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4 Trends Shifting Quality Towards a Digital Transformation


Digital transformation is the idea of incorporating innovative technologies, talent, and processes to improve operations of a business and ensure customer satisfaction. In the Life Sciences industry, a critical area to target relative to digital transformation is the quality management function, since the heart of quality is ensuring operational efficiency, patient safety, and optimal product quality. Today more than ever, Life Sciences organizations are taking a closer look at their operations, technology, and workforce capability to ensure they are optimizing their operations.

The following are some of the key trends causing organizations to pursue a digital transformation of their quality organization. We highlight the challenges faced due to these trends and what is needed to improve in these areas relative to achieving a digital transformation.

Trend #1: Data Quality

Data is the heart and center of any organization. Availability of the right data or the lack thereof results in good or poor decisions being made. There are several areas where quality organizations are faced with data quality challenges thus leading to a need for digital transformation.

One key challenge organizations face is data silos across the organization. Various data silos exist depending on the process area, application being used, organizational group and the data being collected. A few examples are business quality data, IT quality data, product quality data, and supplier quality data. Not all data is being collected using the same method and this incongruent data is being used together in the decision process. Many times, this leads to flawed decisions. Additionally, organizations are leveraging multiple systems serving each one of their processes. For example, some businesses are automating parts of their processes, but not across the entire enterprise. This is also causing major inconsistencies relative to the data.

Trend #2: Technology Advancements

Technology solutions are providing organizations with the capability to do more in less time. Organizations are leveraging various technologies across the organization like EQMS in an effort to bring all the quality data across the company together. Technologies like IoT, machine learning, AI, and the cloud are being leveraged to optimize processes.

Organizations need to look at technology solutions not just from an internal quality angle, but also from the company’s business partners and the customer perspective. They need to be able to make informed decisions based on the data and to communicate specific aspects of that data accurately to suppliers, vendors, and customers. Communication of the data across the quality ecosystem enabled through technology is critical to the transformation process of the Quality organization.

Trend #3: Strategy Execution

While strategy is typically set at the higher levels of the organization, the execution is more the responsibility of the feet on the ground. This leads to silos across the various groups and departments. The execution is also, many times, not connected back to the strategy that it’s meant to fulfill.  For example, there are organizations that are investing in many new “shiny object” projects and programs. Spending a tremendous amount of effort and resources but failing in the end to tie back to the quality strategy, data strategy, or digitization strategy. Companies are now looking to tie their strategy to the execution in order to ensure they have cohesive results.  A digital transformation strategy is required to assist them in getting there.

Trend #4: Skillset required

Another key element that is compelling organizations to embrace digital transformation is the skill set needed for the future. Many organizations are considering what skills they will need beyond those with a quality background. They are looking at acquiring people who understand data – like data scientists and analytics specialists. The quality group, in some organizations, is looking to have an IT bend of mind to understand the technology and make sure that it is leveraged to the maximum – helping them drive efficiencies across the organization.


The forces shifting quality towards a digital transformation provide opportunities for organizations to get ahead of the curve by becoming more proactive instead of reactive. First ensuring that whatever the business does from a quality perspective is in line with the strategy developed for the organization. Eliminating silos of data and systems and incorporating the right technology that goes across the entire organization. Additionally, many organizations need to determine if they should incorporate an IT mindset into their quality team. Bringing in data scientists and analytics specialists to assist in collecting, interpreting, and analyzing data. The most important objective to a digital transformation is ensuring data is the center of your business from a quality perspective.

Why it Matters to You

This article is important to Life Sciences organizations because:

  • The investment in technology needs to align with the strategy to ensure efficiency and growth.
  • Quality Management function is a critical area to target relative to digital transformation, since the heart of quality is ensuring operational efficiency, patient safety, and optimal product quality.
  • Due to the advancements in technology, organizations need to deliver quality at a much faster pace and in order to do this, they need the right skillset to be successful.
  • Data quality and the availability of the right data can result in poor decisions being made.

For more ideas and information on digital transformation of your quality organization, you can watch our webinar on Driving Growth through Digital Quality and Compliance

 About Astrix

For over 25 years, Astrix has been a market-leader in dedicated digital transformation & dedicated staffing services for science-based businesses.  Through our proven laboratory informatics, digital quality & compliance, and scientific staffing services we deliver the highly specialized people, processes, and technology to fundamentally transform how science-based businesses operate.  Astrix was founded by scientists to solve the unique challenges which science-based businesses face in the laboratory and beyond.  We’re dedicated to helping our clients speed & improve scientific outcomes to help people everywhere.