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Lack of connected working limits progress in digital pharma – report

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Siloed thinking, exacerbated by rigid business structures and challenging regulation, is limiting progress in digital pharma and limiting the success of omnichannel engagement strategies, according to a new report from digital experience agency Graphite Digital.

The Disconnected Pharma report, based on 100 in-depth interviews with executives from some of the sector’s leading companies, including Novartis and AstraZeneca, revealed a disconnect both within companies and in the wider pharma industry.

Organisational structure was identified as the biggest internal barrier to digital adoption and transformation, with three in five (58 per cent) business leaders agreeing that teams are not joined up and silos persist, despite attempts to engender greater cooperation.

Mindset and culture may underpin these issues, with two in five (38 per cent) reporting a lack of internal engagement due to risk aversion and outdated thinking, which is preventing organisations from making progress in line with their digital ambitions.

These issues with business structure and culture are impacting organisations’ ability to access the data they need to engage with patients and HCPs effectively.

While overcoming restrictions driven by compliance and regulation is a challenge, three in five (61 per cent) agree that internal silos also create barriers to accessing engagement data.

As a result, digital leaders do not have access to valuable insights from projects undertaken by different teams that could help to build more effective strategies.

This may explain why more than three quarters (77 per cent) of organisations report a lack of success with their omnichannel strategies.

Rob Verheul, CEO at Graphite Digital, said: “For an omnichannel strategy to succeed, seamless integration is crucial.

“However, many pharma digital leaders face internal barriers and siloed mindsets, hindering collaboration.

“Overcoming these challenges and adopting new ways of working are essential to deliver on the promise of omnichannel.”

Addressing these internal challenges to help digital teams connect more effectively is crucial, but pharma leaders also recognised a need for greater collaboration within the industry to drive digital disruption and innovation.

One in five (20 per cent) agree that more collaborative ecosystems and partnerships within the industry are needed to facilitate knowledge-sharing and joint innovation.

Verheul said: “In a competitive market, collaboration isn’t instinctive, but it’s essential for real change and disruption.

“Emerging technologies and advanced digital channels offer pharma companies huge opportunities.

“By learning from each other, we can enhance user experiences for HCPs and patients much more effectively.”

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