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Overcoming obstacles in the switch to an agile operating model

Pharmaceutical executives share the challenges and opportunities they face amid an evolving healthcare environment.

Pharmaceutical, medical device and health services companies recognize that profound shifts in the industry necessitate a new route toward greater agility, profitable growth and competitiveness. But this path is not without obstacles.

According to our research, pharmaceutical executives, unlike other industry executives surveyed, are challenged by beliefs versus actions when it comes to their operating model design, alignment of leadership and utilization of digital. Although they recognize that their operating models can enable growth, few have strong confidence that their current models can support the change needed.

It was also revealed that pharma executives cite leadership misalignment and people-related challenges as the top barriers to advancing the company’s operating model. In fact, only 8 percent of pharma executives strongly believe that leadership has the right investments and growth initiatives in place to achieve the company’s business goals.

Despite the convergence of digital and technological advances, most pharmaceutical companies are slow to take full advantage of digital to increase flexibility and reduce operating costs. Only 45 percent of executives surveyed listed digital as a priority area for reinvesting cost savings, yet 90 percent cite digital as critical to advancing operating models and enabling strategic growth.

In light of these obstacles, we offer three steps to help increase competitiveness and drive profitable growth:

  1. Create advanced, flexible operating models. Externally look to partners who can provide non-core capabilities and a broader ecosystem to help efficiently and effectively deliver patient outcomes.

  2. Align leadership. Consider journey management efforts to help executives collaborate toward in-common priorities.

  3. Fully embrace digitals. It is simply not possible to move to these new models without fully embracing digital as a strategy to drive both revenue and cost-efficiencies.