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March 17, 2015
Four Ways Digital Transformers Are Taking Action in the Pharmaceutical Industry
By: James Crowley

From Accenture Strategy for Life Sciences

Digital transformers are shaking up the industry by implementing technology aimed at driving growth, deepening digital leadership and opening up space for future investments in transformative technologies. In just the last few years, “digital” has become more consequential than further rounds of IT efficiency and enablement, so much so that it’s no longer prudent to be a digital follower, simply responding to the actions and successes of the digital transformers.

Recent Accenture research indicates that digital transformers are surpassing their competitors in four ways:

  1. Emphasizing growth as the catalyst for transformation

    Digital transformers are not waiting to react to events but rather focus on growth as the context for digital transformation. In fact, they are twice as likely as followers to focus their digital investments on growth. The transformers lead a balanced approach: they invest in digital technologies to drive efficiencies, but unlike the followers, that is not their overwhelming focus. Digital followers, on the other hand, place roughly $3 toward efficiency for every $1 invested in growth opportunities.

  2. Investing to shape the terms of digital competition

    Digital transformers realize that growth strategies demand different approaches for attracting and retaining customers with new and better product and service offerings. So they play out the new digital competitive dynamics chiefly on the customer-facing side of their businesses—in sales, products, channels and customer experiences.

  3. Leveraging a wide range of digital technologies

    Digital transformers are planning for significantly higher levels of total capital and intangible investments over the next few years. They consider the full range of digital technologies to be very important—certainly far more so than digital followers.

  4. Investing in focused transformational spaces

    Digital transformers have already figured out where digital can make the biggest difference. They plan to invest more than their peers in areas seen as important for digital success. For instance, they are more concerned about digital skills shortages and about how they can attract and retain top digital talent.

With the right digital strategy in place, life sciences companies can join the ranks of the digital transformers, approaching their digital investments with a focus on growth, outperforming their competitors and shaking up the industry.

To learn more, read Digital Double-Down: How Far Will Leaders Leap Ahead?

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