Digital transformation has been the core theme across the global ARC Industry Forums for the past few years, but this year it is more relevant in the aftermath of the pandemic. For the first time since its inception, the 25th Annual ARC Industry Forum in February was hosted as a virtual event. The Forum had a record number of global attendees and speakers this year who took advantage of this “virtual,” online event to network, collaborate, and share actionable strategies for successful digital transformation.
On the second day of the Forum, Andy Chatha, President & CEO, ARC Advisory Group, invited Herbert (Bert) Vander Elst, Senior Director of IT for Manufacturing and Supply Chain at GSK Vaccines to give the keynote address. As we learned, GSK, a science-led global healthcare company, “helps people do more, feel better, and live longer.” Headquartered in Belgium, GSK Vaccines is one of the key businesses of GSK and is in eight countries, has ten production sites, and three R&D centers. GSK Vaccines produce and distribute two million doses per day to around 160 countries; 40 percent of the world’s children receive at least one GSK vaccine.
Mr. Vander Elst contributes significantly to the company’s digital transformation agenda. In his keynote address, he shared examples of the company’s areas of focus, challenges, and opportunities of digital transformation.
Five Pillars of Digital Transformation
The company’s digital transformation strategy centers around innovation, performance, trust, and culture. The company’s five pillars of digital transformation include:
- Futureproofing – Having modern, flexible, and integrated systems and applications
- Agility – Discovering user needs, experimenting, and scaling to ensure feasibility, viability, and desirability of the solution
- Skill transformation – Bringing staff up to speed with new technologies
- Collaboration – Strategic partnerships
- Robust core – Robust infrastructure (networks, high performance computing, cloud storage, virtualization etc.) for internal and external collaboration
These five pillars apply across the board and involve people, capabilities, processes, technologies, and systems. Mr. Vander Elst illustrated the company’s digital transformation via examples that touched on operations, data science, and global collaboration. He spoke about the digital transformation across the value chain – digital twin, data standardization across the industry, and manufacturing automation.