Partner, Exigen Capital
Because the pharmaceutical industry's core mission is developing novel therapies to maintain health and wellness, innovation
has always been a key value of the pharmaceutical industry. Information technology is certainly an enabler of that innovation.
But with IT costs ballooning, companies must now look for creative ways to reduce this burden.
This includes rethinking the need to own non-strategic IT functions. If your basic IT support and infrastructure functions
do not differentiate you from the competition, perhaps there is no need to own them. An effective outsourcing contract not
only reduces costs, but perhaps more importantly converts fixed cost to variable costs. This increases business agility as
one can scale services as the needs of your company change.
Outsourcing has been available for quite a while, but it is only the beginning. The emerging business process utility (BPU)
model creates the possibility of outsourcing a subset of the broader range of business functions that IT enables. BPUs provide
common services to multiple industry participants—just as an electric utility or a payroll processer would do.
It only takes a bit of imagination to develop many examples of where this model could apply in the pharmaceutical industry.
Few such shared services exist specifically for the industry today, but this creates an opportunity for visionary industry
participants to participate in their creation, and perhaps participate in selling a best-practice BPU solution back into the
market. Ultimately, the entire life sciences industry can benefit from the lower costs and more consistent results this advanced
form of outsourcing provides.