Accenture Calls for Bolstering Pharmaceutical CIO, CMO Collaboration

March 17, 2015 in News

Pharmaceutical companies could better optimize their digital technology if they improved collaboration between their CIOs and chief marketing officers, according to a recent Accenture survey, MobiHealthNews reports.

Survey Details

For the survey, Accenture interviewed 22 CIOs and 24 CMOs at pharmaceutical companies with at least $5 billion in annual revenues throughout eight countries (Pai, MobiHealthNews, 3/16).

Survey Findings

Accenture found that 91% of the 10 large pharmaceutical CIOs included in the survey said their companies should boost alignment between their marketing and IT departments, compared with 58% of CMOs (Gold et al., “Morning eHealth,” Politico, 3/17). Overall, Accenture found that the difference of perspectives represented a discrepancy of 33% between the IT and marketing departments, compared with a discrepancy of 14% between such departments in other industries (MobiHealthNews, 3/16).

The survey also found that that pharmaceutical CMOs and CIOs differed in how they perceived department integration and overall marketing investment. For example, the survey found that:

  • 13% of CMOs ranked analytics as the primary driver of integration, compared with 52% of CIOs;
  • 17% of CMOs had used funds to equip their sales force with mobile technology, compared with 43% of CIOs; and
  • 54% of CMOs had invested most heavily in applying technology to consumer experience, compared with just 14% of CIOs (Accenture release, 3/16).

Further, the survey found an overall “lack of a common vision for technology and understanding” among the pharmaceutical companies’ CIOs and CMOs. For example, 67% of pharmaceutical CMOs said they did not consider IT a strategic partner, compared with 50% of CMOs across all industries (MobiHealthNews, 3/16).


Anne O’Riordan, senior managing director of Accenture’s Life Sciences industry organization, said Accenture “suggest[s] key steps to closing the gap between pharmaceutical CIOs and CMOs, including establishing a vision and set of common objectives for marketing IT that leverage the power of digital and unifying around the customer and patient experience.”

She added, “They should also integrate customer/patient-focused skills throughout the company, and focus the IT agenda to empower marketing to exploit digital technologies” (MobiHealthNews, 3/16).

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