Innovation Inc: An inside look at the digital overhauls of Phillips 66 and Boston Scientific

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For this newsletter, I wanted to highlight two recent stories that embody the power of digital transformation and prove how critical those technological overhauls suddenly became when the pandemic struck. 

At Boston Scientific, the medical device manufacturer was already four years into its own transformation.

Much of that time was spent on basic IT work, like hardware improvements. But the company also propped up new innovation studios that are proving critical during the sudden surge in interest in telemedicine.

Investment in an automated information dashboard made it easier for executives to analyze critical data that, prior to COVID-19, might have been viewed quarterly — it quickly became a daily dispatch to help plot out Boston Scientific’s response to the outbreak. 

“It’s because we made all of those changes in the last few years that we were so well-positioned to make the swift, dramatic changes that COVID forced upon us,” CIO Jodi Eddy told Business Insider in a July interview.  

Phillips 66 was dealing with entirely different struggles. The energy giant started its own tech transformation in 2017 when the oil and gas industry was beginning to pick-up again after a rocky few years. 

It moved 80% of its workload to the cloud and worked with SAP to build a new software platform around its popular S/4HANA tool. The system makes it easier to analyze data across organizations because it integrates information from many aspects of the business — including manufacturing, finance, and human resources.  

Then the coronavirus hit, decimating demand and sending prices plummeting. 

Now, the the pandemic is not only pushing along the overhaul, it also helped the company quickly cut $700 million in spending, according to Chief Digital Officer Zhanna Golodryga.  

“It’s very hard to transform where the company is doing extremely well,” she told Business Insider. “It’s much easier when everyone is under pressure and you have to take some efforts and measures really fast.

Below are a few other stories that you may have missed from the last two weeks.

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