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Changing the IT conversation at Pfizer

Dan Roberts and Brian P. Watson | Oct. 1, 2015
CIO Jeff Keisling has led a new era of IT-business collaboration at the pharmaceutical giant, leading to breakthroughs on multiple levels.

In the meantime, hundreds of his Wyeth IT staffers did what he asked of them, and they made the transition to becoming Pfizer employees.

Driving the business

Since then, Keisling’s BT organization has been laser-focused on driving that innovation and value that seemed elusive before. They’ve consolidated the company’s data center footprint from 19 to two in 18 months. They’ve updated most of Pfizer’s 35 enterprise applications, and run most of them in the cloud. They created a Digital Center of Excellence, which delivers on 1,300 digital marketing campaigns each year, and a Center of Excellence of analytics, which garnered awards as an industry leader in using multiple pools of clinical data to develop more effective drugs. Customer satisfaction ratings for IT have risen from around 55 percent in 2007 to 94 percent last year.

Keisling estimates that by driving efficiency and partnering on innovative solutions, his IT shop has reduced costs — for the division and the company — by about $1.5 billion, which helped benefit earnings per share by about 15 cents over time.

But like so many of the leaders we profiled in Confessions of a Successful CIO, Keisling credits his organization — including those who heeded his call at Wyeth to do their best work ever — for building a culture of success in IT at Pfizer. That’s evidenced, he says, by the ongoing collaboration between IT and business partners that didn’t exist before.

“We have conversations with our business leaders. It’s a two-way conversation now, where it used to be a one-way conversation,” Keisling said. “Five years ago, it was me pushing. Now, it’s me trying hard to keep up with my business partners pulling.”


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