Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - May 2008 - (Page 16)

16 IT/Technology May 2008 Pharmaceutical Executive Europe A Blueprint for Success Jason Burke explains why architecture is more than a specialist IT topic: it’s an essential component of your entire electronic business process. I nformation is expanding at an exponential rate. Most organisations already have more data than they can manage, but information critical to R&D and commercial operations may not yet be inside the organisation, instead residing in the computers of partners or other institutions. Through the ongoing industry discussions of data warehouses and data standards, it is ironic that more attention is not being focused on how to get usable information and make better decisions, rather than just how to store bigger quantities of standardised data. The life sciences industry has been advocating the use of standards for decades. Yet despite this long-standing emphasis, there are no agreed-upon data standards for basic patient information such as vital signs and demographics. The adoption of CDISC standards over the past few years has successfully moved the industry forward, but data standards are only one type of standard needed to bring about fundamental improvements. Considerable data is not useful unless one has the context : under what conditions was the data generated, why was it sent, etc.? Standards are currently missing some important aspects. The importance of architecture The financial services industry uses data standards to define financial transactions: a credit card charge, money transfer or balance inquiry, for example. On its own, the standardised data ‘payload’ — Best Buy gets $23.29 from Jason Burke’s account, for example — would not allow automation. Other standards related to things like electronic communication (how payment information is communicated between store and bank) and workflow (what process is used to authorise and execute payment) actually fulfil the electronic process. The payload (that is, Jason Burke, Best Buy, bank account numbers, amount) does need to be standardised, but retail stores, credit card providers, banks and other entities involved in the transaction have agreed to the communication and workflow standards as well. Thankfully, there is a discipline devoted to figuring out how to develop and implement standards like that: architecture. When the topic of architecture comes up in discussions, I often see scientists, physicians and executives suddenly have phone calls to make. There is a misconception that architecture is just an IT topic. As the examples above illustrate, architecture is as much of a PhotosIndia/Getty Images

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - May 2008

Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - May 2008
From the Editor
News and Analysis
Rising in the East
Use Your Strategic Discretion
A Blueprint for Success
Market Access and the Patient
Activating Effective Product Differentiation
What Doctors Want
IC Success in Four Steps

Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - May 2008