Friday, June 2, 2017

Blog #2 - Personal Experience with IT Trends and Adaptation

As described in “Ten IT-enabled business trends for the decade ahead,” I have seen and experienced first-hand what adapting to upcoming trends entails and how hard it can be for major corporations to adjust, compared to smaller ones.  When I read this article and “The four global forces breaking all the trends,” I realize that my organization inside of our IT department is trying to align with most of the items listed, due to the nature of our business.  Ten years ago, there were over 480 Colleagues in our group and now we are running with 62.  The reason: Adapting to shifting IT trends and understanding the flows of our business as we grow in other areas of the world and how to connect those areas together with the technology offerings of today.

I’ve not only weathered the storm of outsourcing, but also been leading the efforts in Cloud On-Ramp and Automation for Network Operations.  Currently, I am in the middle of deploying automation (#5 on the list) in my company’s IT Network Operations Center.  With such a vast environment, spanning the globe, this has proven to be quite difficult.  Even more difficult is the ability to automate across various IT platforms, without a set architecture standard.  It is for this reason that I chose to outsource this effort to a vendor with extensive experience in this space.  If I were to try to do this in-house, it would be a massive effort, costing more than four times the amount of the outsource, but the “having this in-house” would remove the risk of relationships with vendors (i.e. if we severe our contract, we would lose the automation).  Given the pricing and timelines, it made absolute sense to shift the strategy to outsource this automation effort, which differs from the server space which was in-house automation.

With our shift to Cloud operations, we are also able to reach more consumers and broaden our global footprint, engaging more of our customers and using high-performance compute power for big data analytics.  In the pharmaceutical industry, much can be gained from big data.  “Every year, for example, Pfizer spends $12 million to buy health data from a variety of sources, including IMS, according to Marc Berger, who oversees the analysis of anonymized patient data at Pfizer.” [1]
Tanner goes on to say those companies can then use the data they’ve acquired to help pharmaceutical sales representatives target specific doctors, hospitals and practices in prescribing their medicine.  For example, if a manufacturer of a heart drug finds a doctor is prescribing a competitors medicine repeatedly, they can send their rep to that doctor in hopes to persuade the doctor to use their drug.  If they are successful, this can be a sufficient return on their investment for the purchase of the initial data.

This ability to foresee the upcoming IT trends and create a strategy that focuses on shifting our IT operations to these trends, has helped us maintain a visionary role in the marketplace and I’m glad to be part of all that we have done and continue to do in this realm of our business. 

[1] Tanner, Adam. "How Data Brokers Make Money Off Your Medical Records." Scientific American. January 11, 2016. Accessed April 25, 2017.

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