40 Percent Growth in Life Sciences IT Outsourcing Masks Underlying Barriers to Digital Transformation—New Everest Group Report

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Life sciences stakeholders must adopt integrated services strategy and transform their entire stack of services so that full sourcing portfolio works in tandem.

The digitization of the life sciences industry

The digitization of the life sciences industry

Life sciences firms tend to struggle with digital enablement due to factors such as a fragmented service provider landscape and non-standard internal structures.

Having recovered from a sharp dip in 2013, the life sciences industry witnessed robust growth in ITO deals in 2014—with over 40 percent year-on-year growth in number of transactions—as business challenges triggered the demand for services such as analytics, data management and infrastructure services.

This impressive growth of digital initiatives in the life sciences industry has been heavily weighted towards overhauling the fundamental consumer engagement model, as companies pursue digital solutions for educating, engaging and monitoring healthcare consumers.

Meanwhile, however, digital transformation of internal operations remains a nascent domain. Stakeholders are yet to realize the cost-savings potential of applying digital technology to internal operations, particularly in areas such as sales enablement, clinical trials automation and internal analytics.

In the long run, successful digital adoption in the life sciences industry will require stakeholders to transform their entire stack of services and adopt an integrated services strategy.

These results and other findings are explored in a recently published Everest Group report: IT Outsourcing in the Life Sciences Industry—Annual Report 2015: Integrated Services Strategy in the Age of Digital.

“Life sciences firms tend to struggle with digital enablement due to factors such as a fragmented service provider landscape and non-standard internal structures,” said Jimit Arora, vice president at Everest Group. “In this situation, leaders need to chalk out a digital strategy that lays down clear guidelines for standardization, outcome tracking and accountability, while ensuring seamless coherence between internal teams and service providers. Digital enablement of the life sciences value chain will require operationalizing an integrated view of the entire stack of services—processes, infrastructure and applications.”

This report focuses specifically on how digital transformation is panning out in the life sciences industry and the need for an integrated services strategy for true digital enablement. The report also provides an overview of the ITO market for the life sciences industry. Analysis includes market size & growth, forecasts (up to 2020), demand drivers, adoption & scope trends, key areas of investment, and implications for key stakeholders.

Other key findings:

  • The global life sciences ITO market specifically is expected to grow 9.6 percent from US$11.4 billion in 2014 to US$21 billion in 2020.
  • Small transactions (total contract value less than US$25 million) continued to account for the major share of contracts, as smaller life sciences firms held sway.
  • The ever-evolving regulatory environment kept life sciences firms from committing to large technology engagements and drove down deal values.
  • North America and Europe dominated the transaction landscape in 2014. Also, mid-sized pharmaceutical and medical devices firms (revenue US$10-50 billion) accounted for majority of the transaction activity.
  • 2014 witnessed a record number of new drug approvals, attributable to revised FDA policies and increasing focus by life sciences firms on innovation.

***Download Complimentary 12-page Preview Report Here*** (Registration required.) This preview summarizes the report methodology, contents and key findings and offers additional resources for further study.

*** Download Publication-Quality Graphics ***
High-resolution graphics illustrating key takeaways from this report can be included in news coverage, with attribution to Everest Group. Graphics include:

  • Healthcare ITO buyers show affinity for shorter duration contracts
  • Life sciences ITO service providers looking near and far to optimize delivery
  • The digitization of the life sciences industry

About Everest Group
Everest Group is a consulting and research firm focused on strategic IT, business services, and sourcing. We are trusted advisors to senior executives of leading enterprises, providers, and investors. Our firm helps clients improve operational and financial performance through a hands-on process that supports them in making well-informed decisions that deliver high-impact results and achieve sustained value. Our insight and guidance empowers clients to improve organizational efficiency, effectiveness, agility and responsiveness. What sets Everest Group apart is the integration of deep sourcing knowledge, problem-solving skills and original research. Details and in-depth content are available at research.everestgrp.com.

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Andrea M. Riffle

Robert Cathey
Cathey Communications
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