It’s hard to prepare for a post-pandemic environment in these unpredictable times, but businesses are already looking at how to allocate capital for what comes next. To become wholly digital and data-driven, with elastic cost structures and enhanced agility, life sciences companies need to think about how technology will better benefit them.
Many businesses have also encountered “technology overload”; faced with countless technology options from major players and start-ups. Organizations are stuck in the proof-of-concept loop and seldom scale or completely incorporate new technologies into their business processes with new concepts. Businesses can no longer continue to spin in these endless cycles in the post-COVID world. They must now step forward with a technology plan that integrates the latest technology today with a growth outlook.
The intensity of primary focus on the life sciences industry, combined with the ongoing compressive disruption that these businesses have been experiencing, is generating a moment for the industry to adopt new operating ways. In these difficult times, I would like to share some ideas about how taking the right technology approach will help life sciences businesses flourish.
FUTURE STRATEGIES TO USE
In any potential crisis, life sciences companies want to provide stability for their core R&D activities and, eventually, better serve their patients. How do they make use of technology to make these goals possible?
Here are three strategies to technology that are essential for becoming future-ready:
- Build Systems To Be Accessible
Your technology plan and vision should take advantage of the deeper capabilities inside particular cloud stacks when possible. For example, Google Cloud invests heavily in machine learning algorithms that can be used to create, test quickly, and deploy machine learning methods of production-grade that can then be incorporated into your clinical workflows. It is also necessary to have the flexibility to adapt and integrate other technologies as needed quickly.
- Seek Out New Ways Of Working Together
Take this chance to transform how you work to take advantage of emerging technologies in the organization. It will entail changing culture and procedures to optimize the value of the technologies you are implementing. You will also need to reach beyond your company and find ways to work with large and small technology providers, business associations, and build an ecosystem of partners that will help you accomplish your goals.
- Don’t Try To Do All Of This Yourself.
Sometimes, beginning something from scratch doesn’t make sense. Does your distinction come from the willingness to be a software company or the consistency of patients’ results? You can purchase platforms and ‘accelerators’ that have done the hard work of pre-packaging and pre-integrating the right blend of cloud vendor technologies to get you there. There are several examples of concerns in life sciences that would be impossible to solve from scratch. Can I handle my clinical data flow end-to-end in the cloud safely and cost-effectively and be completely compliant? Can I develop new ways of communicating with patients and help them achieve better results? Can I connect new technology and resources efficiently and quickly to allow specific digital therapeutics? Others are already trying to fix these problems. When you look for ideas, try to keep track of their work.
As cloud computing solutions are becoming increasingly popular and useful, with substantial investments from providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google, cloud services’ selection and usage has become an essential part of company strategy. Last year, the IDC Worldwide Public Cloud Services Study predicted that businesses would invest over $2 trillion in digital transformation technologies, with approximately 25 percent going directly to public cloud services.
It would be a pivotal mistake to think that the business impact and outcomes will naturally follow once a specific cloud service is selected. Indeed, public clouds and their technology ecosystems are a Launchpad for innovation, but hard work is still required to maximize their potential. For example, Google Cloud has an API (Application Programming Interface) technology that supports popular guidelines of healthcare data. It allows non-personal data to be extracted, which can be used in many ways to improve our understanding of patient needs. It has never been trickier to match business priorities with technology, but the possibilities have never been more exciting.
In preparation for future crises, smart and strategic IT spending can allow organizations to become more agile and resilient, capable of responding more effectively to current COVID-19 challenges and beyond. Life science companies that can now change their technology strategies and escape their fear of missing out will emerge with a more efficient set of tools from this disruption to help them achieve their goals.
William P. Slattery
President and CEO of Nieuw Amsterdam Advisors. He is regarded as one of the top marketing experts in the Life Sciences industry noted for combining a calm demeanor with a shrewd negotiation skill set that allows for navigating the most challenging business environments on behalf of his client firms.