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Time to ‘Amplify’ role of IT in health

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    When it comes to information technology, change is the only constant. Think back 10 years ago before terms like social networking or cloud computing were commonplace and you will have some grasp of how rapidly things have moved.

    Go back another decade and the day when you could have your own personal computer or internet-enabled mobile phone was still some way off.

    Today, the pace of change is accelerating. While ‘big data’ has the potential to improve patients’ lives in the future, it is important to understand that IT has a role to play in just about every aspect of how knowledge-driven organisations operate today.

    Here at UCB, the key to embracing the fast-moving world of IT is to make it relevant to what we do: turn science into therapies that patients need.

    This requires collaboration, often between people who rarely worked together in the past.

    Our Amplify IT project, for which we were awarded “ICT Project of the Year” by Data News in November, is a great example how this kind of team work can yield real results. Data News is a trade magazine focused on the role of IT in organisations.

    Marc and Lien Award













    So what are we doing to ‘amplify’ the role of IT? From October 2012 to January 2013 we ran a short project that involved four UCB employees working to answer the question: How can analytics help IT to be more relevant to business?

    The results were beyond anyone’s expectation. The team defined a totally new way of doing analytics, leaving the traditional methods behind to a more open and flexible ‘Data Lab’ concept.

    In just 3 months, they were able to help scientists make links with data that they would never have imagined possible, enabling them to answer extremely complex questions.

    This initial success inspired us to ponder how analytics could be harnessed throughout UCB. We set up an open online platform – Amplify – allowing idea generation, experience sharing and establishing a data catalogue.

    Not only does this help IT to stay relevant within the company, it also engages colleagues in the process.

    Amplify is a real-world example of how IT is becoming everyone’s business.

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