Short answer: we all do.
I’ve been spending a lot of my time lately with clients and partners working on digital strategies, including multi-year blueprints, next-generation platforms, and development approaches. It can be quite complex – and I live/love this stuff! For someone with a day job in pharma training, sales, and marketing, it’s difficult to take a long-term strategic view of our rapidly-moving technology environment and formulate a clear digital strategy.
Yet we must.
Pulling back the veil a bit from the image of these huge, money-generating global pharmaceutical companies, what you see behind the firewall is, in the vast majority of cases, a digital mess. This mainly because of what I call Wandering Accretion Syndrome (WAS) – the adding together of multiple systems and platforms duct-taped together over time with very little overall architectural design.
This means a jumble on the back-end, AND an interface and usability jumble on the front-end for users in the field and home office. It’s not pretty.
With the rapid adoption of iPads, the growing acceptance of video solutions, and the typically slow-moving reaction time of internal IT depts. (which now also have to interact with a growing variety of hosted and cloud-based solutions), you have an INCREASED need for a strategic blueprint. It all starts with a 30,000 foot view of business goals and plans, joined to a realistic understanding of the A –> B shift that needs to occur, and a synthesis of multiple avenues of needs into a plan that will accomplish the most effect with the least pain and overlap.
A digital strategy is, in reality, simply part of a business strategy. Nothing more, nothing less.
The adoption of iPads, or other game-changing initiatives, provides a unique opportunity to pursue a well-thought-out digital makeover strategy. I hope a lot of my clients will pursue that open door. The alternative is perpetuating an environment of one-off apps and systems – just running on a new tablet. That would be a lost opportunity for digital success.
Impactiviti is the Pharmaceutical Connection Agency. As the eHarmony of sales/training/marketing, we help our pharma/biotech clients find optimal outsource vendors for training, eMarketing, social media, and more.
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