Analysis of Information Technology Utilization at Pfizer

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Information technology is one of the recent developments used by businesses to improve working efficiency for productivity maximization. This aspect is classified into three main components which include processes, communication, as well as storage. Those companies which have leveraged the advances in technology have helped more significant benefits. Also, information technology is applicable in service sectors, manufacturing, as well as in the supply of goods. Information is relayed with accessible from one point to another within an organization, data is stored more securely, and also, daily processes have been enhanced by technology. Various firms have developed IT architectures that help them to achieve their operational objectives quickly (Brittain). 

One of the typical examples of a firm that has utilized technology in its operations is known as Pfizer. This company is a pharmaceutical manufacturer which engages in the production, distribution, storage, as well as the sale of drugs. Thus, the company has processes which require advanced handling to meet its daily and other operational objectives. The analysis of this company’s IT utilization is broken down into three aspects which include various processes, storage techniques, as well processes in Pfizer. Also, an analysis of the technologies used in each matrix is provided with multiple opportunities that benefit the business. Also, the risks associated with these techniques are presented. Similarly, there are some of the mitigations strategies that the company can adapt to minimize the chances of technological developments (Swarbrick and Boylan).

Communication

Pfizer has adopted another of communication technologies in its operations. The primary role of this company is research and development on drugs and other regulated chemicals. Thus, there are several departments which should work together in harmony to ensure all functions goes as planned. Therefore, employees need to communicate with each other, the managers provide instructions to workers, and also, there is a great need to communicate with customers. Thus, all these processes require an efficient and updated technology that ensures information reaches the desired person. Also, it is through communication that scientists and other researchers get all the necessary procedures to conduct the various operations (Constable et al. 411).

Pfizer has invested over 15% of its annual returns in research and development in each year. This move is aimed at easing operations and minimizing risks in the manufacturing process. Thus, the management has invested a lot in digital technologies to provide digital solutions in its communication processes. In many instances, the pharmaceutical manufacturer has contacted some of the renowned companies in the world to offer communication solutions within its environments (Allen). One of the best technologies used by Pfizer is the data virtualization technology. This tool has helped in relaying useful information to the firm’s researchers and product developers.

Data virtualization technology has pro contents that have empowered the management and employees in their daily operations. Also, it has helped in boosting employee morale as well as minimizing work-related/research errors. The quality of information has also improved making it easy for the company to manage big data and connect well with the clients. Similarly, it has helped in getting immediate customer feedback from the pharmaceutical market. The company adopted data virtualization softwares starting from 2010. This move also created a need for additional storage devices, servers, as well as databases. The overall process of decision making was made efficient despite the associated costs. Currently, the company uses data virtualization softwares from Composite Software Inc. which has been acquired by Cisco. Other vendors include Denodo and Informatica Corp.

The communication technologies used at Pfizer have some potential risks which may affect the company performance if not well handled. Data virtualization is known to access data from different sources. Thus, there is a challenge of data retrieval. Also, there are some risks of communication barriers within the organization. Employees in the medical and research departments need frequent communication with useful feedback to minimize errors. Also, access to the communication technology is not controlled, and thus, unauthorized access is possible. Other threats also include the increased competition and the rate of technological advancement. Furthermore, market regulation poses a challenge to the company based on the choice of the communication software.

However, there are several options that Pfizer cad adopt to cope with some of the challenges associated with its communication technology. The company should first adhere to legal regulations to ensure they have the required technology. Also, they should focus on cost-effective and market-oriented techniques to reduce the financial implications associated with a system upgrade. Establishing a unique working culture will also boost employee morale and an active communication network. The organizational structure should be framed in such a way to create information trail in communication for security auditing. The frequent update also will save the firm the risk of old technologies.

Processes

Pfizer Inc. has several methods that cannot be facilitated easily by the use of manual processes. Being a manufacturing and research-based company, Pfizer uses information technology in speeding its operations. Process Analytical Technologies are adopted to enhance manufacturing and other related services. The company has taken spectroscopic tools like IR, UV, Raman, NIR, and many other technologies to measure temperatures, pH, and pressure. In controlling laboratory reactions, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient processes have been used to control and monitor the production process. These technologies have created profitable opportunities for the business. It has reduced inventories, improved capacity utilization, increased job satisfaction, as well as enhanced supply reliability.

Also, the company has adopted advanced technologies in its supply chain processes. Some of these techniques include e-Commerce and Point on Sale. Another technology is called gene therapy which uses information from people to find the best medicine that can help cure specific ailments. They have all helped in speeding operations creating reliability of all processes. In the manufacturing process, the raw material is well tested, dispensed, blended, and then converted into finished products. The use these technologies also do bottling and labeling. Online analytical sensors have always been used in processing batches of chemicals. There is also the application In-situ process sensors that monitor process change and development. Also, it creates manufacturing recipes. Some of the vendors of these technologies include Checkbox and Snipp Interactive.

Despite the integration of multiple steps and speedy operations, these technologies have serious challenges. First, there is so much government regulation on the type of technology to be adopted by pharmaceutical companies. The process of quality control has some pertinent threats that may be caused by impurities. Also, there are financial implications associated with these procedures. Furthermore, these technologies face a risk of data security as some operations may be interfered with as a result of procedural errors. To cope up with technologies in the manufacturing and other processes, Pfizer has an adopted a continuous review of its systems. This helps to detect and correct operations that are easily affected by errors. Chemists, analysts, and engineers focus on process optimization, increase recipe specification, and creating operation understanding to help them solve possible threats and errors (Mithas). Lab automation, process simulation, and online analytics are some of the other processes to help address process based technological challenges.

Storage

Pfizer had adopted storage technologies for two main reasons. First, the company focuses on keeping its data safe and secure from unauthorized access. Secondly, the company had used the most efficient technology to store its products to reduce damages and waste. Chemicals and drugs need storage specifications to help them last and serve the intended purpose. There are automated storage solutions such as refrigeration and cooling technologies both in warehouses and delivery systems. Pfizer used automatic retrieval and storage system together with the warehouse execution technology. The main benefits of these techniques are that they reduce contamination that increases employee as well as customer safety. Also, storage technologies have increased drug reliability and lifespan.

Also, the firm has used durable equipment in drug storage with technological applications that maximize the storage space. Similarly, there are other technologies used in storing data used by the organization. There is useful data concerning employee details other processes which require being handled with a lot of confidentiality. This information is stored in the company database. Also, process and receipt information is kept as a secret in the database, only accessible to the system administrator. There are some secrets regarding production, manufacturing processes, and branding. This information is kept together with receipts of various procedures to help safeguard data security. The significance of data security is that it increases the reliability of operations. Also, it increases confidence that boots customer base. Employees also work with happiness and satisfaction when they are assured that there data or information is stored in a secure environment. This process has increased data reliability and confidentiality. Some of the vendors that have helped the company to enhance its storage facilities include Amazon Web Services, Foresee, and Nitro.

There are several threats associated with Pfizer’s storage technologies. In the storage of pharmaceuticals, there is a threat of contamination. The kind of equipment and techniques used may pose a danger of mixing of chemicals. Also, there is a threat of unauthorized access to data which may leak useful information to competitors. Some of the storage technologies may become obsolete and may not be helpful in keeping safe some of the chemicals. Also, there are other medicines and chemicals which required specialized storage, and this has direct financial implications.  This is likely to affect product pricing. Another challenge is the existence of government regulation that limits the kind of technology to be adopted.

To help cope with some of the storage challenges can be solved using advanced technology. There a great need to update the existing technologies to improve minimizes problems. Also, the company should commit more resources in research and development. Workers of this group should have restricted access to the database. This will monitor access and control the daily working operations. Similarly, the company can work with other corporations with similar storage needs to purchase some facilities which are expensive, but are necessary for specific services. Also, Pfizer should advance its data virtualization technology by adopting frequent updates. This will help in monitoring the condition of chemicals. Also, to reduce the storage and contamination threats, the firm can reduce the distance between the manufacturing plant and the market.

Works Cited

Brittain, H. G. (Ed.). “Polymorphism in pharmaceutical solids”. CRC Press, 2016

Mithas, S., Tafti, A. R., Bardhan, I., & Goh, J. M. Information technology and firm profitability: mechanisms and empirical evidence, 2012

Constable, D. J., Dunn, P. J., Hayler, J. D., Humphrey, G. R., Leazer Jr, J. L., Linderman, R. J., ... & Zaks, A. “Key green chemistry research areas—a perspective from pharmaceutical manufacturers”. Green Chemistry, Vol. 9, no. 5, 2007, pp. 411.

Swarbrick, J., & Boylan, J. C. (Eds.). “Encyclopedia of Pharmaceutical Technology: Volume 20-Supplement 3” CRC Pres, 2010.

Allen, L. V. (2012). ‘The art, science, and technology of pharmaceutical compounding,” Vol. 2,  Washington DC: American Pharmaceutical Association, 2012

January 19, 2024
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