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September 19, 2016
People + Technology is the Essential Equation-Part 2
By: Brags Srinivasan

The 2016 Accenture Technology Vision for Life Sciences addresses how the convergence of technology and people is driving the reinvention of life sciences companies. My last blog revealed how this convergence is helping drive three dramatic shifts in healthcare:

  • Patient Expectations
  • Convergence of Consumer and Clinical
  • Shift in Healthcare Business Models

But let’s go beyond the shifts, to discuss how life sciences companies can develop new strategies that will enable people and ecosystem partners to accomplish more with technology. We’ve identified four themes where we expect changes will be particularly profound over the next 12 months and recommendations for how best to respond.

1. Volume to Value: As people are seeking greater involvement in managing their health and the cost and size of wearables and “nearables” shrink, life sciences companies have to increase their focus on understanding how these developments affect their product strategies. We found that 88 percent of life sciences executives agree their IT organization is ready to respond to the increased focus on patient and health economic outcomes but this alone will not be enough. We recommend life science companies continue to focus on researching and delivering new treatments, but also think about how their operating model needs to change to enable them to create and curate complimentary services and pivot to an increasingly value based market.

2. Intelligent Enterprise: The essential new co-worker is the machine. We found more than 70 percent of executives are making significantly greater investments in artificial intelligence-related technologies today versus two years ago. To tackle this explosion, establish a top-down strategic commitment to AI and machine learning skills, create a training program to ensure data scientists and IT solution architects have the skills and understanding, apply the technologies to internal operations and bring together a cross functional team that includes IT, Data Science and Domain advisors.

3. Platform Business: The platform becomes the business model enabling life sciences companies to create innovative services, and new sources of value. The first step to break into the platform world is by accelerating the uptake of digital technologies and cloud foundations. The vision is to reinvent healthcare through an ecosystem of interconnected patients, providers and partners.

4. Liquid Workforce: Life sciences companies must focus on creating new corporate cultures where technology enables their people to constantly adapt and learn. Whether we are looking at the marketplace or within the enterprise, life sciences companies need to be prepared to make investments in facilities, technology and people in order to expand the organizations training capabilities, create a new employment strategy specific to millennials and identify where digital tools and capabilities can support sales rep customer interactions.

Although all companies will start from a different point in this critical journey, leaders recognize that simply investing in more technology is not the answer. Success will only be achieved if a deliberate emphasis is placed on combining people and technology to differentiate and outperform.

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