Pharmaceutical manufacturer Shire makes the prescription brands Adderall XR, Fosrenol and Vyvanse. Shire is registered in Jersey with a headquarters in Ireland but its operational base is in the UK. The company is listed in the London Stock Exchange and in December 2011 had a market capitalisation of £12.3 billion on FTSE 100 index.

IT Leader: Ayut Patel, CIO

In role since: Ayut Patel joined Shire in August 2010 as VP of IT Operations and was then named Acting CIO in June 2011

Reporting line: CIO reports to the CFO

Board level seat: No

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: Shire has over 7000 active log-in accounts at over 26 offices globally and is continuing to expand at a rapid rate

Level of the workforce that relies on technology to carry out their tasks: 100 per cent of the Shire employees depend on technology. The non-office based employees (such as sales) depend highly on remote network access, while all employees depend on email

IT staff currently employed: 105

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: 1 employee to 3 contractor ratio. A total of 140 contractors excluding our infrastructure support and Service Desk

IT management team and reporting structure: Business Partners responsible for developing relationships with the business report to the CIO. They are also responsible for understanding the needs from a project and services perspective of the functional area of the business they support. The number of Business Partners under direct report of the CIO has recently changed due to shifting away from centralised model, towards federated. This shift moved two teams of Business Partners into the two major business lines at Shire. The IT leaders of these two Business Partner groups now report to a leader within the respective business line and the CIO.
The decision to federate was to bring technology decisions around applications and projects closer to each respective business line. The goal is to improve agility of decisions, enabling these two lines to address needs or innovate at a faster pace than previously was possible. Each of the below areas have a leader that reports to the CIO: Architecture, Corporate Business Partners (business client facing team), Corporate in reference to all other functions areas outside the two lines of business mentioned above; Projects, Infrastructure, Application Support, Business Office, Communication / Change Management – Two roles within this function also play a role in improving the overall relationship that IT has with its business customers. Goals are transparency of what's coming to the business, building credibility through proactive communications, and improving IT internal collaboration and knowledge

Primary technology platforms at the organisation: Microsoft Exchange and Sharepoint, SAP and Siebel. There are also some business critical technology applications that a small subset uses

Primary technology suppliers: HCL Technologies, BT, Accenture, SAP, Oracle, Cisco

Significant strategic technology deals been struck in the last 12 months: Perhaps most importantly, we have begun a migration at Shire to the cloud. One of our major business units is now using Salesfore.com for its CRM delivery and our finance group is using a cloud-based stock administration application. We are exploring additional cloud delivery options, including, eventually, ERP in the cloud

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year: To stabilise the IT infrastructure based on the outputs from the IT Strategy gap analysis. The stabilisation focus is the final piece in a larger 12 month effort to improve IT basic services. Part of this stabilisation includes implementing the technology and processes to provide a more accurate inventory of assets and applications (including applications deployed by the business). Also, included in this are enterprise applications testing and deployment process

Technologies considered by the leader to offer their organisation potential: Cloud - We're already using Salesforce.com and other cloud-based applications. I see cloud delivery growing dramatically over the next few year, with major vendors developing cloud service offerings that are secure and compliant – lessening risks over time. The speed that cloud delivery offers is something that Shire does have an appetite for versus the traditional infrastructure and applications deployment.

Cloud delivery is also consistent with the federated model, especially on the applications side, so I see this is enabling our two lines of business I mentioned previously. While this technology is exciting for all who understand its potential – we also must be cautious. As a pharmaceutical company - an outage could greatly hinder our ability to better the lives of our patients. Recently, Amazon's cloud crashed leaving Netflix and other clients without a way to do business. We live in a highly regulated world where even small technology issues can trigger major concerns around security and compliance.

Future transformation and technology vision for the organisation: Technology will play a critical role in better enabling Shire to improve the lives of our patients and their families. One example is leveraging technology to reach our patients through iPad Apps and community discussion boards.

A focus for 2011 has been to improve basic IT services and we've spent the last 12 months undergoing a significant effort to change infrastructure service providers, launch a US callcenter, re-design processes, and raising the bar on our Service Level Agreements. As basic services improve, our focus needs to shift to innovation. How can we pilot and bring new technologies closer to the business lines? This is the question I'm passionate about answering – leveraging technology to provide the business lines competitive edge and patent centricity.