While many biotech and pharmaceutical companies seek the many competitive advantages that come with digitally transforming their businesses, few biopharma leaders say they have made the changes necessary to achieve their transformational goals, according to new research from Deloitte and MIT. Yet their commitment to digital transformation is strong, experimentation is ensuing, and many are changing their leadership and cultures to adapt to a rapidly changing world.
The 2018 Digital Business Global Executive Study from Deloitte and MIT Sloan Management Review surveyed managers, executives, and analysts across industries and countries to understand how digital technologies are impacting strategy, culture, leadership, and talent. The fourth annual study found that while many biopharma companies are exploring a variety of digital opportunities—from engaging consumers with apps to improving operations with artificial intelligence—just 20% of leaders said their companies are digitally maturing.
Most biopharma leaders say their companies are either early in their journey (25%) or developing their capabilities (55%). Even though most companies are still in their development phase, 58% said that digital is a top management priority, with 75% expecting to achieve the value of their digital initiatives within the next five years.
So, what is holding some biopharma companies back? The survey revealed a number of factors including lack of a clear vision, inadequate leadership, and limited funding for digital transformation.
Even though digital is a priority for more than half of biopharma companies surveyed, some say their organizations can be distracted by “shiny object” syndrome—shifting focus based on what they hear competitors are doing.
Many seek a clearer vision from leadership on their organization’s digital efforts.
The survey found that many biopharma employees also seek a clearer vision from leadership on their organization’s digital efforts.
Compared to other industries pursuing digital transformation, biopharma ranks in the middle in terms of its digital maturity and exhibiting the flexible leadership required, the study found. Biopharma is outpacing manufacturing, financial insurance and government organizations in its digital journey, but lagging behind IT, entertainment, and telecom companies.