Life Sciences SAP

How can SAP S/4HANA enable digital transformation for the Life Sciences industry?

By: Anantha Yellapragada

Publish Date: January 5, 2021

The life sciences industry has been facing many challenges, including expiring patents, eroding margins, broken supply chains, and changing demand dynamics. Besides, patient and payer expectations are now moving towards personalized, cost-effective treatments. Personalized medicine is gaining significance in R&D across disease domains, including cardiovascular, gastroenterology, and infectious diseases. Globally, the personalized medicine market is expected to grow to USD 2.77 trillion by 2022, from USD 1.26 trillion in 2015, according to Statista.

In this new reality, the imperative for life sciences companies is to become patient-centric and respond to these changing demands through digital transformation. The need of the hour for life science companies is to move forward with a well-defined digital transformation strategy, especially amidst these persistent challenges, disruptions, and the ongoing pandemic situation.

One of the most impactful approaches to drive transformative outcomes is to build a unified and centralized digital core. This digital core would then become a platform that enables digital transformation across the organization, ensuring better responsiveness, improving operational agility, and driving the leverage of data-driven insights to address business challenges and grow revenue.

As a primary enabler in this process, intelligent enterprises need an intelligent ERP such as SAP S/4 HANA as its digital core. An intelligent ERP will enable an enterprise to:

  • Scale business processes to support growth
  • Connect multiple business functions and data sources to make decisions in real-time
  • Eliminate data silos and foster usage of AI-Analytical capabilities to analyze data and gain mission-critical insights
  • Perform what-if analysis to understand the outcomes of multiple courses of action
  • Embed corporate and legal policies to ensure compliance while being patient-centric
  • Support and standardize various processes such as finance, supply chain, and manufacturing

Here, we discuss some of the most significant functions life science companies should transform with the help of an intelligent ERP:

Build Digital Supply Chains

McKinsey estimates that companies can expect supply chain disruptions to last a month or as long as 3+ years. The outbreak of COVID-19 has only exacerbated the fundamental problems in global supply chains. With many moving parts involved in supply chain management, real-time end-to-end visibility across the value chain is critical to adjust to rapidly changing demand cycles. It requires building robust, resilient digital supply chains, connecting them to relevant back-end functions, and enabling transparency.

Drive More-innovative R&D

Innovation is critical for life sciences companies amid expiring patents and patients’ expectations for cost-effective treatments. It requires transforming traditional R&D models using emerging technologies, such as IoT, implementing telemedicine solutions, and performing analysis using AI to achieve the next breakthrough. Accordingly, life sciences should make data-empowered decisions a critical part of R&D efforts and processes.

Modernize Compliance

Life sciences companies need to be ahead of regulations to drive growth. Given the size and complexity of the life sciences companies, mounting pricing pressures, and increasing regulatory oversight, it is critical to assess existing compliance processes and modernize them. This will allow them to meet the speed and agility required in the current life sciences ecosystem while utilizing modernization efforts to drive down compliance costs.

Become Patient-Centric

SAP estimates that by 2025, life sciences companies are likely to deliver personalized patient solutions at scale, as a service. Now is the right time for life science companies to rethink and strategize patient-centric, personalized solutions. It requires thinking in customer “segments of one” and gaining insights into patient conditions and their response to treatments. The intelligent ERP can enable data collection through smart devices used by patients and then glean insights from data to improve the patient experience and deliver better outcomes.

Life Science Companies Experiencing the Digital Core Advantage

Some industry-leading, innovative life sciences companies have implemented SAP S/4HANA to drive R&D, process optimization, and eliminate data silos. For example:

  • Moderna Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, based in Massachusetts, U.S., pioneering mRNA technology, has already shifted to SAP S/4HANA migration to achieve value-driven results and improve employee productivity.
  • Genor Biopharma, a Shanghai, China-based international biopharmaceutical company, has implemented SAP S/4HANA Cloud to achieve more-innovative R&D, eliminate data silos, and standardize various business processes.


Life sciences companies should prioritize their investments in building a digital core, which acts as a catalyst in overcoming challenges. SAP continuously improves and enhances the SAP S/4AHANA’s ability to enable life sciences companies to transform and grow faster.

YASH Technologies has helped more than 70 life sciences companies digitally transform and overcome challenges in leveraging digital technologies. Partner with YASH Technologies to build a digital core with SAP S/4HANA and become an intelligent enterprise.

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