Having fixed a great deal of technical debt and built personnel, process and supply chain capabilities, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) CIO John Quinn turned his attention last year to implementing key strategic platforms and launching a period of business transformation.
Quinn has championed business capability modelling and service mapping as a way of seeing how things are and how they could be improved. Combining this with user journey mapping has paid off handsomely, allowing him to define a customer-centric organisation that delivers value to patients, industry, research and academia, the wider health family and government.
Last year he met the ERP challenge of a burning infrastructure/product platform, old processes not joined up and no single set of accounts. The move to Oracle Fusion was complicated by the discovery of unknown processes and unknown connections to other systems, major upgrades mid-flight, and the usual stream of post-live "issuettes" that, he says, required "ninja-level whack-a -mole skills".
He also deployed five robots to start automating the hundreds of thousands of applications for regulatory approval received each year, and moved office productivity to the cloud with Office 365. Across the organisation the lights have started to go on about the potential, with the discussion moving on from 'where are my documents?' to 'how can we work better together?'
But Fusion and O365 are only part of Quinn's business transformation plans. Over the next few years he intends to replace over 300 legacy systems, including a Lotus Notes sprawl, and a few other technologies with dust on them that, he admits, "may not go gently into the night, but it's time".