The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital strategies in the pharmaceutical industry as several companies have started exploring emerging technologies in business settings.

GlobalData conducted a survey on pharmaceutical industry professionals across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions in 2019 and 2020 to assess their opinion on the departments that would benefit the most from digital transformation.

An analysis of the survey responses reveals that majority of the professionals in 2020 believe that marketing and sales departments will likely benefit the most from digital transformation, followed by research and development (R&D). The trend is in contrast to that of 2019 when majority of the professionals opined that R&D would be the principal beneficiary.

Digital transformation - Departments benefiting most from digitisation 2020 vs. 2019

Departments Benefiting Most from Digital Transformation, 2020 vs. 2019

In North America, the percentage of respondents who opined that marketing and sales departments will benefit the most from digital transformation increased from 30% in 2019 to 46% in 2020. The percentage increased from 27% in 2019 to 38% in 2020 in Europe, and from 25% to 29% in Asia Pacific.

A majority 57% of the professionals in Asia Pacific in 2020 voted that R&D will benefit the most from digitisation, followed by 40% in North America and 38% in Europe. The percentage declined in all regions, compared to 2019.

In Europe, 7% of the professionals voted that administration department will benefit the most from digitisation in 2020, a marginal increase compared with 2019. The figured declined from 7% in 2019 to 6% in 2020 in North America, while remaining at 0% in 2020 in Asia Pacific against 13% in 2019.

IT was the next department voted by 7% professionals in Asia Pacific in 2020 against 0% in 2019. The figure for Europe increased to 6% in 2020 from 0% in 2019 and declined to 3% in 2020 from 4% in 2019 for North America.

Approximately 7% of the professionals in North America voted for logistics in 2020 against 2% in 2019. In Europe, the percentages increased from 3% in 2019 to 4% in 2020.

The analysis is based on responses received from the Digital Transformation and Emerging Technology in the Healthcare Industry, 2020 survey conducted between 17 September and 06 October 2020.