Point of View

Industry Impact – The Life Sciences Value Chain

February 26, 2018

HfS is expanding its industry coverage in 2018 to include detailed IT and business process research on 11 core sectors, powered by extensive buyer research with Global 2000 firms. The transformation and challenges posed by digital disruption and changing competitive environments differ by industry. Subsequently, the solutions and services enterprises in different industries need to cope with change and to shape transformation journeys differ as well. Over the past few years, HfS has created in-depth industry research coverage that focuses on the rapidly changing needs of buyers and the ability of service providers to meet these needs with services built on domain expertise, industry talent, intellectual property, solutions that tackle sticky industry problems, and investments in industry-specific practices, startup ecosystems, and partnerships. We will build on this foundation in 2018, bringing expanded industry coverage, focused on key industry-specific processes and change agents, updated annually.  Our coverage sectors include:

 

Exhibit 1: HfS Industry Coverage 2018

 

Banking and Financial Services

Energy

Insurance

Utilities

Travel, Hospitality and Logistics

Healthcare

Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods

Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences

Telecommunications

Manufacturing

High-Tech

 

Source: HfS Research, 2018

In order to give you a taste of what to expect for research in the high-tech sector, this Point of View report previews our high-tech-specific value chain and the in-scope processes and change agents we’ll be examining throughout 2018. We will release high-tech-focused Blueprint Spotlight reports in Q3 on business process services and in Q4 on IT services; these will be supplemented by periodic voice of the customer case studies, point of view analyses on change agents, and buy-side research. For more insight into our master research agenda for 2018, please refer to our recently published report on planned blueprint research.

 

The Life Sciences Value Chain

 

HfS developed the industry value chain concept to graphically depict our understanding of the processes and functions that specific industries engage in to operate their businesses. To truly understand the services needs of an industry, you must understand its industry-specific and horizontal processes and the relevant change agents enabling transformation. 

The industry value chain for life sciences and pharma operations provides a comprehensive overview of services for the life sciences and pharma industry focused on pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biotechnology segments. We’ll be including these life sciences sub-sector elements in our Global 2000 survey research this year, which will help us gain a more granular understanding of buyer behavior.

 

Life Sciences Industry-Specific Processes

 

Industry-specific processes include the following specific value chain functions:

 

  • Research and development—Processes related to new drug development and formulation including pre-clinical studies, clinical trials, and market and competitive intelligence;
  • Regulatory—Services enabling compliance with various regulatory requirements, both pre-submission and post-submission;
  • Pharmacovigilance—Processes supporting the detection, assessment, understanding, and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem after they have been licensed for use;

  • Supply chain—Services that support the flow and management of inventory from inception to consumption;
  • Sales and marketing—Services that enable sales and marketing operations and related analytics.

These functions represent the range of unique processes undertaken by life sciences and pharmaceutical firms to conduct their core business. Our research will evaluate the depth and breadth of service providers offering industry-specific services in these categories and the impact of critical change agents such as intelligent automation.

 

Horizontal IT and Business Processes

 

Enterprises in all sectors have a range of consistent business and IT processes that are essential to running their businesses but are executed similarly regardless of industry. We refer to these as horizontal processes and have segmented them by IT and business functions as outlined in Exhibit 2. Horizontal business processes include elements such as customer engagement, finance and accounting, procurement, and HR. IT processes include functions such as application development and maintenance and infrastructure management. In addition to industry coverage of these horizontal topics, they will also be well covered as part of our functional research dimension.

 

Enabling Technologies

 

Lastly, but of vast importance, we have included a value chain section dedicated to enabling technologies, depicted in Exhibit 2. So much of the innovation and change taking place in life sciences and pharma is driven by these technologies. They include elements such as RPA and AI, blockchain, and smart analytics. We view them as horizontal as they can be used across life sciences and pharmaceutical enterprises and leveraged for both horizontal and industry-specific processes. Our research on these topics will focus on how they are being utilized within life sciences and pharmaceutical companies, which service providers are bringing them to the table, and what real business impact is being realized.

 

Exhibit 2: The Life Sciences Business Operations Value Chain

Source: HfS Research, 2018

 

Bottom Line: Enhanced Life Sciences Research to Help Make an Impact

 

As we dive into 2018, HfS’ enhanced research coverage of major business operations trends by industry will help identify and articulate business impact in motion. Our coverage of the life sciences sector will examine core value chain processes across industry-specific and horizontal functions with an emphasis on the impact of critical change agents.

 

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