Cognizant: Building a Vision of Efficiency
Cognizant’s unique industry-based, consultative approach helps clients envision, build and run more innovative and efficient businesses. Srinivas Shankar, Global Head of Life Sciences for Cognizant, talks to us about the massive shifts happening in the industry and how digitisation is helping clients like Viatris to find better ways of working.
Shankar has been with the company for more than 12 years and remains so with a smile on his face, “I’m really happy to be here,” he says before delving into what makes the Cognizant life sciences business special.
“At Cognizant, for us, life sciences are two distinct industry segments. The first is biopharmaceutical companies and the second is medical device companies. We work with all of the top 30 biopharmaceutical companies and 12 of the top 15 medical device companies. I've been with the company for 12 years now, all of it in life sciences. And I'm very passionate about what we do every day to leverage technology to improve the lives of patients.”
Speaking to the drivers that are influencing the life sciences industry, Shankar says, “There've been a few secular trends in the life sciences industry that are both applicable to biopharmaceutical, as well as the medical devices industrial segments. The first is what we call desegregation of care, which is moving away from the traditional confines of a hospital setting to remote patient monitoring, ambulatory care centres, personalised point of care, diagnostics and therapeutics.
“The second is the move to value-based care, moving us away from fee for service models, which is traditionally how the industry has been compensated, to more value-based models where drug pricing is based on things like outcomes delivered.
“Last but certainly not the least, due to Covid-19, regulations have been evolving at a faster pace around things such as the virtualisation of clinical trials and digital therapeutics. When it comes to privacy, there's been a lot of evolution in regulatory guidelines around areas such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). You will see both of these continue to evolve very quickly and it's important for the industry to keep pace with the changes.”
“If you look at commercial, a lot of the industry is moving to what we call omnichannel marketing, which is finding alternate means of reaching physicians, primarily using digital channels. We also have seen a significant increase in manufacturing and the need to manufacture vaccines and many other COVID-19 related products at scale. That scale requires a huge infusion of manufacturing capacity, so we're seeing concepts like Industry 4.0, which is the fourth industrial revolution, playing out very quickly in life sciences and being manifested in concepts like smart digital factories.
“In relation to services that we provide to clients, we see significant adoption of digital technologies, such as cloud, IoT, data analytics, and digital engineering. And we're using all of these digital technologies to be able to bring solutions to clients.
On Cognizant’s relationship with Viatris, Shankar points out that the partnership is “very strategic.” “It predates the coming together of Mylan and the Upjohn division of Pfizer to form Viatris (2020). In 2014, we started a relationship with Mylan. After that, we started providing a whole range of strategic services from infrastructure support and operations to application support services to large and complex ERP implementations. More recently, with the formation of Viatris, we have been supporting the organisation around core infrastructure services for day-one preparedness, which includes end-user support services for about 13,000 users across 14 global sites. We are also a strategic partner for post-integration services for the Viatris organisation.”
“We're truly excited about our strategic partnership with Viatris and I think that the coming together of both these organisations, Cognizant and Viatris, can truly drive meaningful, positive value in the lives of patients.”
CGI: Driving local solutions with global expertise
Embrace digital transformation and infuse it with a spirit of agility, is the message to the public sector from Aleta Jeffress, CGI Senior Vice President Consulting Services.
“We partner with clients to drive value and innovation,” said Jeffress who has been working with the US City of Mesa, AZ on their digital journey for their local citizens.
Founded in 1976, CGI is one of the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world. It is insights-driven and outcomes-based to help accelerate return on investments. CGI operates across 21 industries in 400 locations and provides scalable and sustainable services that are informed globally and delivered locally.
“We have expertise in developing and executing strategies to help companies transform their IT to align with the business through cloud strategies, application rationalization, modernization and outsourcing,” said Jeffress speaking from the Denver CGI offices.
“Digital change can be exhausting, but take the opportunity to embrace it and look for new opportunities,” said Jeffress who pointed out projects should have a sense of agility and specific focus on the end-user.
“This can be a big culture change for some clients but by making sure your implementations are not a big bang theory but you can take smaller chunks which you’re able to do over and over again as it's just going to continue to evolve,” she said.
Informed globally and delivered locally
Commenting on CGI’s partnership with the City of Mesa, Jeffress said: “We are providing a solution that has a lower cost of ownership and helps them streamline business processes and helps increase efficiency.
“The City sought a single source of truth for their ERP business processes. With CGI Advantage, they found a partner in their digital transformation journey with a configurable, unified solution that supports their HR, financial management, and performance budgeting business processes.
“With CGI Advantage, the City is working with a single source of truth that lowers total cost of ownership, streamlines business processes, and increases efficiency - additional benefits include:
• A decrease in customizations and staffing requirements resulting in faster upgrade cycles.
• Empowering HR resources to focus on strategic efforts by removing the need for manual and duplicate data entry.
• Increased accuracy with reporting.
• Process improvements shifting from customized or paper-based processes to automated processes.
• Increased pay transparency and accuracy by leveraging process improvements and configurable support
A trusted partner
“CGI is a company that focuses very intently and very intentionally on delivery - that is something that really sets us apart,” said Jeffress.
“We have an internal process where we meet with clients twice a year to ask a specific set of questions. How our clients answer those questions allows us to be sure we are aligned and can be a trusted partner with all of our clients.”
“As an international company, we can provide key resources when our clients need it in a very timely manner,” she said.
Reflecting on the challenges posed by COVID-19 Jeffress said there had been a true evolution in technology services.