3 Focus Areas for Building a Strong Technology Foundation

At Jazz Pharmaceuticals, building a strong technology foundation for growth is at the core of every decision. Technology should be driving our business forward, not holding us back. After an acquisition in 2021 that brought together Jazz Pharmaceuticals and GW Pharmaceuticals, we knew the way we handled the technology integration would set the foundation for years to come.

Building a strong technology foundation requires collaboration, diligent prioritization, and a user-centric mindset. Here’s how we focused on each of those areas.

Focus on the end user

Creating a user-centric approach requires an open feedback loop with users and business process owners. Gather insights from stakeholders to identify areas for improvement and ensure that the technology is working seamlessly and as each user intended. As business priorities change, keep an open line of communication with business process owners to address changes in features and capabilities.

For example, during the implementation of a new feature in our Vault PromoMats at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, I wanted to ensure that the end-user’s experience was at the forefront of our decision-making process.

First, I conducted in-depth interviews and user surveys with stakeholders, including the marketing and review team. I wanted to understand their pain points and requirements to identify the challenges they faced in their daily tasks and how the new feature could alleviate them.

With this user feedback, I worked closely with the IT team to customize the feature in a way that addressed these specific concerns. We focused on streamlining workflows, reducing manual tasks, and providing clear, intuitive navigation.

Once the feature was ready for testing, I organized user testing sessions to gather feedback. I observed how they interacted with the new feature and noted any areas of confusion or friction. Their input helped in fine-tuning the functionality.

Rank priorities of business areas

Juggling the technology priorities of different business areas can make it difficult to decide which to pursue first. Weigh their priorities against overall business goals to decide what technology features are most crucial for growth. Invest time in gathering requirements gathering and developing a legacy plan. Then, use that information to plan for future scalability and adaptability so the platform remains efficient and relevant as the organization grows.

For example, during our acquisition with GW Pharmaceuticals, I led the effort to identify which technology capabilities we needed immediately and which could wait until later. My main priority was to ensure a smooth transition and user experience during the integration process.

I listened to stakeholders’ priorities and objectives across both companies. That enabled my team to make well-informed decisions that prioritized support for critical workflows and regulatory compliance.

We also developed a roadmap to outline how our technology foundation would evolve to meet the future needs of the organization. If a stakeholder wanted a capability that was not initially included in the implementation, the roadmap allows them to see when we would prioritize it.

Collaborate across teams

If technology is going to support an entire organization, there needs to be input across teams and business process owners. From acquisitions to implementation to adding features, strive for consistent collaboration between IT and business process owners. This allows you to understand user requirements, align goals, and implement solutions that meet both technical and user needs.

For example, while the Vault owner at Jazz Pharmaceuticals is typically someone from IT, all decision-making requires input from business process owners and users who may have different expertise and perspectives.

Getting started

Building a strong technology foundation requires keeping the end goal in mind. When acquiring GW Pharmaceuticals, we prioritized capabilities aligned with our business goals, thanks to our clear vision. By adopting a forward-thinking approach to technology foundation building, we have avoided potential misalignments. Defining our goals and objectives for the technology foundation before making platform and feature decisions helped us set the stage for the future.

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