Shola Oyewole, CIO, United Therapeutics Corporation [NASDAQ:UTHR]
As an information systems profession alI have worked in several industries including technology, education, non-profit, government, news media, and consulting for30 years. I currently serve as CIO for UnitedTherapeutics (UT), a biotechnology company, focused on the development of therapies for patients suffering from Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). Currently, there is no cure for PAH, but UThas developed several drug therapies that treat the disease.
I joined UT in 2000 and over the past 10 years, my focus has been on “keeping the lights on” through business process improvement. It includes implementing ERP for financeand supply chain management, deploying solutions for UT’s manufacturing and regulatory processes, user training, distributed computing via virtualization, thin-apping, business continuity planning, collaboration solutions, by fully leveraging the capabilities of the Internet.
"At UT, business leaders are empowered to source and procure their own system solutions, particularly from the Cloud"
My role as CIO has evolved from IT “beeps and clicks” to“Connecting, Informing, and Orchestrating”-
Connecting: There are two aspects to Connecting-first, itrefers to physically implementing the conduit through which theorganization communicates and computes; that is, infrastructure (connectivity, systems, availability and security).
The second aspect refers to consulting: I partner with business unit leaders to help provide solutions that address business issues, thus enabling growth. Recently, my team collaborated with Human Resources to build a “social” Intranet to improve overall communication for a growing organization and to build a unifying and collaborative community for our over 700 globally distributed staff.
Informing: At UT business leaders are empowered to sourceand procure their own system solutions, particularly from theCloud. The entrepreneur headcount metric employed at UT keepsus small, efficient and focused to ensure they have the requisiteknowledge to select and administer their systems, in-sourced ornear-sourced from a trusted vendor partner. As CIO I wear theinformer hat and lead my team to help the business leader withrequirements gathering, vendor selection, system selection andsizing, data security, and data classification. This also includesensuring that the business unit leader understands the risks and the benefits of their chosen solution. It keeps UT’s entrepreneurshipculture very nimble allowing leaders to make faster, safer, decisions. Orchestrating: I bring everything together by providing tiebacksto the corporate infrastructure. This might be any number of services such as application publishing in the Citrix environment for UT datacenter-hosted apps, implementing single-sign-on and multi-factor authentication for Cloud solutions.
I recently renamed the IT department from Information Technology to Global Business Systems Group (GBSG). We implement business solutions (albeit with the aid of technology). Our vision is to provide AnyExperience, AnyWhere, AnyTimefrom AnyDevice.
Case in point: UT launched the first-ever lung-perfusion facility in the United States, which provides extended preservation and assessment of donor lungs prior to transplant. This is a highly automated, internet-of-things (IoT) facility architected by GBSG. The data captured by the equipment perfusing the lungs are electronically captured and collated into a custom-built electronic medical records (EMR) solution residing in the Cloud. In addition to this data, video streams which record the internal and external changes of the lungs are captured in the EMR. All lungs have a very detailed EMR describing the condition and work performed on the lungs prior to, during and after profusion. Transplant surgeons can remotely observe these procedures via real-time video streaming services we deployed as a part of the solution. Thus GBSG increased efficiencies and security through automation while reducing travel costs, decreasing technician expenses, and reducing business data risk.
In summary, my role has evolved as a business partner providing business-enabling solutions that keep UT nimble and focused on developing the best medicines and therapies for our patients.