Annually, CGI leaders around the world meet face-to-face with business and IT executives to gather their perspectives on the trends affecting their enterprises, including business and IT priorities, IT spending, budgets and investment plans. In 2020, we conducted in-person interviews with 23 client executives from large pharmaceutical, biotechnology, specialty pharmaceutical, medical equipment and devices, animal health, diagnostics, and public health companies.

Interviews were conducted before and after the pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, providing unique insights into evolving priorities. We provide a short summary of some of these insights here.

Becoming digital to meet customer expectations remains top trend

Life sciences executives once again say the trend that is most impactful for their organizations is becoming digital to meet customer expectations.

While most other trends remain the same year-over-year, mergers, divestitures and acquisition strategies rise from fourth in 2019 to third in 2020.

2020 top trends by impact

  1. Becoming digital organizations
  2. External budget pressures
  3. Mergers, divestitures and acquisition strategies
  4. Protect through cybersecurity
  5. Assuring regulatory compliance


Post-pandemic declaration trends show decrease for external budget pressures, rise for M&A strategies

When comparing interviews before and after the pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, external budget pressures lessen in impact as a trend (-28%), while mergers, divestitures and acquisition strategies rise in impact as a trend ( +22%), compared to earlier interviews.

Results from digital strategies remain low

This year, 100% of life sciences executives report they have some form of a digital strategy in place, up from 97% last year. Of those, 52% indicate they have an enterprise-wide strategy (including strategies that extend to their external ecosystem). Only 4% say their organization is producing results from digital strategies.

Few executives cite having highly agile business models for digitization

Only 7% of executives say their business model is highly agile (score of 8 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 highest) when it comes to addressing digitization, up 3 point from 2019.

Interest in substantial managed services within 3 years rises

This year we asked life sciences executives to share why they use managed services and how they plan to leverage them. The top reasons are to save costs and increase business agility.

% planning to leverage substantial managed applications in 3 years

30% 2020
28% 2019

Benchmarking clients’ satisfaction with their own IT organization

Life science IT satisfaction chart 2020

(Scores from 1 to 10, with 10 most satisfied, showing 3 out of 10 available attributes)

For the third year, business and IT executives interviewed ranked their satisfaction with their own IT organizations. For most attributes, business leaders report lower satisfaction levels with internal IT compared to IT leaders, and introducing innovation consistently earns the lowest average score.

Learn more about the 2020 CGI Client Global Insights.

Learn more about the CGI in Life Sciences.

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To consult with one of our industry experts to learn more about client insights and CGI’s perspectives on business and technology trends, contact us.