Creating a Healthier Customer Experience

Less than 20% of pharma companies have adopted a vision-driven approach to digital transformation. This puts them at significant risk from vision-driven competitors who leverage cloud technologies and data-driven business models to increase the value of their product-service portfolios.

Pharma CEOs sense the urgency around digitalization, and have begun investing in their ecosystems through analytics, research and development, and reinvention of the value chain. This will become essential as digital disruptors encroach on the pharma industry. Informed leaders also know that digitalization increases capabilities, reduces costs, and enables better customer and employee experiences (CX and EX).

>Digital Transformation in a Highly Competitive Market

Top Concerns for CEOs in the Pharma Industry

Consolidation is transforming the pharma industry’s competitive landscape. While disruption is inevitable as more players enter the pharmaceutical market, here are the top six concerns that pharma CEOs will need to address as the industry accelerates into the digital era.

Opening New Sales Channels

Opening New Sales Channels

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) models are transforming the way pharmaceutical services are delivered. Healthcare providers no longer act as intermediaries for non-prescription drugs, enabling pharma companies to sell directly through their own sales channels.



Tech companies are encroaching on the pharma industry and introducing innovative new product-service portfolios. This is increasing pressure on pharma companies to follow suit and develop their own digitalized product-service offerings.

Talent Acquisition

Talent Acquisition

Digital talent is hard to come by, and the pharma industry is no exception. As digital transformation and digital business management become more important, talent will be essential in guiding and executing pharma initiatives. Workforce training and education is the challenge and is an area where pharma companies should invest if they wish to compete in the digital era.

Asset Protection

Asset Protection

Protecting intellectual property (IP) is more difficult than ever, with countries like China infringing on patents and selling generic copycats on the global market. Pharma companies risk losing their investment if they fail to protect their IPs. Cybersecurity is another threat which will only grow as pharma companies digitalize their operations, mandating better security and data protection.

Expanding the Product-Service Portfolio

Expanding the Product-Service Portfolio

Insurers, physicians, and care providers are trending towards value add-ins that serve to supplement the existing value chain with digital services. Pharma must tap into this trend and deliver more supplementary services on top of their existing product-service portfolios to capture a wider audience.

Faster Time to Market

Faster Time to Market

Shareholders are pressuring pharma companies to deliver drugs and products faster. These shorter product-service lifecycles increase the rate of innovation in tandem with costs. Pharma companies have no option, however, but to continue with high-velocity development as disruptors are posing a significant threat.

A Changing Approach to Pharma Product-Service Development

More data than ever is available on genomics, biomedical research, gene therapy, ethnic groups, field trials, and post-market studies. This enables pharma companies to conduct better clinical trials and generate real-world evidence through real-world data for a faster go-to-market. This coincides with an industry shift from reactive care to predictive and preventive care.

The Industry Transformation Quadrant shows that the pharma is in a state of “trial and error.” Drug and MedTech companies are deploying digital solutions but failing to fully leverage advanced analytics. With the growth of generic pharmaceuticals worldwide, rising costs, and lengthy development cycles, pharma companies must start leveraging their datasets and generating insight to guide their business decisions. Finally, they should form new partnerships to start delivering treatments that follow the trend of personalized, preventive, and predictive care.

The Most Successful Digital Transformations Are Powered by Analytics Capabilities

Our benchmarking services are powered by over 1.5 million data points in addition to our primary research and data collection capabilities. With access to leaders across more than 40,000 companies in various size segments, industries, and geographic locations, we can quickly gather additional data to address how your business is performing against the competition.

A graph showing which industries are investing the most in digitalization.

Source: Trasers

Data Analyzed in this report comes from 4,000+ responses. For the pharma industry, data from 351 companies have been used.

Our pharma industry experts can offer insights into the following sectors:

  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

  • Medical Device Manufacturer

  • Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMO)

  • Pharmaceutical Marketing and Distribution

  • Pharmaceutical Support Services

  • And More


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Pharma: Three Areas for Progress Through Digitalization

As the industry begins leveraging analytics to guide decisions around new products and services, digitalization can drive progress in three areas:

The first is through digitalizing research and development (R&D) processes using augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). AR and VR increase customer involvement and accelerate development by augmenting human vision with 3D-generated computer overlays.

The second area is establishing real-time integration across the pharma ecosystem to accelerate processes and increase the scope of data collection. One example is pharma integrating with contract research organizations (CROs), tapping into data from healthcare providers and clinical studies to reduce data collection times from months to mere minutes.

Finally, there is a growing opportunity in pharma to engage directly with consumers using digital applications. These applications can provide knowledge and preventive care information to patients and clinicians, thereby bolstering trust in the brand.

Only 7% of Companies Are Delivering on Their Transformational Initiatives

Our research has shown that 30% of companies will fail to survive this decade due to an inability to evolve digitally. To address this negative trend, we have developed the Digital Enterprise Evolution Model™ (DEEM).

Digital Enterprise Evolution Model™

An image showing the stages of analytics capability evolution.

Copyright © 2021 Trianz

DEEM allows our clients to recognize digital evolution patterns, implement benchmarking and prioritization strategies, and initiate application management protocols to satisfy stakeholder and market requirements.

A Lack of Analytics Investment in Pharma

There is a growing sense of urgency around digital transformation from the result of continuous action from pharma industry players. Still, many pharma companies are sub-optimally digitalizing their operations. There are major changes that must be made to business models, portfolios, and processes, requiring a modern, scalable, and efficient IT infrastructure foundation.

Our research demonstrates that how pharma is not investing aggressively enough in developing analytics capabilities or cloud product-service foundations. If pharma companies wish to compete with new biotech and biopharma startups, implementing and scaling IT infrastructures must be a top priority.

Human Capital Management (HCM) Is Essential for Pharma Long-Term

Even as companies innovate and reinvent their product-service portfolios and processes, pharma is not investing nearly enough in human capital management (HCM). Among all industries, pharma is in the bottom ranks in terms of applying HCM analytics, improving employee experiences (EXs), and acquiring new talent or upskilling their workforce.

This coincides with a distinct lack of talent in the job market, making it difficult for pharma companies to find new “digitally savvy” employees to support their digitalization initiatives. It is critical for CEOs to realize the value of experienced employees, investing in training and improvements to the EX to retain this talent. This is a key predictor of success with digital transformation.

To emerge into the vision-driven quadrant, CEOs must benchmark their pharma operations, focusing on product-service portfolios, prioritizing the value chain, and transforming talent through HCM learning and development (L&D) initiatives.

Experience the Trianz Difference

Trianz enables digital transformations through effective strategies and excellence in execution. Collaborating with business and technology leaders, we help formulate and execute operational strategies to achieve intended business outcomes by bringing the best of consulting, technology experiences and execution models.

Powered by knowledge, research, and perspectives, we enable clients to transform their business ecosystems and achieve superior performance by leveraging infrastructure, cloud, analytics, digital and security paradigms. Reach out to get in touch or learn more.


State of Digital Transformation
Worldwide 2020 Report

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