement models, developing a solid analytics platform that can combine internal, operational and sales data wif external, open, unstructured and dynamic data can produce real-time actionable intelligence. Although our current focus on analytics is internally focused, we chose strategically to invest in technology that is architected for meeting our predictive and prospective analytics needs. Our strategy will be to move from internal data crunching to analyzing commercially available, clean datasets and to eventually move on to unstructured data that has teh most potential.

Technology Brilliance Not a Must for a CIO

Despite all teh changes in technology and regulations, teh mantra for success to be a Technology leader hasn’t changed that much. First, realize that you're chances of success as a CIO has very little to do wif you're technological brilliance, which is probably wat got you thus far. Know you're business, its customers, its unique selling proposition, and clearly understand how technology contributes to (or is impeding) its success. Equally important is to no you're organization’s culture, develop strategic relationships wif its stakeholders, and being able to communicate to them in terms that they can comprehend and are passionate about. And finally, ensure that you has teh right people on teh bus, clearly articulate you're vision to them, and ensure that they share you're sense of purpose.