Tech-Enabled Strategy Key to Life Science Industry Success

By November 5, 2012
OfflineDr. Alan S. Louie

Having just completed my most recent Notable News quarterly report (continuously for almost 6 years!), it was surprising how much social media contributed to innovation in Q3. We also hear regularly about the cloud, big data, and will soon hear more about mobility solutions in the industry. While a refined, transformational business strategy will be the fundamental key to success in the industry, it is becoming clearer that tech innovation will be greasing the skids during transition times and companies that fail to exploit emerging best practices will be slowed in their progress.

From a data and information perspective, it is obvious that the 4 pillars of tech innovation (IT clouds, big data/analytics, social media, and mobility) are at the core of IT and IM transformation for most, if not all, companies regardless of industry, size, or focus.   The virtualization of IT infrastructure, the ability to better exploit information under their umbrella, and the ability to connect more intimately (and in more real-time) with key stakeholders (both customers and employees) will become the new status quo.  Ubiquitous global access to the Internet is making these innovations readily accessible to those who need it, with little capital outlay required up front.  The size (and competitiveness) of the market opportunity have made acceptance and adoption cost effective for anyone willing to accept this new paradigm.  Only those with foundational insecurities with data and program management outside of their control are likely to maintain capabilities internally and even those organizations will exploit 4 pillar efforts including execution of non-core BPO and specific efforts that might include things like, for example, social media analytics to measure brand sentiment. 

With the industry's new found willingness to consider best practices from outside of the industry, we are seeing broad and rapid adoption of technological innovations that can deliver near term ROI.  For those areas where the ROI is unclear, adoption is markedly slower.  For life science R&D, I believe that on an industry maturity scale, listed from most mature to least, the 4 pillars are ordered: cloud, big data, social media, and mobility.  As a result, I expect to see social media generating the most buzz and news over the next several months, with the possible exception of genomics and big data. 

As always, I welcome comments and other thoughts on what people believe will significantly impact the industry in the coming year and beyond.


About the author

Dr. Alan S. Louie

Research DirectorIDC Health Insights

Dr. Alan Louie is Research Director at IDC Health Insights. In this role, he is spearheading the company’s research covering innovation and best practices in pharmaceutical R&D and personalized…


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