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Global Pharmaceutical Firm Transforms US IT Operations

Global Pharmaceutical Firm Transforms US IT Operations

The Challenge

The CIO of the North American operations of a top tier global Pharmaceutical company decided to transform the organization to address changing business dynamics. The organization needed to recalibrate IT resources and their ability to meet the increasing demands for IT services, in light of significant changes in the company’s markets. She initiated the transformation by moving to a demand and delivery model, then re-structuring the application management and delivery organization, with the objectives of focusing demand while improving service delivery and overall performance.


To address Service Delivery, the Allen Advisory team worked with the senior IT leadership to develop a standards based Operating Model for the application delivery organization. Engaging application managers and other process participants and stakeholders, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes were customized to accommodate local practices and considerations using commercially available tools (Remedy). Processes reviewed included Request Management, Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Release Management and Vendor Management. The Allen Advisory team helped define the new processes and roles, then provided training, created handbooks and worked through piloting the new processes and tools. The team then remained in a coaching capacity to ensure effective knowledge transfer and increase the team’s process capabilities.

Additionally, as part of an Application Life Cycle Management (ALM) assessment, each application was evaluated in term of its technical health and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Road Maps were then developed that specified the future direction for each application (e.g., enhancements, sunset, replacement, etc.) In addition, a Service Delivery and Applications Portfolio Strategy was developed that positioned the organization for improved service delivery for the local North American business units, while at the same time allowing for greater leverage of global IT services and assets for improved productivity.

To address Demand Management, the team worked with the Program Management Office (PMO) to improve the IT alignment process and governance structures, as well as their portfolio management processes. Working with their business customers, the alignment process focused on building “business capabilities” that drove strategic value, providing the filter through which all demand would be evaluated. In regards to Governance, Steering Committees and phase gates were adjusted to better focus on quality and compliance issues that surface during development and delivery. Also, portfolio management and prioritization processes were better positioned to improve overall management of projects, capital allocation, and the management of resources throughout the project life cycle. The team assisted the client PMO team to develop project estimating and other tools to better manage resources and performance.


Completing the second year of the transformation, significant progress and performance improvement has been achieved. The application management and delivery teams have effectively adopted the standardized ITIL processes, with resulting impacts in improved service level attainment and customer satisfaction. With respect to Demand Management, business customers have embraced the alignment, governance, and prioritization processes. With transformation recognized to be a several year journey, the organization is progressing to the next phase of transformation, with focus on improved infrastructure services and compliance, training, vendor service level management, and a critical focus on performance metrics and key performance indicators.


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