There is no question that the way we work has fundamentally changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations have had to find ways to quickly implement digital solutions to allow for productive and efficient remote working conditions. According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. Additionally, the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by seven years.1
As we have mentioned before in our whitepaper, digital revolution in the pharmaceutical industry, in order to stay competitive in this new business climate holistic digital transformation must occur. In fact, Deloitte has reported that 77% of CEOs stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated their digital transformation plans.2 The acceleration of the adoption of digital technologies due to COVID-19 is taking place throughout the end-to-end supply chain, with faster and broader adoption of data and predictive analytics, cognitive automation and AI, application and infrastructure platforms, digital reality, digital supply networks, smart factories, and e-commerce. Providing at least a temporary infrastructure for connected digital technologies, has allowed for scientists to make revolutionary breakthroughs, and businesses to work more efficiently than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the case of Thermo Fisher Scientific, we continued to push ourselves to exceed the needs of the world across our product portfolios, with over 50% of COVID-19 testing being performed on Thermo Fisher technology. The Thermo Fisher Scientific Amplitude solution created a highly automated molecular diagnostic testing system capable of analyzing up to 8,000 COVID-19 specimens in 24 hours. This allowed for laboratories to rapidly scale their COVID-19 operations to help reduce the spread of disease and restore economies and communities. In addition, our digital products allowed for customers to streamline and automate their scientific workflows.
What comes next – digital transformation in a post pandemic world
While the pandemic has caused an acute disruption in the world of digital transformation, the pay offs have proved to be a worthwhile investment and have therefore, accelerated many businesses’ long-term digital strategies. The focus on creating a digitally connected laboratory environment to automate and accelerate science, remains a focus in the pharmaceutical industry. As we have learned, digital enablers such as AI, machine and deep learning, blockchain, digital analytics and delivery, and process automation are central to creating more agile research and development processes. These technologies all accelerate a specific component of the R&D process, but the real efficiency gains come from these technologies being connected.
Platform technologies are beginning to come to market to provide a connected laboratory. Often, a combined LIMS/SDMS/ELN/LES offering is being marketed as a platform technology; however, this is not the complete solution that the market needs or is looking for. LIMS/SDMS/ELN/LES certainly are a component that feed data into a platform infrastructure, but a platform goes beyond that. Platform technologies provide a laboratory orchestration engine to connect the four main components of the laboratory: the people, the consumables and reagents, the data, and the services.
Currently, Thermo Fisher is developing technology to connect disparate software systems and laboratory instruments and provide a workflow engine for laboratory processes. Customers will have the ability to orchestrate and automate workflows, store data from multiple business systems in one location, monitor experiments in real time, and completely visualize and manage data. In addition to the digital science business at Thermo Fisher, other areas of the business are enabling intelligent inventory and resource management through the use of telemetry data, developing innovative instrumentation, and creating breakthrough scientific technologies. With these capabilities, Thermo Fisher is uniquely positioned to support its customer’s with a vendor agnostic platform approach to laboratory orchestration. To learn more about the technology that Thermo Fisher is building, join Richard Milne’s keynote presentation at the Lab of the Future event on April 13th, 2021.
Thermo Fisher is dedicated to its mission of making the world a healthier, cleaner, and safer place and providing a mechanism for our customers to develop and deliver novel scientific discoveries to the market faster supports this mission. The future is now, its time to change the world together.
- LaBerge, Laura, et al. “COVID-19 Digital Transformation & Technology | McKinsey.” McKinsey & Company, McKinsey & Company, 5 Oct. 2020, https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/how-covid-19-has-pushed-companies-over-the-technology-tipping-point-and-transformed-business-forever.
- Kane, Gerald, et al. “Digital Transformation through the Lens of COVID-19 | Deloitte Insights.” Deloitte Insights, 6 Aug. 2020, https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/topics/digital-transformation/digital-transformation-COVID-19.html.