Johnson & Johnson CIO: Transformational leadership needed now more than everMay 21, 2020
When I stepped into the global CIO role at Johnson & Johnson last fall, I was profoundly inspired by the company’s potential to positively impact human health. With an already-solid IT foundation, I was joining the world’s largest healthcare company to leverage technology across Johnson & Johnson for the benefit of the patients and customers who count on us.
Little did I know that just three months into the job, the COVID-19 pandemic would change the world as we know it, and the work of IT leaders everywhere would become more important than ever before.
At Johnson & Johnson, technology infuses everything we do. Algorithms shape our supply chains. Data science underpins our research. Technology enables us to perform surgeries digitally. Our technology helps support patients, customers and their families around the world. Internally, our employees rely on our technology to connect, collaborate, and invent, so like most IT organizations, we had to react swiftly and enable our workforce to transition to remote working. Prior to the pandemic, just over 20 percent of our approximately 132,000 employees worked remotely, and this number has increased dramatically since the pandemic began.
[ How is the COVID-19 crisis reshaping digital transformation agendas? Read: Digital transformation: 5 ways COVID-19 is forcing positive changes. ]
To adapt to COVID-19, we have transformed our business – and that starts with our technology and IT. As CIO, I adopted the following approach: manage the crisis while helping to transform the company. It’s a position I believe many CIOs have found themselves in recently – leading our organizations into new ways of working with all the technology and support that entails, while positioning our companies for what comes next.
The role of IT is more critical than ever before
Among the many areas we’re focused on is developing a vaccine for COVID-19 and doing so at a substantially accelerated pace in comparison to the typical vaccine development process. Together with regulatory agencies, we’re working tirelessly on accelerated development of a safe and effective vaccine to meet this urgent public health need. For our IT organization, this means focusing on connectivity – connecting our internal environment with external partners and making sure that internally we’re sharing data and information, while scaling up our supply chain around vaccine production and more.
Even while we’re focusing on the vaccine, we recognize patients are still counting on us to deliver innovative medicines, life-altering medical devices and trusted consumer products. Technology, coupled with science, can help play a transformational role in all of this. Using real-time data and insights, we can provide patients with the right care at the right time.
If you don’t know the intended business outcome, you can’t transform and be proactive.
The word “outcome” is key for IT transformation and for the pivot I was brought in…