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Improving patient care and the quality of service has always been the driving purpose for every life science company. In a climate of increasing margin pressures, new competitors, challenging regulatory requirements and decreasing reimbursements, today’s challenges look similar to those of the recent past, but the volume of challenges now emerges at hyper-speed.

I propose that the next 5 years will look very different than the past 10 for life science firms. The key reason is the mainstreaming of intelligent technologies into a new framework: the intelligent enterprise. AI, Machine Learning, IoT, and Advanced Analytics have fully arrived on the scene and taking their rightful places defining how work gets done – embedded everywhere.

The Evolution

Let’s glance backwards to understand how we arrived at this moment. 1960’s-80’s were the era of Industrial Automation, when mainframe and PCs changed the workplace and started to gain adoption. Life science companies experienced operational improvements in financial, supply chain, manufacturing areas. Business process automation occurred in the 1990’s – early 2000’s, with ERP and broadband internet transforming the scene. Life science focus on standard processes, predictability and repeatability supported the formalization of GMPs/validation approaches, introduced from regulatory boards during this period. Cloud, mobile and big data were the story in the 2000’s – 2010’s; the foundation for true digital transformation had arrived. In Life Science, digitization was largely viewed as improved ability to grow top line revenue. Since 2010, intelligent technologies such as ML, AI, IoT, Blockchain have enabled new ecosystems and merging of structured and unstructured data driving automated decisions. The ability to incorporate these technologies fully into the digital core is the secret sauce and what will propel the industry further at a faster rate.

What Does the Enterprise Look Like?

There are 3 components in the Life Science intelligent enterprise:

  • Digital core: providing the horsepower to fuel huge numbers of transactions and data, tieing together front office and back office activities such as procurement, workforce management, customer engagement.
  • Embedded intelligent technologies: ML, IoT, AI, Blockchain built within the core, supporting end to end business processes specific to the industry (e.g., cold chain logistics and manufacturing)
  • Platform: sophisticated data management tools and cloud platform provisioning to extend and customize core functionality.

Why You Should Bother

The intelligent enterprise delivers new capabilities that enable the workforce to focus on higher value outcomes. Data driven intelligence now drives automated actions and decisions, based on superior insights – freeing people from repetitive tasks to those of greater value. Better visibility with shared data across all applications, and the agility to respond to market changes more readily are also now built-in.

It’s Time

I’m sure you are well along the digitization journey – and tinkering with intelligent technologies. I would love to talk to you about your journey to embrace the holistic intelligent enterprise and how to support your vision. Message me anytime – carol.mackenzie@sap.com.

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