Christof

Christof

  • Expert for digi­ta­li­za­tion in the phar­maceu­tical mid-sized sector
  • Focus on data inte­grity and compli­ance
  • 17 years of expe­ri­ence in digi­ta­li­za­tion, 10 years in the regu­la­tive indu­stry, one of 10 VDMA Indu­stry 4.0 scouts

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The influ­ence of IT on the company

The effi­ci­ency of IT deeply impacts overall company perfor­mance. Unfor­tu­n­a­tely, admi­ni­stra­tive tasks are espe­ci­ally prone to require a great deal of time and energy from expen­sive, quali­fied employees – from not only IT but also other depart­ments. The result: the company’s capa­city to inno­vate and develop suffers because IT employees in parti­cular have the best tech­nical over­view and are prede­stined to drive digi­ta­li­za­tion projects.

The company is like­wise hampered when, for example, a newly hired sales­person can’t work because they lacks IT-access, or important tasks take much too long to complete because certain soft­ware is unavail­able.

The busi­ness impact becomes even more extreme once employees start to build up their own shadow-IT and begin, for example, to exchange data with a client via a private dropbox, because the company’s IT is too slow. A data protec­tion night­mare! The answer to many such chal­lenges is the auto­ma­tion of IT processes.

Realiz­able solu­tion approa­ches are avail­able in the follo­wing areas:

    1. Auto­ma­tion of user admi­ni­stra­tion

Enables up to 90% of user admi­ni­stra­tion to be directly trans­ferred to the HR teams. Not only does this reduce down­time when new team members are unable to do their work, it also increases the produc­tivity of the HR depart­ment. Process quality and relia­bi­lity are increased simul­ta­neously.

Prac­tical Example: in a medium-sized company the crea­tion of new users is auto­mated. The personnel depart­ment gains access to an online form to record data, e.g. name and super­visor. The super­visor then assigns permis­sions to various project folders. In only two hours a new employee can already start working on their tasks.

    2. Auto­ma­tion of the permis­sions manage­ment

All access to company resources is controlled by autho­ri­za­tions. When permis­sions manage­ment is auto­mated, autho­ri­za­tions can be ordered and admi­ni­stered via a self-service portal. This reduces the time required for employees to access the resources they need and avoids unnecessary time spent waiting. The company can now react to New chal­lenges and role changes more dyna­mi­cally.

Prac­tical example: A company has to docu­ment when and which employee accesses data and to make certain that these permis­sions are revoked when the employee changes depart­ments. Through rights manage­ment auto­ma­tion, users can request permis­sions from a card index by them­selves – autho­ri­za­tion is performed by the data controller. When chan­ging depart­ments the divi­sion manager examines permis­sions. All regu­la­tory options are now fully docu­mented and track­able.

    3. Auto­ma­tion of the Soft­ware distri­bu­tion

Nowa­days the instal­la­tion of opera­ting systems and other soft­ware takes place manu­ally and on demand. However, this can be auto­mated as well, so that employees can quickly return to work in cases of tech­nical issues or when chan­ging devices. This faci­li­tates the renting of expen­sive licenses for one-time usage instead of wasting capital on their purchase. This results in cons­i­derable savings. Rent instead of buy!

Prac­tical Example: The licen­sing of MS Project and Visio, a short-term requi­re­ment for many employees, was reor­ga­nized to a rental model combined with soft­ware distri­bu­tion. The users were able to request soft­ware in the shop and have it on-hand within one hour. In case of disuse within 30 days, the soft­ware will be returned auto­ma­ti­cally. As a result, 75% of licen­sing costs and the payment of the soft­ware distri­bu­tion and the imple­men­ta­tion were saved in the first year.

    4. Control auto­ma­tion

In this area the focus is on avai­la­bi­lity, secu­rity and trans­pa­r­ency. Important systems, e.g. merchan­dise manage­ment and produc­tion control, are auto­ma­ti­cally moni­tored, and any problems which arise are addressed appro­pria­tely. For this purpose the imple­men­ta­tion of a conti­nuous surveil­lance and process control in the company is necessary.

Prac­tical Example: A phar­maceu­tical manu­fac­turer inte­grates produc­tion moni­to­ring of produc­tion and compu­ters on-site on a central plat­form. Every depart­ment receives their own dash­board showing important data specific to their system e.g. current perfor­mance, waiting lines, tempe­ra­ture. As a result, higher opera­tional safety and trans­pa­r­ency were achieved and the amount of main­ten­ance required was reduced.

Four tips on how IT auto­ma­tion can be imple­mented to imme­dia­tely add value

Tip one: Address simple processes first

It is best to start with processes where the fastest measurable effects can be gene­rated. Examples are reset­ting pass­words and setting up user profiles.

Tip two: Step by step imple­men­ta­tion

Many compa­nies imme­dia­tely start to plan the IT-auto­ma­tion of entire process chains. They do not consider that the more complex systems and struc­tures there are, the longer it takes. Success is reached very late. Clearly struc­tured process by process solu­tions are easier and more reliable.

Tip three: Deter­mine stan­dards at the outset

Without process stan­dards, there’s no auto­ma­tion: inte­grated auto­ma­tion without the inter­ven­tion of IT employees is only possible when fixed deci­sion-making para­me­ters can lead to speci­fied solu­tions and when processes always run the same way.

Tip four: Involve employees in project plan­ning


If all IT employees are involved in the digi­ta­li­za­tion process and targets are collec­tively discussed, possible issues and concerns can be resolved imme­dia­tely. Some employees might see their jobs endan­gered by auto­ma­tion. By inclu­ding them in project plan­ning they’ll learn from expe­ri­ence that the auto­ma­tion of grunt work relieves pres­sure on IT depart­ments, giving them more time for projects and tasks that increase service quality and overall value of IT.

Conclu­sion


IT bears great respon­si­bi­lity and influ­ences company success through inno­va­tive and compe­ti­tive solu­tions. Facing the big chal­lenges given by digi­ta­li­za­tion, it’s even more important that compa­nies opti­mize and auto­mate their IT-systems ideally with as little effort as possible. The resul­ting added value comes from high agility and the fulfill­ment of customer requi­re­ments without or with minimal inter­rup­tions. In this way, IT auto­ma­tion can help imple­ment busi­ness oppor­tu­nities safely and quickly.

The chal­lenges are to quickly gene­rate added value (quick wins), to work out processes and to main­tain speed until all objec­tives are accom­plished. This is where an expe­ri­enced consul­tant can make the diffe­rence between success and failure.

Christof

Christof

  • Expert for digi­ta­li­za­tion in the phar­maceu­tical mid-sized sector
  • Focus on data inte­grity and compli­ance
  • 17 years of expe­ri­ence in digi­ta­li­za­tion, 10 years in the regu­la­tive indu­stry, one of 10 VDMA Indu­stry 4.0 scouts

Want to get to know Christof?

Get in contact

Still curious?
There is more to see here:

All Perspectives