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Zoetis’ purpose is to nurture the world and humankind by advancing care for animals -- and I joined the company believing wholeheartedly in that purpose and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact to those goals with the use of technology. As EVP and Chief Information and Digital Officer (CIDO) of the world’s largest animal health company, I am leading the team responsible for powering Zoetis’ innovation, growth, and colleague and customer experience through digital technology strategies and data analytics. We are focused on partnering with our commercial teams to create a world-class experience for our veterinary and livestock producer customers driven by data analytics, while also helping to develop the latest digital products and solutions for needs in diagnostics, precision animal health and other areas of digital innovation.
From a business operations perspective, we manage the network, technology infrastructure and architecture, external partnerships, and new enterprise-wide ways of working. By bringing Zoetis’ business platforms together, we are improving our operations and unlocking additional sources for revenue. In addition to our technology strategy and solutions, I am responsible for overseeing Zoetis' cybersecurity and our company’s digital transformation, including the development of digital and data analytic strategies and programs to raise our colleagues’ digital fluency.
Building Digital Ecosystems
For every company across industries, building digital ecosystems is a standard requirement now —not an option. CIDOs and CIOs are positioned and expected to unlock innovation and value for our companies—and there has never been a better time to be in Tech! We must build on what got us here and challenge ourselves in new ways.
“CIDOs and CIOs are positioned and expected to unlock innovation and value for our companies—and there has never been a better time to be in Tech! We must build on what got us here and challenge ourselves in new ways.”
In animal health, we are driving innovation through data analytics and applying digital technology in new ways that can advance the care of animals and improve the livelihoods of our customers. For example, we are launching precision animal health technology that brings data insights together to help cattle producers make earlier, more informed decisions to help keep their animals healthy and productive. This technology is based on unique applications of blockchain and data analytics that are changing the animal production process and supply chain. It’s not about simply gathering more data. It’s about making the data more powerful and useful, so our customers can make better management decisions.
We are also spurring the use of artificial intelligence to improve the speed and utilization of diagnostics through our Vetscan Imagyst diagnostic platform. Imagyst uses a combination of image recognition technology, algorithms and cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver accurate testing results to the clinic. Our goal is to bring the advantages of high-tech in animal health to our customers’ clinics, farms and ranches.
In my early days at Zoetis, I discovered countless great ideas and projects within our Tech and Digital organization that were lacking alignment with the business and a sharp focus on business outcomes. Establishing a new governance model was among my top objectives, and I worked in partnership with leaders across the business to align technology projects and investments with business priorities and drive accountability for results. Our Digital Technology and Analytics Prioritization (DTAP) model is a process that relies on close collaboration with business partners across Zoetis to approve initiatives based on strategic fit with company-wide priorities. As a result of this model, we delivered 270 digital and data projects with real impact for the business in 2021.
Beyond our operations, we also have to bring our colleagues along this digital journey with new skills and mindsets. Empowering our colleagues to be more agile and collaborative across teams and functions is one of my objectives and a personal passion. With the help of my team and close partnership with HR, I led the development of a Digital Fluency for All program as a company-wide learning platform. This is a significant change management effort requiring support from multiple stakeholders to create digital savviness—by enabling colleagues to adopt more nimble ways of working across the entire organization. Within two weeks of introducing this new platform, we had over 1,000 courses completed and an additional 300+ courses are in progress.
Piece of Advice
From my experience and insights from our work at Zoetis, CIOs need to:
• Be relentless about bringing insights from the outside in. First, lean in and help our companies re-think our customers, industry boundaries to reimagine the value chain and solve for pain points along the customers’ journeys. Then, help our companies sort through opportunities and threats that abound in the digital ecosystems.
• Build and nurture alliances and partnerships. Partner with vision and intentionality within and outside industry. We must pursue win-win relationships where all members are incentivized and capture sufficient value from their role.
• Celebrate the setbacks. The road to success in a digital ecosystem is full of uncertainty. Embrace and learn from failures, kill what’s not working or adapt and pivot fast.
• Lean in with agile ways of working, Leverage the organizational change management experiences we acquired throughout our careers.
• Think big and bold. Last but not least, digital ecosystems are powered with tech, data and AI. So be bold -- think platforms, think globally, act locally, and work towards the future state with speed and agility.
• In the process, remember to HAVE FUN – because there has never been a better time to be in Tech.