Injecting agility into medical technology

Three steps to create an agile operating model in the new digital, outcome-based healthcare environment


Medical device, pharmaceutical and health services companies are experiencing upheaval, disruption and incredible opportunity. Due to seismic shifts in the fundamental forces driving the industry from a product focus to an outcomes focus1, medical technology companies can use this profound shift as an opportunity to achieve greater agility, profitable growth and competitiveness. While new performance and value-focused business and operating models are emerging, and digital and technological advances are converging, industry executives need to effectively navigate the operational changes that will be essential to success in a new healthcare environment.

Accenture surveyed 35 medical technology executives across functions, from around the globe to analyze the challenges and opportunities associated with creating competitive operating models and reinvesting in growth.

1. Healthcare Disrupted - Next Generation Business Models and Strategies, O'Riordan, Anne and Elton, Jeff; Wiley, 2016.


The research unveiled three key areas of opportunity for medical technology (med tech) companies to increase competitiveness and fuel profitable growth in a new healthcare ecosystem.


Essential to future growth, but lacking agility

Med tech executives recognize that their operating models can help enable growth, but few have strong confidence that their current models can support the change needed to move beyond a traditional product focus at an enterprise level. As the marketplace continues to shift to an outcomes focus, new business models, operating model efficiency and agility will be even more critical.


of med tech respondents “somewhat” or “strongly” agree that advanced operating models are enablers of strategic growth
(7% higher than all industries).


don’t think their business has a clear view into the elements that drive value for the organization (vs. 21% in all industries).

Only 23%

strongly believe/have highest confidence that their company’s operating model is aligned to fuel strategic growth initiatives and can support these activities across the enterprise (compared to 19% in all industries).

Only 26%

have complete confidence that their operating model is able to rapidly respond to changing market conditions.

Only 20%

of med tech execs strongly believe that leadership has the right investments and growth initiatives in progress to achieve the business goals.


list “Patient services that wrap around the device” as a top-three priority when funds are freed up to invest in growth.


Critical to advancing operating models, but highly underutilized

Most companies are slow to take full advantage of digital to improve the customer experience, increase flexibility and reduce operating costs. Executives acknowledge digital’s critical role in helping achieve those objectives but face barriers.

Med tech executives see digital investments as a priority for advanced operating models and growth:


say digital strategies (e.g., insights-based, real-time, customized, scalable) are an enabler of advanced operating models


say digital business is an enabler of strategic growth


list digital as a priority area for reinvesting cost savings (compared to 53% in all industries)


cite technology (vs. 38% in all industries) as a key hurdle to advancing the operating model


say the “challenge of digitizing operations” is one of top-three barriers to implementing and sustaining cost management efforts

Human capital and company legacy

Challenges put agile operating models at risk

People-related challenges are frequently listed as barriers to advancing the company’s operating model.

Top hurdles to advancing the operating model include:

46% say lack of
right talent

(vs. 35% cross-industry)

43% cite change

40% cite
company legacy


Med tech companies can take three steps to help increase competitiveness and drive profitable growth in a new healthcare ecosystem.


C-suite executives and analysts in 9 geographies and 13 industries surveyed

Accenture conducted quantitative and qualitative research across 13 industries and 9 geographies to analyze the challenges and opportunities associated with creating cost-competitive operating models and reinvesting in growth. Fifty-four percent of respondents were C-suite executives or CEOs of business units. In parallel, Accenture interviewed 65 industry analysts across these industries to understand what external stakeholders measure, value and expect from the companies they cover.

Industries included: Automotive, Banking, Chemicals, Communications, Consumer Goods, Energy, Health, Hospitality, Industrial Equipment, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Technology, Retail and Utilities.

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Donna Peters

Donna Peters

Managing Director, Accenture Life Sciences
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Cherene Powell

Cherene Powell

Managing Director, Accenture Strategy, Life Sciences
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