When your IT project has CEO Sponsorship

In a wide ranging interview Pascal Soriot explains how recent investment in telepresence has changed the way AstraZeneca works. Amazing to see a programme I led being called out.

What it doesn’t say is that while the timelines were tight and we were using very early software Pascal and his direct team supported our delivery and service team every step of the way. While we felt the pressure to deliver the atmosphere created by Pascal and those around him including the CIO Dave Smoley was to trust the IT team to deliver. It seems obvious but it is a rare commodity in IT projects. The initial deployment was in 2014, it took around 6 months – I suspect in other organisations it would have taken at least a year, possibly more. AZ went on to invest further in the telepresence estate in 15/16 and you can read Pascal’s direct comments for the results.

Across the board AZ has been transformed under Pascal. I can’t wait to see the positive results coming through in the next few years.

Take a read of the full interview, it highlights how AZ is moving to growth again but here are the highlights for me anyway 🙂

CF: How do you run the company?

PS: …..And for the leadership team we use technology. We use tele-presence, We have a tremendous network of video conferences and tele-presences.

CF: How often do you meet as you did yesterday?

PS: I meet, well we meet in the team every month, once. And we meet physically three, four times a year. The rest of the time we meet by tele-presence, by video conference. And we have a great network, in fact this year, the whole company has reduced its travel budget by 25 percent. Because we told people, you know, we have a tremendous network of tele-presence and we want to use that. So now people are able to use their laptop, If you’re familiar with tele-presence, it’s better than video conference. In every meeting I’m in myself, we have three, or four, or five sets of people connected from everywhere. We have to operate like this, we have no choice. We are truly global.


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