UCB recognizes that leveraging technology across our business is not a choice, but rather a necessity to enhance our business performance and produce new value propositions. Through digital transformation, we can amplify the power of scientific innovation to create sustainable value and ensure that patients can live the lives they want.
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital technology was already changing how patients experience care, how healthcare professionals practice medicine, and how companies like UCB develop solutions and bring them to the market.
It is with this in mind that digital business transformation was established as a strategic priority for UCB, enabling us to deliver enhanced performance and explore new ways of doing business, all with a view to creating value for patients, now and into the future. Many of our digitalization activities were accelerated as a result of COVID-19 and the learnings from this acceleration will influence how we prepare for the future. UCB’s digital business transformation is a cross-company strategic priority, which concerns all employees at every level.
Digital business transformation at UCB takes two forms:
Digitalization of our core business to make established ways of working simpler and more efficient.
Digital transformation – i.e. using technology to create new business processes, culture and customer experiences to meet changing business and societal requirements.
By focusing on both these areas, we can reimagine every aspect of our business, particularly how we shape new solutions and create new platforms, from discovery, to development, to delivery. To successfully achieve our digital business transformation, we invest in multiple enablers that allow us to remain agile, experimental and adaptable. These are:
Data. We want to establish a data-centric culture where data is everyone’s responsibility, where it informs decision making, and where it enhances cross-company empowerment, collaboration, and information sharing throughout the company.
Capabilities. To optimize our use of new technologies, we are upskilling, reskilling and hiring new talent across the company – from data scientists and engineers, to information technology (IT) architects, user experience (UX) designers, and platform project leads. This is supported through dedicated learning and development programs, ‘hands-on’ experiential training, rotation programs, and talent acquisition/partnering solutions.
Culture and Mindset. Successfully achieving our digital business transformation depends as much on shifting our company mindset and culture as it does on investing in new infrastructures, technology and skills. This means working to overcome common barriers, such as silos and hierarchies, while focusing on customer-centricity, agility, risk-value mindset, adaptability and growth mindset, transversal collaboration, and external connectivity.
UCB is transforming its entire clinical development process from a sequence of activities into a fully-integrated, technology- and data-enabled process. All aspects of clinical development, from clinical study design, feasibility assessment, and clinical site identification, to patient recruitment, data collection, data analyses and reporting are undergoing major innovation. A cornerstone of this process is our end-to-end clinical study automation program, which aims to speed up the delivery of each clinical study while also reducing costs and enhancing consistency and quality. This is possible through an internally-developed IT platform, where data standards and digital clinical design contents (i.e. inputs for various study documents) form the foundation for interoperability and digitalization right from the clinical study design stage.