April 12, 2024

Johnson & Johnson’s CIO says employee upskilling is critical to transforming healthcare

When Jim Swanson rejoined Johnson & Johnson as Chief Information Officer in 2019 after nearly 15 years away from the pharmaceutical giant, he set three key goals.

Swanson sought to modernize J&J’s technology and ensure the company had the right foundation of systems and data to propel a company valued at more than $375 billion today. He also wanted to “innovate for impact,” meaning he didn’t just want to invest in the latest technology, but instead focus on technologies that would ultimately support better health outcomes.

For his third goal he found inspiration in his own education. At Drexel University, Swanson earned a bachelor’s degree in life sciences and biotechnology, as well as a master’s degree in computer science. He is drawn to the combination of science and technology, which has led him to encourage J&J’s 130,000 employees to add technical skills relevant to their area of ​​focus.

“When you apply technology, coupled with people’s domain expertise, you can truly reimagine and innovate rather than just improve incrementally,” says Swanson, previously CIO at Monsanto, Bayer Crop Science and for J&J’s pharmaceutical division. “We’ve seen a lot of value in thinking about bilingual skills, even to the point of building it into career paths and pathways.”

Being bilingual, as Swanson defines it for the purposes of our conversation, means having domain expertise as a scientist, or in departments from finance to marketing, and combining that knowledge with relevant technical insights. For such further training, employees can take interactive classes or watch videos developed by J&J and third-party vendors.

Swanson shared a few examples of how bilingual employees are essential to J&J’s success and the company’s mission. One is a research and development scientist who takes the time to learn to apply models that make it easier to identify molecules and can then accelerate research in a clinical setting. Another is a training specialist who adds augmented reality expertise and can therefore teach surgeons much faster than with traditional methods. Yet another is a finance professional who is adept at using forecasting models and can use them to generate meaningful insights that can support J&J’s business objectives.

With forecasting, an improvement in accuracy of just one to two percentage points could yield as much as $1.5 billion in financial improvement for a $90 billion company like J&J, Swanson says. “That is material for the company,” he says.

And while upskilling J&J’s workforce to better understand artificial intelligence is a priority, Swanson says adding technical skills is much broader than AI. Augmented reality and new technologies that help reshape J&J’s manufacturing processes are also important.

As part of its technology education campaign last year, J&J hosted its first global “learning day” for all employees. It has also had wider success, with almost half of its workforce using the company’s internal learning platform, J&J Learn. Meanwhile, employees using J&J’s digital bootcamp – courses that explain the basics of AI, automation, data and more – have completed nearly 30,000 courses. And about 20,000 employees have undergone generative AI training, which is necessary for those who want to leverage that technology.

To foster a culture of learning, Swanson works closely with senior leaders within J&J and with head of human resources Peter Fasolo, to align the training content and technical skills the company wants for its workforce. Swanson first tested his vision of connecting technical knowledge with domain expertise within his own department of approximately 4,000 employees, before expanding his knowledge to other corners of J&J.

“We are definitely on a journey and we are not done yet,” Swanson said. “We have a lot more to do. And I wouldn’t say we have perfection, but it has really picked up momentum.”

John Kel

Send your thoughts or suggestions to CIO Intelligence here.

NEWS PACKAGES

American and British partner in the field of AI. The two countries have signed a pact on AI, becoming the first to formally collaborate to assess and test the risks of emerging AI models. Financial times reports. The agreement will allow both countries to work together to evaluate private AI models built by the likes of OpenAI and Google and is modeled after previous intelligence and security cooperation.

In any case, managers plan ahead for AI. Amid an uncertain global AI regulatory landscape, as companies move forward with their plans to build and deploy AI, CIOs have combined their customer data best practices with a little guesswork to make AI applications regulatory-friendly . reports the Wall Street Journal. Executives are preparing for regulations that can vary from country to country – and even from state to state. In the US alone, more than 500 different pieces of AI-related legislation have been proposed.

Microsoft’s Teams and Office are being unbundled. The tech giant said customers who buy an Office subscription starting this week will not get the Teams videoconferencing app included with the service. The Associated Press reports The decision to unbundle the two software tools came after an investigation following a complaint filed in 2020 by Slack Technologies, a Teams rival that is now owned by Salesforce. Slack had alleged that Microsoft had abused its market dominance in violation of European Union laws by combining Teams with its Office suite.

ADOPTION CURVE

More than two-thirds of security professionals admit that they are at least partially reactive when it comes to security, with the main reason being that they are pulled in too many conflicting directions (61%). Existing software deemed “not good enough” was the second reason cited (29%).

The survey of 1,500 employees, including 500 IT security professionals, was conducted by 1Password, which, of course, has a financial incentive to sell password management tools to customers. But with data showing that the average cost of a cybersecurity breach will increase 15% in 2023 from three years earlier, CIOs must work to prove the value of keeping security risks under control.

VACANCIES RADAR

Strawr announced the appointment of Amitabh Misra as Chief Technology Officer, effective April 1. Misra will lead all R&D teams globally, including product and engineering. He will report directly to Sprinklr founder and CEO Ragy Thomas.

F5 Inc. announced Kunal Anand as CTO and executive vice president, reporting to CEO and President François Locoh-Donou. Most recently, Anand held the dual role of CTO and Chief Information Security Officer at Imperva.

King has called Eric Bowman CTO, reporting to King President Tjodolf Sommestad. Bowman, previously CTO at TomTom, has 30 years of experience driving technology solutions, including roles at Glint Groupe, Zalando and Electronic Arts.

Qualtrics announced the appointment of Juan Rodriguez as CIO. He brings three decades of experience in engineering, systems and process design, most recently as CIO at Cloudflare and EVP of product operations at Sage.

Peraton has appointed Tom Terjesen as CIO. In his role, he will be responsible for leading Peraton’s IT organization and strategy.

The city of Philadelphia has appointed Melissa Scott as CIO, where she will lead the city office’s strategy and initiatives for innovation and technology. Scott has worked in Philadelphia since 2015 as an IT director and IT project manager.

Versapay announced that Gaby Kozakov has been appointed as CTO. Kozakov was previously VP of research and development at Revuze and has deep expertise in AI and machine learning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *