Sowing the Seeds for Digital Transformation

with Francesca Wuttke

In Episode 12 of Contextual Intelligence, we interview Francesca Wuttke, Chief Digital Officer at Almirall. With an impressive background that includes earning her Ph.D. in Pharmacology, starting and running a biotech consultancy, and holding global strategy roles at Novartis and MSD, Francesca has seen and studied the life sciences industry from nearly every angle. Today, she’s using that diverse, first-hand perspective to develop and execute an end-to-end companywide digital transformation at Almirall.

Now two years into her ambitious project, Francesca gives our listeners a behind-the-scenes progress report. Listen as she shares her tips for kicking off a major technology-driven initiative, how she’s getting critical cultural mindset shifts to take root, and why starting a “Digital Garden” was a non-negotiable part of her strategic plan. Tune in to the full episode for 40 minutes of insights from one of the industry’s leading advocates for digital innovation, but if you’re short on time, start with our list of key takeaways below.

Key Takeaways 

[2:57] – The thorniest problems facing the life sciences industry today

For broken healthcare systems, data-driven insights are a key lifeline.

[4:01] – How Almirall defines digital (and why agreeing on terms is mission-critical for success)

Landing on a consistent, companywide definition is harder than you think.

[6:23] – An inside view into the early days of Almirall’s digital transformation process

While technology can enable change, it’s the people that transform a company and that really lead to a digital transformation.

[9:22] – Using problem statements to focus digital innovation (what keeps you up at night?)

Learn how this one framing technique can help ensure that projects are always aligned with strategic imperatives.

[13:11] – Almirall’s Digital Garden and the growing role of technology accelerators in pharma

When routine tasks can be automated, internal teams have more time to innovate and leverage data assets more effectively.

[28:04] – The lasting impact of the pandemic on commercial engagement

They say it takes 3 weeks to form a habit. What happens after 18 months?

[29:11] – How to cultivate a digital mindset in your organization

The idea shouldn’t be to throw cool technology at a problem because it’s cool. Lead with the business value and your team will follow.

[32:12] – Francesca’s advice for selecting the right technology partner

Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you have a problem to solve, there’s probably a solution out there for it. Find the best one.

[36:22] – Who makes the invite list for Francesca’s ultimate dinner party

We’ll give you one: The Notorious RBG.

About Contextual Intelligence

Contextual Intelligence is a podcast by Aktana that conducts discussions with smart and interesting from different avenues of the life sciences and artificial intelligence. Focused on important, relevant topics within the industry, the podcast shares learnings from industry experts that you can apply to your own business situations.