The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on all industries but few have to face the burden of expectations like the pharmaceutical sector.
Pharma organizations don’t only need to ensure operational continuity in these turbulent times but have to deliver transformative and collaborative innovation so nations around the globe can develop a defense strategy against the pandemic. This means that pharma companies are expected to invest in research and development more than ever. However, that’s just not enough. They also have a huge requirement to overhaul their business processes and operational strategies as they need to be more effective and efficient than ever. With more than half the workforce working remotely, collaboration has never been such a major challenge.
All these unique objectives and challenges are at odds with each other and pharma companies have to find a way to overcome the hurdles. Driving transformative innovation requires a free flow of data and information along with high work visibility so goals can be achieved in an environment that enables convenient and quick supervision and accountability. Every stakeholder, particularly employees, needs to be optimally productive if the pharma industry wants to be successful during this turmoil. KanBo offers an agile and comprehensive solution that enables organizations of any size to create and nurture a collaborative work environment where innovation and transformative ideas can be fostered and executed.
Key Components of Transformative Innovation
When it comes to driving transformative innovation, there is a multitude of aspects and factors that need to be taken into consideration. Most of the strategies for transformative innovation take the nature of the industry, business size, scalability, unique business objectives, and challenges into account. In every scenario, there are three components that are always there including the following.
- Collaborative Innovation – It is a comprehensive and adaptable process in which multiple players and stakeholders contribute towards creating and developing new products, services, processes, and business solutions. Different teams and departments come together with their strengths to eliminate any inefficiencies and weaknesses and ensure the results are delivered within time and financial limits.
- Business Transformation – This refers to a strategy that aims to radically modify business processes so they are more agile, flexible, and adaptable. Business transformation is often required when an industry such as the pharma sector needs to pivot and manage a complicated challenge like the COVID-19 pandemic. With transformation, organizations can be more nimble, efficient, and productive ensuring goals are achieved in a timely manner.
- Strategic Management– This particular component of transformative innovation involves the formulation and implementation of the major goals and initiatives taken by an organization’s top management on behalf of owners, based on consideration of resources and an assessment of the internal and external environments in which the organization operates. It sets the tone for the entire organization and provides them with the blueprint to follow.
Pharma Industry Can Achieve UN-Specified Targets through Transformative Innovation
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the global manufacturing industry took a major hit and fell by almost 7% in 2020. Many sectors, including the pharmaceutical industry, relied on research and development to fuel economic recovery and reinstate production which had faced a worse situation than the 2008 financial recession. The global GDP was reduced to 16% while growth remained negligible. In these uncertain times, underprivileged populations and developing countries went through an economically and socially devastating period. Looking at the situation in numerous countries, the United Nations (UN) Department of Economics and Social Affairs released targets and indicators for large-scale manufacturers, especially pharma organizations, to focus on sustainable industrialization and resilient infrastructure. Some of the salient objectives are as follows.
- Develop Sustainable, Inclusive & Resilient InfrastructureThe primary objective defined by the UN is to develop reliable, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure to help in terms of delivering economic development and human well-being. According to the UN, organizations should concentrate on providing equitable and affordable access for everyone.
- Focus On Sustainable & Inclusive IndustrializationThe United Nations believes that pharma enterprises need to invest in promoting sustainable and inclusive industrialization to improve the industry’s share of GDP and employment by 2030. The objectives should be reconciled with regional circumstances and the organizations should make it a goal to double their share in developing countries.
- Enhance Access of Small-Scale EnterprisesThere are many underdeveloped countries where people have little to no access to medical and health services such as affordable care and health plans. The pharma companies should aim to promote the access of small-scale enterprises for better penetration.
- Improve Resource Efficiency & Switch to Clean TechnologiesOne more objective determined by the UN for enterprises is to retrofit industries and upgrade their infrastructure by 2030 for improved sustainability. They are also required to focus on using clean and environment-friendly technologies to deliver better resource efficiency and optimize industrial processes.
- Drive Innovation and Scientific ResearchBy 2030, large enterprises should focus on driving innovation, improving scientific research, and upgrading the technological capacity of their industrial sectors, especially in underdeveloped countries. The process includes the following steps:
- Promote and provide required help in creating resilient and sustainable infrastructure for better technical, financial, and technological support in developing countries
- Provide help for encouraging regional and domestic innovation, research, and development in developing countries
- Provide quick and convenient access to communication and information technology and deliver affordable and widespread access to the internet
What Does ‘Driving Transformative Innovation’ Mean for Pharma Organizations?
When we talk about driving transformative innovation, it carries different meanings for different industries. For the pharma sector, the definition is equally exceptional. In this particular context, driving transformative information means that pharma organizations don’t only acquire the competitive edge in the market but are able to provide better care to the patients and deliver improved service to doctors and other stakeholders. It also means the optimization of the back-end business processes so the work environment becomes more inclusive and collaborative fostering new ideas and encouraging an innovative mindset. Some of the major priorities for pharma organizations include the following.
- Deliver Treatment Options for Untreatable ConditionsAlthough medical science has come a long way in terms of treating a diverse range of illnesses, conditions, and diseases, unfortunately, there are still a few medical conditions that are either untreatable or difficult to manage. Patients with these diseases don’t only have to endure the physical effects but also go through psychological and emotional pain. What it means for pharma organizations is that they need to invest more in the research and development of these conditions so they can address the unique needs of patients who have become victims of illnesses that have no treatment options. They need to go beyond traditional modalities and focus on alternative treatment methods that can improve the quality of life for the patient. This will also translate into financial success with more revenue streams to count on.
- Focus On Alternative / Advanced Treatment ProceduresTransformative innovation for pharma companies isn’t just about economic stability and sustainable growth but staying competitive in the long term. This means that they need to concentrate on alternative and advanced treatment options such as therapy platforms including gene therapy, cell therapy, RNA-based therapeutics, and radioligand therapy. In other words, they have a responsibility to build a pipeline that delivers future value through better scalability and enhanced innovation. The pipeline of advanced treatments doesn’t only fuel growth but ensures that physicians have access to products and services that provide better care for their patients. Apart from that, pharma organizations are also expected to operate a large number of pre-clinical projects which deliver tangible results on a regular basis. Without continuous innovation, pharma organizations run the risk of being stagnant and getting left behind.
- Streamline Manufacturing and Supply ChainOne of the sectors that sustained a major loss during the COVID-19 pandemic was production and manufacturing. Supply chains were choked and labor wasn’t available so large-scale enterprises were left with no choice but to scale down production. As the pandemic continues to loom, pharma organizations don’t only need to find new cures and treatments but have to streamline their operations so they can manufacture and distribute their products in an efficient manner. If the product is ready in-house but isn’t available to the patients, the quality of life for the consumers remains the same and the business cannot translate its technical success into strong financial growth. That’s why it’s absolutely essential for pharma organizations to develop and optimize business and operational processes that ensure seamless manufacturing along with an un-hurdled supply chain.
- Develop an Innovation EcosystemFor pharma organizations, transformative innovation doesn’t happen in isolated departments. They need to develop and foster a culture of innovation where talent, skill, and experience come together to drive new ideas and identify execution strategies. This means that they need to build innovation ecosystems where the responsibility of innovating doesn’t lie with a single dedicated department but is spread across multi-disciplinary teams. This is how pharma organizations can venture into cutting-edge science, pioneer biopharmaceutical innovations, and treat difficult diseases. Without a thriving ecosystem, new ideas and innovation are more likely to be overlooked as the focus is on hierarchies and processes rather than relying on those tools to make a difference in the lives of patients, doctors, and other stakeholders.
- Improve Access and Support Pro-Patient PoliciesWithout a beneficiary of innovation, it is of no use. If transformative innovation is done for the sake of it, it’s just a marvel of human ingenuity but not something that can help in terms of improving the quality of life for an average person. That’s why when we talk about innovation, it also means supporting pro-patient policies so pharma companies can provide enhanced access at an affordable price. The products need to be tested and delivered to the market in the shortest span of time so more and more people around the globe can derive benefit from them. The procedures and processes involved need to be secure so the drugs reaching the consumers are safe and don’t cause any unintended consequences.
- Introduce Digitization and AutomationThere’s no doubt that without relying on modern technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, automation, and digitization, no industry or sector can drive transformative innovation. To innovate, pharma organizations need to focus on digitalizing their operations and focus on data-driven decision-making. This won’t only provide quick and accurate results but with meaningful insights and analytics that can be game-changing in the context of the pharma industry. Companies can evaluate the performance of different drugs, make projections, and prepare highly visual reports and presentations using the available data. This also makes the job of upper and middle management easier as they have all the information they need to make the right call at the right time.
- Improve Use of Technology-Enabled CapabilitiesThe technology is there for any pharma organization to use but innovative use of technology-enables capabilities is what drives growth and new ideas. The organizations that focus on technology, instead of what it can do often find themselves more stagnant as compared to other companies. With novel and adaptive use of technology, pharma organizations can drive:
- Innovation that focuses on improving the health of its patients along with clinical outcomes that directly result in enhancement of quality of life
- Innovation that makes the pharma industry more efficient and cost-effective in terms of research and development, medical, and administrative components
- Innovation that can provide applications of emerging technology so organizations can put new initiatives into action
How KanBo Helps Pharma Organizations to Drive Transformative Innovation
It doesn’t matter if you are just a small-scale healthcare company or a large pharmaceutical enterprise, when you are focusing on transformative innovation, you need access to an agile and comprehensive digital tool that acts as the central location of your work and business processes. That’s exactly where KanBo, a flexible and agile work, and business process management platform, can provide the required help for any pharma business irrespective of its scale. With KanBo, pharma organizations can ensure work visibility and informational transparency and are no longer forced to create any silos that often end up stonewalling different departments that should collaborate to drive new ideas and innovation.
Whether you are an upper management executive or a team employee, KanBo has all the building blocks for all types of hierarchical setups of any pharma organization.
For C-Level Executives – KanBo acts as a digital headquarters
When top-level executives are searching for strategies, projects, tasks, knowledge, internal communication as well as news, organization community connection, and integral applications, they can use KanBo to get access to anything they are looking for. The platform isn’t just an agile work management platform but a digital headquarter for the top management that acts as the central hub of your transformative innovation strategy. With KanBo, executives of pharma companies can see the big picture using the overview and have immediate access to data and analytics in a highly visualized form. This enables them to make quick but informed decisions that can have a positive impact on the overall organization’s innovation strategy.
For Citizen Developers – KanBo provides a low code platform for convenience
Low-code generally directs to a visual approach to software development that enables faster delivery of applications through minimal hand-coding. Low-code platforms democratize app development, particularly for the “citizen” developers — who are fundamentally business users with little to no formal coding experience, such as business analysts or project managers. These tools enable less technical employees to make a larger business impact in numerous ways, such as relieving IT department backlogs, reducing shadow IT and taking more ownership over business process management (BPM) workstreams. This brings a streamlined operational architecture which is crucial in driving transformative innovation.
For Citizen Developers – KanBo as a no-code platform for those with zero experience
No-code development platforms (NCDPs) allow programmers and non-programmers to create application software through graphical user interfaces and configuration instead of relying on traditional computer programming which can be far more complicated. Coding requires a certain level of skill and experience which many middle managers and employees might not have. No-code development platforms like KanBo are closely related to low-code development platforms as both are designed to expedite the application development process. These platforms have both increased in popularity as companies deal with the parallel trends of an increasingly mobile workforce and a limited supply of competent software developers.
Information Workers – KanBo being a work organization platform for projects and processes
In simple words, a process is a well-defined procedure that involves a sequence of steps that need to be taken in order to produce a result, whereas a project is a temporary course of action that aims to deliver a distinctive product, service, or result. For managing and handling these processes and projects in a seamless manner, KanBo provides a focused platform with all the features required by the employees. Using the building blocks of the software, information workers across a multitude of teams and departments can coordinate and collaborate effectively.
One of the industries that suffered major losses due to the pandemic was the manufacturing sector including pharma organizations that dealt with a multitude of supply chain issues and challenges. In these testing times, both consumers and healthcare industry stakeholders are looking at the pharma industry to bail them out of this situation by addressing the needs of patients, doctors, nurses, and others. This means that pharma companies need to drive transformative innovation more than ever so they can research, discover, and develop solutions to these problems. That being said, there are numerous goals and challenges that need to be taken into consideration for sustainable innovation.
KanBo provides a unifying digital platform that delivers high work visibility, security, informational transparency, and work and business process management features required by the pharma industry to ensure their transformative innovation targets are achieved.
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