AstraZeneca, MediVector case studies illustrate two of many potential applications of DevOps in pharmaceutical value chain.
The pharmaceutical sector, which typically lags behind other industries in technology adoption, is crying out for change as its IT organization is unable to reform itself fast enough to deal with an increase in drug safety breaches and slow time to market for both products and business solutions. Everest Group maintains that pharmaceutical companies can address these challenges by employing DevOps—a methodology successfully implemented in the software industry to respond to fluctuating demands, provide a better customer experience and reduce time to market.
Potential DevOps use cases abound across the pharmaceutical value chain: drug discovery and research, clinical and pre-clinical trials, manufacturing operations, sales and marketing, and supply chain management and distribution are just a few examples.
As illustration, Everest Group points to two successful DevOps implementations:
- AstraZeneca achieved improved quality, significantly faster time to value delivery (a 40 to 60 percent improvement) and reduced team sizes, which in turn resulted in a 25 to 40 percent cost reduction.
- Similarly, MediVector successfully applied a DevOps approach to rectify slow quality assurance audits of the machines used in the drug development process.
Everest Group cautions, however, that although a wide variety of DevOps use cases are feasible, pharmaceutical companies should prioritize their DevOps investments based on potential business impact and ease of implementation.
These findings and more are discussed in a recently published Everest Group report, “Life Sciences Annual Report 2018: Pharma’s DevOps Factor for Digital Transformation.” This report takes a look at the concept of DevOps, puts forward a number of DevOps use cases across the pharmaceutical value chain and evaluates each to decide which is the most suited for implementation if progressive business impact is to be realized. The report also lays out a three-stage future implementation roadmap for pharmaceutical enterprises.
Across many industries, the adoption of DevOps is being linked directly to time to market and customer centricity,” said Abhishek Singh, practice director at Everest Group. “As Astra Zeneca and MediVector cases exemplify, the time seems ripe for pharmaceutical companies to make DevOps their next big bet. Indeed, most pharma firms are currently looking to experiment with DevOps, with a long-term goal of enterprise-wide DevOps-enabled digital transformation.”
Additional Key Findings:
- Technology aspects, such as automation and cloud computing, coupled with softer aspects, such as a cross-functional organizational structure and an agile working culture, can drive DevOps enablement.
- The success of DevOps initiatives in modern enterprises hinges on three pillars: a culture of trust, accountability and shared responsibility; standardization of pocketed adoption and consolidation of tools and technologies; and hybridization of the enterprise portfolio across legacy systems and modern DevOps-enabled applications.
- DevOps adoption is particularly favorable for industries that suffer from frequently changing market demands, high time to market, poor customer experiences and inefficient operations. Conversely, DevOps adoption is unfavorable for industries that are heavily regulated or have mammoth organizational size, a complex stakeholder environment, or a mandate for cost minimization.
- Service providers can help enterprises in their DevOps journey by devising roadmaps, aiding with change management and providing the necessary technology support.