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AstraZeneca: Transforming IT to reduce costs by a third

Global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca began a three-year journey in 2014 to transform their IT services. They asked us to help them:

  • reduce spending on IT from 5% to 3% of total revenue so they could invest more in research,
  • make it easier for the salesforce to do their jobs and bring business growth, and
  • create a great place to work by simplifying processes and boosting collaboration.

AstraZeneca cut the number of IT staff overall and re-skilled some staff, creating 250 new roles. They established a Global Technology Centre in India, bringing capability and control back in-house, cutting the number of external suppliers and simplifying IT operations. This meant the company outsourced only 40% of services to suppliers in 2016, compared to 70% at the start of the programme.

We helped AstraZeneca re-design their operating model to bring IT closer to the business. Business-facing IT teams now have end-to-end accountability for IT solutions and software applications that support their staff and new, local IT teams to provide a single point of accountability at every company site.

We helped them introduce cloud-based software for the sales force, finance and HR to make systems easier to use and save money. In parallel, they launched a programme to replace out of date, legacy IT infrastructure with industry leading new technology. This decommissioned or migrated over 50% of servers, and cut major service outages by 30%.

With our help, AstraZeneca have exceeded their original target. They’ve cut their IT costs by 30% a year compared to equivalent spending in 2013. Crucially, staff perception of the IT department has improved year-on-year from a low of 56% to 75% in 2016.

“PA remained a trusted partner throughout our transformation journey… I always got the sense that we were in it together and it was that strong team ethic and true strategic partnering that made the real difference”

Chris Day, VP IT Strategy & Transformation

Find out more about our work in life sciences.

Contact the life sciences team

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