HCLTech DevOps transformation helps a global pharma client improve automation and reduce TCO | HCLTech

DevOps transformation helps global pharma company reduce product deployment time by 75%

A journey from a project-based to a product-based DevOps model helped the client launch future-ready treatments
5 min read
5 min read

A global pharma company wanted to expand its market for vaccine products by penetrating different populations, offering complete dosage bundles, and enhancing the user-friendly experiences of it’s customer portal.

As new vaccination programs emerged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the existing online portals could not push the timely release of new features. This was impacting critical business outcomes and the end-user experience. Understanding these challenges well, HCLTech worked with the client to architect and implement a product-based DevOps model and consolidate multiple teams into a single integrated model.

The Challenge

Slow time to market and efficiencies

For the client, developing new vaccine features and market access through customer engagement portals had long release cycles. These relied heavily on manual processes and lacked the leverage of guiding and defining criteria for the minimum viable product (MVP). The cost of operations was also high due to the involvement of multiple stakeholders.

Other challenges included:

  • Siloed quality auditing and development hindered a holistic approach to 'product thinking' that affected time to market
  • Lack of visibility for the end users as they were unable to access new programs, track orders and were missing out on eligibility criteria, discounts and rebates
  • This information gap contributed to low-quality output and created a 'wall of confusion'
  • A pyramid team composition hindered the development of an ownership culture
  • Scarcity of 'product thinking' prevented the adoption of user-centric solutions
  • Little governance and lack of automated measurement of the quality coverage metrics
  • Insufficient monitoring, tracking and centralized logging leading to probable security risks

The Objective

A DevOps transformation model

The main objective was to get the right treatment to the right patient in a timely manner.

To do this, the client sought a partner with an integrated, comprehensive portfolio of services and software who had a good mix of technical, platform and business expertise. The partner had to collaborate with both vendors and stakeholders to enable the client's DevOps transformation.

Why a DevOps model was the right approach?

  • Hit the market faster than the competitors
  • Reduce the release cycle of new vaccines or new features
  • Improve end-customer experience by providing them with the right treatment at the right time
  • Reduce the cost of operations and improve ROI

The Solution

Pilot-based approach to accelerate the DevOps transformation

The client chose to pilot the DevOps transformation with four market access teams MMA, HIP, PDP and EVA, to ensure the right treatments go to the right patients. These market teams met the criteria of being agile, having in-depth knowledge of the IT landscape and business functions, while being able to host customer-facing portals and understand the benefits of DevOps adoption.

We conducted a current state analysis to locate gaps in people, processes, tooling and automation framework. The gap analysis was presented to the client's leadership team, along with a roadmap to transform their DevOps.

We conducted a pilot demo of the client's CI/CD pipelines and collaborated with the client's enterprise team to finalize tools, resulting in a detailed roadmap for the client's DevOps transformation and a comprehensive knowledge transfer plan.

Role-based training workshops facilitated knowledge transfer and alignment. Communication plans were implemented, and the CI/CD pipeline was automated, including streamlining 100% of production deployments. RMO operations, activities and testing were integrated within DevOps, transitioning from two distinct vendors to HCLTech.

A test-driven development approach was adopted. Workshops aligned DevOps research and assessment (DORA) metrics to project requirements, giving the client an efficient method for measuring progress and success.


The Impact

Product-based model drives speed to market and improves treatment quality

The client’s newly integrated DevOps team now focuses on feature-based MVP releases. The transformation significantly moved the needle on the company’s efficiency agenda with standardized tools, a reduction in handoffs between teams, a 100 percent real-time DevOps feedback loop and an 80% increase in automation from build to deployment. It also established a single point of contact for the business to address requirements promptly and efficiently.

Efficiency and speed to market

  • 66%

    Reduction in release cycle time from more than 6 months to approximately 8 weeks

  • 35%

    Increased efficiency in the testing cycle

  • 90%

    Reduction in preparing the test or UAT environment from 3 weeks to 1.5 days

  • 75%

    Reduction in product deployment time from 2 hours to 10 minutes

  • 30%

    Reduction in rework or issue resolution

Reduction in cost

  • 35%

    Reduction in the total cost of ownership

Quality and security

  • 100%

    Compliance with the quality and security standards

In short, the client’s new outcome and metrics-driven product-based approach delivered its ultimate goals of an accelerated time to market and better quality. These tangible, sustainable and accelerated outcomes ensured that the company is ready for the future—right where it should be.

Delighted with the solution sourcing optimization and training outcomes, the client has expressed interest in implementing this solution stack across other sub-industries.