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At the end of 2012, the chief information officer (CIO) at UCB, a global pharmaceutical company based in Brussels, started to implement analytics as a service. As he prepared to meet with UCB's chief executive officer in March 2016, the CIO considered how to advise the board as the organization worked to make an impact with analytics and big data against the backdrop of digital turbulence in its strategic environment. How would you describe the approach used by UCB to introduce analytics and discuss its pros and cons?
Harvard Business Review (W18042-PDF-ENG)
January 26, 2018
Case questions answered:
- Provide a project brief for an analytics-based project comparable in scope to the “sprints” described in the case study. This should include a specification of users’ needs, design specifications, and a discussion of value creation. This can be based on an example from the case study, external research, or your own idea. It must be an example that would be relevant to a company like UCB.
- Using the DELTA(TA) maturity model, at which level of maturity would you rate UCB at the time of writing the case?
- On page 7 of the case, De Prins is quoted as saying: “there is no such thing as a digital strategy, just business strategies for a digital world.” Explain what is meant by this statement and compare it with Nick Carr’s statement that ‘IT does not matter.’
- Would you describe the approach used by UCB to introduce analytics as a “full steam ahead” strategic plan or a more careful “probe and learn” approach? In the context of the case study, discuss the pros and cons of both.
- Given your answers to the above questions, how would you approach the Shanghai meeting if you were De Prins? What recommendations would you make?
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Case answers for UCB: Data is the New Drug
Question 1: Provide a project brief for an analytics-based project comparable in scope to the “sprints” described in the case study. This should include a specification of users’ needs, design specifications, and a discussion of value creation. This can be based on an example from the case study, external research, or your own idea. It must be an example that would be relevant to a company like UCB.
With the association of Damien, the UCB fulfills a brought together alliance, where it would be considered as the main player. This Belgium-based organization is present in 40 countries and had a total income of around €3.3 billion in 2014 (Adams et al., 2020).
In its field, UCB is an international pharmaceutical firm that provides well-known and effective medications for immune-related and nervous system conditions.
The challenges that UCB faces include different language frameworks and language barriers, various marketing strategies per area as what may work for one place may not work for another, an outdated data system that utilizes pen and paper to record calls and issues.
The company, in order to address these challenges, implements some corrections. It tackles language barriers by employing local personnel as well as web-based communication to make communication effective and time-saving.
It also implements an online approach through mobile technology and the internet in new and updated PCs. A concentrated server farm with a set of frameworks manages internal and external reinforcement.
Political factors are those that are controlled by the government based on the framework of the country. These include guidelines on business establishments, social corporate responsibility, exchange limitations, political influence, among others.
Coordination with the government and compliance with governmental requirements are necessary for the smooth operation of any company.
Economic factors include budgetary and financial requirements. It likewise considers credit expenses, opportunities for financing, inflation, wage rates, and exchange rates.
Proper understanding of these factors and how they influence a business is needed to foresee future monetary-related influences.
The lifestyle of the people and the relationship of a company with the community are some of the social factors that a company should consider. A good relationship with the community fosters prosperity and success. Therefore, corporate social responsibility should be respected and adhered to.
Technological advancements affect a company’s strategy and improve a system within an organization. Therefore, any improvement would eventually drive faster processes and eventually success.
Abidance with laws and regulations of the country is necessary to ensure the eradication of governmental penalties and sanctions. It provides order and fosters a better relationship with the people and society.
Prior to putting up a business in one place, it is necessary that a company familiar itself with the laws and regulations avoid legal complications in the future.
Various locations require diverse solutions depending on the place in the examination. The production of medicines and other pharmaceutical products should conform to the environmental laws, climate guidelines, and what the community respects.
Question 2: Using the DELTA (TA) maturity model, at which level of maturity would you rate UCB at The time of writing the case?
The IT/IS group of the UCB evolved and made many transformations to develop efficient and cost-effective business processes, increased productivity, and enhanced the management’s decision-making process (De Moortel and Crispeels, 2018).
This group was…
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