Richie Etwaru, Chief Digital OfficerThe role of the life sciences CIO has changed from one of back office responsibilities in a vertically structured organization, to one of P&L accountabilities that requires a horizontal perspective. This is largely due to the opportunities presented by transformational technologies.
CIOs are expected to provide tools that enable the various divisions of the company to contribute to the bottom line. Let’s take a look at life sciences customer-facing teams, including sales, marketing, medical affairs and market access. Hopefully the IT and commercial operations leaders are already acting on the fact that the right customer relationship management (CRM) solution, used in the right way, is a strategic rather than tactical tool which can contribute to revenue. The next step in determining how customer-facing teams can be more productive is to turn to the customers themselves—what do they expect?
Customers have grown accustomed to personalized and coordinated engagements with the companies they do business with, on both a personal and professional level. Think Amazon, Apple, Nike, or your bank. In your interactions with them, it’s obvious that all the data about you and your history with them is shared throughout the organization, no matter how you engage, whether it be over the web, the phone, in the mail or in person. These efficient interactions engender trust and loyalty.
But when a physician who had satisfying experiences with Amazon and his bank over the weekend goes to work on Monday, and interacts with a pharmaceutical company, he receives conflicting and uncoordinated messages from different departments of the same organization, engendering distrust and defensiveness.
Trust or distrust among HCPs can have a profound effect on the long-term success and profitability of a life sciences company. It may cause loss of sales to a competitive brand, damage to value proposition and unnecessary suffering of patients.
Why is life sciences so far behind other industries in terms of customer engagement? It’s largely because most life sciences companies are still using vertical operating structures, and coordinated customer engagement requires a horizontal orientation.
Why is life sciences so far behind other industries in terms of customer engagement? It’s largely because most life sciences companies are still using vertical operating structures, and coordinated customer engagement requires a horizontal orientation
Based on input from IT and commercial operations professionals, IMS Health has developed Orchestrated Customer Engagement (OCE), an innovative strategy that helps life sciences companies integrate customer engagement activities across the organization, and support it all with a foundation of robust information management. In doing this, OCE enables companies to manage an increasingly complex mix of communication channels, and achieve more productive engagement with all customer segments.
OCE also increases organizational efficiency, which not only contributes to greater transparency and integrated processes throughout the company, but also leads to improved profitability and ROI, lower costs, and faster time to market for new drug therapies. With the data-driven insights and greater efficiency that OCE provides, companies can also anticipate and respond more effectively to market changes, giving them a competitive advantage.
Fortunately, life sciences organizations can make the move to OCE at their own pace. OCE is evolutionary, which means companies can take a phased approach, developing their strategy step-by-step and implementing it in stages. Best of all, companies that want to implement OCE can leverage their previous investments and build on their existing skills and resources as they work toward full orchestration.