Sumitomo Pharma's DX Corporate Departments orchestrate DX of the Group

A dramatic increase in value created by digital technology

Develop DX as our corporate culture through strengthening the development of core human resources in Japan and Japan-U.S. collaboration

In Japan, we will strengthen the development of internal human resources who will serve as the core to develop DX as our corporate culture. On the technical side, we will develop two different types of personnel: “Citizen Data Scientists” and “Citizen Developers.” The former are personnel who can analyze business data using basic statistics and machine learning models and contribute to problem solving and decision making in their departments, while the latter are personnel who have the skills to develop tools by themselves to improve the efficiency of their own and their departments’ operations.
On the organizational culture side, we will develop “Scrum Masters,” who play a role in promoting the instilment of an agile mindset and further motivating people to challenge by energizing the team. We have been working on developing such human resources for some time now. During the period of our Medium-term Business Plan 2027, our goals are to significantly increase the number of human resources who can play a core role in DX in initiating efforts to increase operational efficiency and create value.

Citizen Data Scientists

Citizen Developers

Scrum Masters


Launch 150 or more DX projects of any size per year in Japan and the U.S. combined

Approx. 10% of Sumitomo Pharma’s employees will play a core role in DX in initiating efforts to increase operational efficiency and create value

Human resources who support Sumitomo Pharma’s DX

Citizen Data Scientists

We position Citizen Data Scientists as the key persons to implement a data-driven, high-quality and prompt decision-making process in all value chains by mastering the three competences required of data scientists: business competence, data science competence, and data engineering, while utilizing visualization and statistical methods.
Since FY2021, we have continued training 100 persons as assistant data scientists per year in our Introductory Assistant Data Scientist Training Program and 30 persons as citizen data scientists per year in our Citizen Data Scientist Training Program. By adding to our existing data scientists, we aim to develop 100 Citizen Data Scientists by FY2024.

Citizen Developers

We position Citizen Developers as personnel who will enhance operational excellence and drive digital transformation in all workplaces by acquiring skills to realize automation and sophistication of operations mainly including no-code and low-code tools.
As of May 2023, our internal developer community, which we launched in FY2021, has 200 members. Through this community, we aim to develop 150 persons who can implement applications that improve productivity in their workplaces by FY2027.

Scrum Masters

We position Scrum Masters as personnel possessing facilitation and coaching skills and promoting instilment of an agile mindset. They are responsible for creating teams where highly specialized and diverse personnel can interact with and learn from each other in a healthy way, and conduct their activities in a productive and autonomous manner.
We aim to have this new role take root in each division within the Company, while also integrating it with CHANTO, conduct guidelines to establish a position as a “Global Specialized Player”.

AACTR(Advanced Analytics Computational Technology & Research)

AACTR is a team that combines all DX and IT organizations in our subsidiaries in North America and is an organization consisting of DX and IT specialists.
In addition to conducting the advanced operation of communication tools, business apps, enterprise infrastructure and healthcare technology platforms (DrugOME and Digital Innovation), it also plays a role in analyzing diverse data sources, including Real World Data (RWD) and in-house data, and providing insights that maximize business value.
It is a group of specialists who lead the Group in ensuring that all of its activities become initiatives that are undertaken from a higher perspective and take into account global trends.

System Development Suitable for DX

Utilization of advanced external technologies

We are pursuing the creation of an ecosystem by developing applications in collaboration with external partners who have cutting-edge core technologies. We are undertaking initiatives in various areas, including image analysis AI and talent management, one of the HR Tech (Human Resources Technology) areas, and in some of these areas, the results are already being applied to actual business and beginning to deliver unprecedented value.

●Click the following link for the article about HR Tech in Sumitomo Pharma. Analyzing Factors for the Production of Results with Talent Management - Sumitomo Pharma by Nikkei BP HumanCapital ONLINE 07/07/2021 (in Japanese only)

In-House Development by Dedicated Teams

We use in-house development for systems with neither precedent nor definite requirements, or systems subject to changing development priorities according to the customer's business conditions. Such development is made possible by dedicated teams whose members come from various internal and external departments and a high level of collaboration between them and business departments. Our in-house development teams utilize design thinking and agile methodologies to deliver valuable digital tools quickly and continuously, with customer satisfaction as the top priority.
They develop a wide range of applications, including predictive analysis of clinical study subject entries, drug discovery-related integrated platforms, pharmaceutical information search applications, clinical study-related document creation support applications, side effect information extraction applications, and telework communication support applications.

Infrastructure to Promote DX

We are also developing an infrastructure platform in Japan that will allow us to make more effective use of systems and digital technologies developed both inside and outside the company and the data stored in them. This infrastructure platform will enable the company-wide use of data that was previously held independently by each department, and promote the effective use of unstructured data (e-mails, documents, images, videos, audio, etc.), making it possible for all employees to easily utilize and analyze data.
We also use business intelligence (BI) tools to visualize data and promote data use with the aim of realizing data-driven decision making. In addition, we have implemented PowerApps and Power Automate to establish an environment where the above-mentioned Citizen Developers can play an active role. Employees creating and sharing their own apps further accelerate our digitalization progress.

Organizational Culture Reform to Support DX

S-DDAO (Sumitomo-pharma Data-Driven Autonomous Organizations)

In FY2023, we launched a company-wide community in Japan, which aims to “promote autonomous and data-driven DX in each organization.” It respects and encourages autonomous DX by sharing the progress of each department’s DX strategy on a quarterly basis. This is a community that aims to raise the level of the company’s DX promotion to a higher level by sharing the community's initiatives in a broad and transparent manner within the company, thereby encouraging mutual awareness.

Agile Application to Office Work

To improve our flexibility and agility in responding to changes in the business environment, we have formed a virtual team to promote agile and are promoting the adoption of agile work styles.
We are gradually introducing agile methods such as Scrum and Kanban Board in stages, after customizing them to suit each site, and this applies to all office work, not only system development. Agile work styles that focus on customer value and quick and iterative improvements are beginning to foster autonomous and independent teams and create behavioral changes.

Sumitomo Pharma supports those who are willing to grow on their own.

In order to contribute to the health and wellbeing of people, we aim to dramatically increase the value created by digital technology, and are implementing various initiatives to develop DX as our corporate culture through strengthening the development of core human resources in Japan and Japan-U.S. collaboration.
We are focusing on establishing an environment in which each and every one of our employees can proactively work on developing his or her skills, with the aim of achieving our vision as a company where our diverse human resources can have their own strengths, challenge themselves to achieve higher goals, and maximize their individual abilities.

●Employee Development Program (in Japanese only)