Pfizer Scales Digital Business Transformation Initiatives for Better Patient Outcomes

Author photo: Sharada Prahladrao
BySharada Prahladrao
Company and Product News

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. This year’s Top 25 companies include many who made the list last year, together with some new companies. Positions were reshuffled due to the changing business dynamics and weighting components of the analysis: financial indicators, transformation indicators, and collective community intelligence. Pfizer scales digital business transformation initiatives for better patient outcomes and is ranked #1 in this year’s report.

The last few years have been particularly challenging ones for industrial growth. We’ve been cornered from all sides: pandemics, political unrest, climate change, and macroeconomic uncertainty. The world as we knew it a few years ago has capsized and the boundaries of the new normal are constantly shifting and realigning. Digital transformation is now an imperative and digital transformation leaders can be found across many different industries, sharing common traits and visions, helping organizations overcome complex challenges to innovate and stay agile. Several key trends were identified in this report: importance of sustainability, actively seeking to scale solutions in multiple dimensions, benefits of focus and prioritization, empowering the operational front line, recognition that culture change is required, and active outreach to others.

ARC Advisory Group defines digital transformation as: “The integration of digital technology into all areas of business, fundamentally changing the way companies operate and deliver value to customers. The organization is typically charged to innovate and improve across multiple dimensions such as: digital/disruptive technologies, culture and leadership, operational agility, workforce engagement, customer experience, environmental, social and governance, and competitive performance.”

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


Pfizer is well advanced on the maturity curve of its digital transformation and is looking toward the future on taking their transformation success and scaling it across all their plants.

Pfizer’s CEO is a huge champion for DT for the entire organization. Even before he was CEO, he was the COO and had a program to make change happen. He defines the company’s mission as “driving Digital Business Transformationbreakthroughs that change patients’ lives.” As part of that mission, they have embraced digital business transformation to become a leaner, more science-driven patient-focused organization. Three strategic initiatives include the application of digital technologies to speed up discovery and development of medicines and vaccines, enhance patient customer experience and outcomes, and make work faster and easier through the application of automation. Pfizer understands that the age and size of the company tends to foster a mentality of people stuck in the old way of doing things.

To address resistance, the leadership keeps employees engaged throughout the process, solicits their feedback, and provides support along the way. They highlight tangible outcomes during the transition, often gaining proponents of a new way of working. Pfizer, despite being in a highly regulated industry with strict compliance requirements, is an early adopter of cloud technology, and focuses on making sure cloud deployments are as secure, if not more so, than their traditional datacenter environments. The company states this early investment in cloud played a key role in enabling Pfizer to move at the speed required in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Road Ahead

Digital transformation is a continuous journey and ARC will continue its research in all areas related to digital transformation. We want to learn more about what is working – and what isn’t – as companies pursue their unique digital transformation activities. A lot is happening both on the supplier and user sides, and we would like to know about the pitfalls and success stories. The  ARC Industrial Digital Transformation Top 25 report will be published on an annual basis. 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. We are on this journey together!

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