Pharmaceutical | July 2018
Many of the pharma businesses we work with don’t have an in-house CIO, and as such we often find that the Board are not fully aware of the effectiveness of their IT. This always strikes me as strange because in any business the Board will have a clear handle on their sales figures, their productivity and their overheads, and yet the effectiveness of IT, which nowadays forms such a pivotal, and sometimes costly, part of any business, is often not measured at all.
As with any business KPI, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. And using technology effectively is paramount to success in today’s digital world.
So here are some questions to consider around your business’s IT:-
- Do you know what technology you have got and what value it adds to your business?
- How much does your IT cost and is it money well spent?
- How has effective deployment of technology improved your efficiency/productivity in the last 12 months?
- What new IT/technology do you plan to implement in the coming 12 months and what productivity/efficiency improvements will this yield?
- How much does it cost your business if your IT systems are down?
- How effectively do your backup and disaster recovery plans mitigate this risk?
- How do your IT systems, controls and policies facilitate regulatory compliance around GDPR, MHRA, HIPAA?
- How does your cyber security measure up against other companies? If the ICO were to investigate you today under GDPR, would they conclude that your cyber security measures were “appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk “, or would they consider that you weren’t doing all you should, and penalise you accordingly?
- How long would it take to fully and successfully recover your IT systems in the event of a failure or cyber-attack?
- How often do you measure your IT team/supplier’s ability to deliver on this (by carrying out a timed disaster recovery test)?
- How does your IT compare with that of other Pharma companies? Is it giving your firm a competitive advantage?
- How does your IT facilitate business growth? How difficult or easy does your IT make it to add a new office? To integrate IT systems as part of M&A activity? To share data within the supply chain?
- How does your IT attract and retain the best people – does it facilitate flexible working, is it easy to use, is it reliable?
- Do your IT systems maximise salesforce productivity? Or do your salesforce hide behind IT problems as an excuse for not meeting target?
Hopefully these questions go some way to illustrate that whether your business goals are around expanding, improving profitability, gaining advantage over competitors, improving productivity or making an acquisition, that making the right IT choices is pivotal to success.
And that starts with being able to measure the effectiveness of your IT.