Tuesday 16 August 2016

Knowledge is Power for Pharma Bosses!

Many of the small and medium size pharmaceutical and life sciences companies I work with have no in-house CIO, and as such don't always have a full understanding of what IT systems they've got or what value, or indeed risk, those IT systems deliver to the business.

This lack of information can leave the Board in a precarious position, as they don't have the knowledge needed to make an informed business decision over the strategic use and direction of technology within their organisation. Whether you love or loathe technology, the reality is that IT is now a vital and integral part of every business challenge, and making empowered decisions about your strategic use of technology is critical to the ongoing success of your business.

With technology ever-changing, this is an area where no pharmaceutical or life sciences business can afford to stand still, without the risk of losing out to their competitors.

So I thought it would be useful to jot down a few pointers to make sure you have the information you need to make empowered decisions over the strategic use of technology in your organisation:-

* Do you know what technology you have got and what value it adds to your business?

* Do you know which technologies your competitors have deployed or are considering implementing and how that will impact on your competitiveness in the marketplace?

* Do your IT systems maximise Salesforce productivity? Are you making effective use of e-detailing and CRM solutions? How do your IT systems compare with the systems your competitors use? Do your salesforce hide behind IT problems as an excuse for not meeting target?

* In our highly regulated industry, are you confident that your IT system is fully compliant to HIPAA / MHRA / GxP standards?

* Are your current or future IT systems geared towards improving productivity and 100% overhead absorption?

* If you are involved in M&A activity, have you considered how easy/difficult, costly/cheap it will be to integrate the IT systems of the business you are acquiring with your own business? How will this impact on timescales and payback period on your investment?

* Do you know what new technologies are available in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences industry and which ones could add value to your business?

* Do you have a clear understanding of how future proof your IT systems are? If they have a limited lifespan (and let's face it, most things in IT do!), have you considered when you will replace them, and with what?

* Are your systems geared up to maximising business value when you come to execute your exit plan? (For more on this topic please see my Pharma Business Exit Planning blog)

Hopefully this goes some way to illustrate that whether your business goals are around expanding, gaining advantage over competitors, improving salesforce productivity, making an acquisition or exit planning, that making the right IT choices are integral to success.

And that all starts with having the right information.

If you would like to find out more about effective, strategic use of IT in Pharma, or you need information about your current IT system, then please do not hesitate to contact me on (01494) 444065 or email gary.swanwick@epoq-it.co.uk.

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