For many companies, removing these obstacles will require new business models. Companies will need to rethink the design of the sales force and the way it operates. They will need to devise new ways of contracting risk and work closely with providers to find ways to measure success and set rewards. They will have to move away from a model that depends on huge clinical trials to test a standard product, toward one that identifies the needs of different customer segments. Med-tech companies will need to become comfortable with new ways to develop solutions for customers by testing and learning through pilot programs, and subsequently optimizing for scale up. And they will have to build new capabilities—not only from the ground up but also through M&A and innovative partnerships with companies in the value chain.
A transformation is not an end in itself. To sustain the momentum of change, especially in today’s volatile environment, companies need to plan for continuous improvement. In practical terms, that requires a culture of scrutinizing daily work and finding ways to do it better. Explaining what that means for his business, André Wyss, president of Novartis Business Services, said: “We continuously have to examine the technology, tools, and services we offer in order to find ways of making them even faster, more flexible, more consistent, and more cost efficient.”