When it comes to using digital transformation, “you are essentially using digital tools to give your business superpowers.”

This is how digital transformation researcher and former Cornell University Professor Clarence Lee views the adoption of digital tools within the industry. Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend the Cornell University webinar, “Fast Forward: Digital Transformation Trends Not to Miss.” In this webinar, he spoke about how digital transformation will impact all industries in the next decade.

While his presentation was not specific to the life sciences, quality and compliance professionals would probably find many of his viewpoints of interest. Below are five takeaways I wanted to share.

1. Companies Will Need to Embrace Digital Transformation to Stay Relevant

Over the next decade, Lee believes that those companies that successfully embrace digital transformation will stay relevant compared to those that do not. He used the analogy of a small bank that leverages customer data effectively to grow its business. Due to the bank’s data-driven strategy, it eventually becomes a behemoth. Those banks that fail to leverage data effectively will end up in the shadow of the successful bank.

2. Begin with a Question

While many prefer to look at the data first and then ask questions, Lee recommends managers begin with a question, then look for answers in the data. For example, a manager could start by asking the question, “What issues do I care about?” Then, the manager and their team can take a deep dive into the data to address these issues and find solutions.

3. Data Empowers a Company at all Levels

Lee sees digital transformation as creating a “shared consciousness” within organizations. With available data, staff from all levels of an organization will be empowered to make decisions based on data, particularly, as strategic initiatives require an organization-wide team effort. He refers to this as “empowered execution.”

4. A.I. Frees Employees to Tackle Mission-Critical, Creative Tasks

Toward the end of the webinar, Lee addressed the role of A.I. and machine learning in digital transformation. Over the next decade, he believes that A.I. will take over many of the rote tasks that employees would not prefer to do, such as pouring over spreadsheets on a Sunday night to prepare for a Monday morning meeting. This will allow employees to spend time on more creative problem-solving tasks.

5. A.I. Will Build Leaders Within Organizations

I hope quality and compliance leaders within life science industries find these takeaways of value. I would also encourage quality and compliance teams to view a recording of our August 3 webinar, A.I. for Quality and Compliance Teams. In the first portion of this webinar, Redica Systems Senior GMP Quality Expert Jerry Chapman provided definitions for A.I. and machine learning terms. He then presented two case studies showing how he used data from the Redica Systems platform to identify FDA enforcement trends affecting 503B outsourcing facilities and data integrity citations “hiding” within FDA Warning Letters.

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