Companies in every industry are defining their next generation of value chains. In doing so, they are increasingly integrating with third parties, and their platforms.
But rather than like partnerships of old, forward-thinking leaders leverage these relationships to unlock new waves of strategic growth. They’re designing future value chains to transform their businesses, products, and even markets themselves.
These statements are from Accenture Technology Vision 2017. I’ve modified them (and below) to place the focus more on drug development and manufacturing specifically, including 9 steps for bio and pharma leadership to consider in this pursuit of platform partnerships.
The Platform Revolution
As companies join what the report calls a platform revolution, partner selection becomes even more critical. While some view these new relationships as an evolution in existing value chains, savvier leaders realize these decisions portend a deeper strategic shift to new multidimensional ecosystems that are redefining industries.
Each time an enterprise leverages a third-party platform to support aspects of its business, it is, in fact, choosing the alliance partners it will also count on for developing its next generation of products and services.
To remain competitive, every business must begin moving their thinking beyond the short-term gains that platforms provide. Leadership should embrace a more holistic strategy that balances tactical decision-making with fostering and investing in the ecosystems that will encompass their long-term growth. In doing so, companies lay groundwork for the building of their future value chains – and better position themselves at the heart of emerging technologies and markets that will determine tomorrow’s winners and laggards in every industry.
9 Steps To The Platform
The Accenture report is focused on digital platforms and technology, but it’s uncanny how while reading through it (with minor mind edits) it speaks directly to our industry’s challenges, for example on surfacing the technologies and platforms for advancing new therapies, and modernizing development and manufacturing processes and equipment.
When you add the fact that biotech and pharma executives are looking to effectively limit the number of external partners they need to rely on, by deepening relationships with those special ones they select, these nine steps can inform and guide the partner – or platform – selection process.
An impressive, widely applicable list of nine, wouldn’t you agree? Outsourced Pharma readers have certainly thought through at least some of these steps. You may also be thinking: Easier said than done.
Platform Power To The People
It may sound soporific, but ultimately, says the Accenture report, all this is accomplished by enabling people to succeed.
Technological innovations are for our individual, and collective, benefit. The power in technology lies squarely within the people who can bring benefits to business and society through innovation. While there are risks in new technologies, we are in control; that is, if we establish a people-first approach. We can shape technology so it serves us as a catalyst to augment and enhance our human skills to: listen more closely to employees, partners and customers, and increase individual and operating performance. And that includes throughout our platform partnerships.
This people-first approach to technology and business requires deeper intelligence at all levels of the enterprise, from strategy formation through operations. Every decision about technology implementation, ecosystem relationships, workforce enablement, behavioral design, and industry expansion, must be made with people in mind – both on an individual and societal basis.
Again, the key is that we are in control. It’s no longer people adapting to technology, but technology adapting to us as human beings. Consider this: Every time an experience is personalized, or a technology platform anticipates needs and wants, humans are placed in the driver’s seat to realization. Even as technology becomes more sophisticated, it does not drive change – we do.
In other words, we’re putting technology to work to help us “disrupt” ourselves. That might sound frightening to some business leaders. Long-term, though, success depends on it. If, then, companies are to advance with partners, and technology will empower people, then the goal is to design technology for those people and partnerships. This entails changing the way leaders think about their business models and relationships.
It’s time to platform, or perish.
This article is based on the report, Accenture Technology Vision 2017, sub-titled “Technology for People: The Era of the Intelligent Enterprise.”