Case Study

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The Pharmaceutical Industry: Securing Important Data

On one hand, digital innovation in the pharmaceutical industry is contributing to rapid growth and opportunity. On the other hand, the same digital innovations – artificial intelligence, internet of things, predictive analytics tools, to name a few – also present the greatest risk to pharmaceutical companies’ data and patient information. Digital innovation is fundamentally changing the industry and with that pharmaceutical companies must fundamentally change their approach to securing company and patient data.


As a large global pharmaceutical firm, our client is no stranger to the security challenges that come with a larger digital footprint. After an internal audit identified gaps in the organization’s security standards, the client needed to remediate those gaps, modernize its security application ecosystem and leverage cloud technologies. The client turned to Collective Insights to help them design a modern, cloud-based Identity and Access Management (IAM) platform.
The CI Team worked closely with the client and discovered three key challenges:

  • Critical applications that operated on legacy solutions left the organization vulnerable to cyber attacks
  • An overly complex security application ecosystem caused by several redundant solutions performing similar, if not the same, functions
  • A need to modernize IT operations and reduce the company’s dependence on its on-premise infrastructure

Solutions & Approach

To minimize disruption to the operations, the Collective Insights team used a two phased approach to design a modernized security application ecosystem. The first phase was to conduct a complete assessment of our client’s current security application stack to qualify system criticality, function, and priority to the overall process. During the second phase, we reengineered the architecture design for our client’s security application platform with a modern all-cloud IAM platform. This all-cloud IAM platform was critical to address the gaps identified in the client’s security audit while reducing operating, licensing, and maintenance overhead. We also built an application modernization playbook because all IT solutions are implemented and used by people – not systems. The playbook was especially critical to improve business application security posture, comply with client’s security standards, and streamline integration capabilities with other tools. And because it is important to us that our clients not only have a solution that meets their needs but also a clear and realistic path to implementation, we designed a complete strategic roadmap making their desired state achievable.

Results & Lessons Learned

Success is a process that requires building solutions collaboratively with our clients and others. By working inclusively and with a variety of stakeholders, we were able to iterate on a design that met the needs of a complex, highly regulated organization. This was no small feat considering the regulatory requirements of the pharmaceutical industry and the extra attention needed to protect patient care
data and proprietary R&D work.

At Collective Insights, we’re not finished until our clients succeed.


Our client — a leading global medicines company – needed to move beyond its inefficient legacy systems and implement simple, more secure cloud-based technologies to drive their IT operations.


Our Driving Efficiency and Effectiveness

The results of our work were evident across three pillars of efficiency and effectiveness:

  • Operational Efficiency: A simplified architecture enables the organization to better define standards that optimize
    performance, as well as leverage technologies to automate routine processes
  • Capital Efficiency: The new architecture design creates an opportunity to reduce physical hardware requirements,
    sunset legacy tools, and reduce maintenance overhead
  • Operational Effectiveness: The new architecture design can mean improvements in the end user experience, workforce mobility, and operational risk


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