Covid-19 Accelerated Digital Transformation Initiatives at Novartis

Author photo: Sharada Prahladrao
BySharada Prahladrao
Technology Trends

The second annual ARC Industrial Digital Transformation Top 25 report continues to highlight companies that are succeeding at integrating digital technology into all areas of business, fundamentally changing the way they operate and deliver value to customers. ARC developed a rigorous process based on financial performance, a community intelligence based ranking system, and software and sustainability data. Leading companies take a strategic approach, integrating digital technology throughout their value chains. Covid-19 accelerated digital transformation initiatives at Novartis, and it ranks #12 in this report.

Digital transformation is a whole new way of transacting businesses, supporting customers, leveraging the available services, and adapting to a volatile and fiercely competitive marketplace. The digital transformation journey has its share of challenges for both suppliers and end users. Technology is only part of the equation. People, capability, willingness, process simplification, and adopting a multidisciplinary approach are also required. Transforming to an organization where constant change and adjustment define normal operations is still very conceptual for some industrial companies. Each company is at a different stage of digital maturity, so there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Digital transformation leaders can be found across many different industries, sharing common traits and visions, helping them overcome complex challenges to innovate and stay agile. The companies mentioned in this report not only have their transformation initiatives well underway, but they also have their eye to the future tackling the next set of challenges on their journey.

This is the twelfth in a series of blogs in the digital transformation space.


At Novartis, Covid-19 was a tipping point between just knowing what was possible with digital transformation and the reality of having to unlock change Digital Transformation Initiativesin the midst of a crisis. With over 100,000 employees the company develops and manufactures healthcare products in over 100 countries. After pre-Covid missteps in trying to transform in IT driven silos, the company took a new approach moving its technology infrastructure to the cloud, invested in data integration platforms and transformed its staff and culture. The company deployed AI modeling throughout the firm. Silos were broken and units developed shareable knowledge – one version of the data – to enable innovation.

Going Forward

Digital transformation has emerged as the fulcrum of business operations. This year’s Top 25 companies include many who made the list last year, together with some new companies and reshuffling of positions. ARC will continue its research in all areas related to digital transformation and analyze the outcomes. The ARC Industrial Digital Transformation Top 25 report will be published annually. With this being our second year, your feedback is very important to us as we will continue to investigate new approaches and measures to adjust our methodology, identify successful digital transformation initiatives, and help the industry as a whole digitally transform. Let’s travel together!

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