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Press Release

Survey: 84% of Global Life Sciences Leaders Involved in Digital Modernization Projects

Appian Contributor
August 20, 2020

RESTON, Va.  — Appian (NASDAQ: APPN) today announced survey results exploring how automation is being used by global leaders in the Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical industry, revealing that the majority of respondents are engaged in digital modernization projects.

The “Digital Transformation & the Life Sciences Industry” survey, sponsored by Appian and conducted by Pharma Intelligence (Informa), shows that digital modernization is a priority through key initiatives focusing on process and operational efficiency. Despite that, automation is currently only used in 40% of respondents’ organizations, although 75% expected to look at automation technologies in the future.

When asked about specific solutions, the majority (82%) of those who know about low-code see the benefits of using it to simplify DevOps for their organization, showing some awareness of the power low-code automation can have in streamlining processes and responding to regulatory changes quickly.

On objectives for digital transformation initiatives:

  • The majority (84%) of respondents reported current, active digital modernization projects
  • Nearly three-quarters (74%) wanted to use digital technologies to improve the overall process
  • Nearly 70% wanted to use digital technologies to improve operational efficiency

The two biggest barriers to achieving transformation success are system complexity (47%) and lack of understanding with the business or in IT departments (38%). Concern over systems complexity was a common theme across the survey. The biggest challenge facing respondents (55%) is “managing complexity”, yet more than half (51%) also felt that customers expect enhanced automation efficiency, suggesting possible conflict between priorities using traditional automation systems.

“The results show that organizational leaders in Life Sciences are increasingly turning to digital transformation – more specifically, automation,” said Evjatar Cohen, Vice President, Global Life Sciences and Healthcare at Appian. “Collected during the pandemic, the data suggests that Life Sciences organizations are facing mounting pressure to free up their skilled workforces from repetitive tasks and serve patients more efficiently.”

To learn more about how low-code automation unlocks efficiency while reducing complexity to help Life Sciences organizations stay competitive, read the full “Digital Transformation & the Life Sciences Industry” survey report.


The survey, conducted by Pharma Intelligence (Informa), gathered responses between April and July 2020. Respondents came from 196 organizations in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry with at least 500 employees, mainly representing organizations headquartered in the US (44%) and western Europe (38%). The majority of respondents (78%) held Life Sciences or Pharma roles, with 46% in Director level positions or higher.

About Appian

Appian is a software company that automates business processes. The Appian AI Process Platform includes everything you need to design, automate, and optimize even the most complex processes, from start to finish. The world's most innovative organizations trust Appian to improve their workflows, unify data, and optimize operations—resulting in better growth and superior customer experiences.

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