Integrating the Digital Functions with the Business


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With a new CEO in place, a global pharmaceutical company partnered with RRA to rethink its approach to technology and accelerate its transformation journey.



The leadership challenge

For years the company had tried to transform through technology—but results had often proved elusive. Despite a clear vision from the leadership team, a disconnect between the technology function and other parts of the business was making progress impossible.

Multiple pockets of IT, digital, and data existed across the company, each working in its own silo. This disconnected model meant the company struggled to build a culture of innovation, and could not fully unleash the potential of its digital and data assets.

The arrival of a new CEO provided an opportunity to reimagine the company’s approach to technology. He initially approached RRA to find a Chief Digital Officer (CDO). But it soon became clear that if the company was to gain advantage through technology, it would also need to rethink the structure of its technology, digital, and data functions, and how they integrate with the rest of the business.



The RRA process

First, RRA identified a CDO who had the vision, mindset, and expertise to head up the global team. Once he was up to speed, RRA worked to build a digital organizational structure that would support deep tech transformation, unprecedented in scale and complexity.

Over a period of four months, RRA analyzed the tech and digital team structures, assessed its current leaders, and identified talent gaps. RRA also developed a transformation roadmap, setting out a target organizational and operating model design, and success profiles for all key technology leadership positions.




The resolution

One of RRA’s first recommendations was to bring all of IT, digital and data together under one roof, which would serve all business units, domains, geographies, and therapeutic areas in a “hub and spoke” model. The core benefit was creating an agile team that was better aligned to the business, with clear accountability for driving change and delivering results.

The more streamlined structure also helped attract best-in-class technology talent. RRA worked to build out the new tech and digital team, identifying a head of digital strategy, chief data officer, and global head of R&D digital platforms, all of whom had a track record of delivering standout transformation initiatives.

Critically, RRA also helped to identify a Chief Information Officer (CIO), who would focus on improving day-to-day IT and digital operations. The company had originally envisioned that this new hire would sit alongside the CDO. But RRA recommended they report to the CDO instead. This shift in leadership structure didn’t just ensure clearer accountability between the CDO and CIO. It also helped emphasize the need to innovate across every level of the organization.

With a best-in-class, empowered team now in place, the company can push ahead with its goal of becoming a truly global, integrated, and tech-first pharmaceutical company.





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