Thought Leader

Standardizing IT to Innovate for Growth

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Our organization is on a rapid growth path. Innovative products are being developed and new markets, especially new geographies like the west that have huge untapped opportunities, are being targeted as a part of the growth strategy. With regulatory requirements gaining prominence in the pharma sector, innovation is on high priority.

IT is expected to evolve to fuel the growth strategy. But the evolution must be gradual and not big bang. That’s the story in many organizations, who are unfolding their growth strategy in a rather gradual manner.

The overall culture in the organization is now transiting into ‘think global’ mode as we look at foraying into newer geographies with innovative products. And there are ample opportunities to innovate.

For us the biggest opportunity for IT is to support innovation led growth by standardising IT platform that scales business’s systemic capacity to handle complexity, build customized products and enhance speed to market. With addition of new products and geographies, there is a rise in complexity as it brings newer market contexts to deal with. And with many new ideas, the biggest imperative for success is reaching the market before others do and align with the needs of our pharma customers.

The task for IT is well cut out. The current focus is on setting the base of applications that can be easily replicated across businesses and geographies. The core application is matured, there are domain specific peripheral applications being rolled out and integrated with the core for smooth data flow and value chain visibility. PLM – being deployed. The specific domains being addressed are production, CRM, and customer service, each one of them are in the process of tight integration with the Core ERP.

Data standardization is happening as we gradually roll out the applications.

Gaps are being discovered and filled with automation and integration. For example, the customer servicing team needs visibility of manufacturing details of the products, which in turn needed data integration from production system to customer support system. Similar needs are being felt across the organizational value chain and a holistically integrated system is the vision for not so distant future.

But that’s not all. We are also conducting small pilots on emerging technologies like Internet of things so that they can be scaled up in future. The base of the integrated applications layer shall help the initiatives with optimal results.

From the infrastructure point of view, the direction is very clear. Gradually more and more infrastructure will transit into cloud, which will require a management framework for governance, speed and security. I believe the automation story will be application here too, making change faster amid growing complexity and multiplicity of technologies, often from different generations. A multi cloud or a hybrid cloud environment is a big possibility, which needs to be managed well.

So, in short, though we are gradually moving ahead with application integration, data standardisation, experimentation and infrastructure evolution, the speed will exponentially increase as a template gets developed. This will be highly organization specific and replicable across geographies and markets with the ability to absorb local customization needs.

IT can then truly support innovation and the growth strategy that the organization has identified for itself.

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