Like most innovation-led organisations, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is highly dependent on IT. Its large, centralised IT support group has used COBIT® 4.1 as the basis for developing an organisational IT governance framework. GSK is beginning its transition to COBIT® 5.
The mission of GSK is ‘to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer’. In support of this mission, GSK develops and makes pharmaceuticals to treat a range of conditions including respiratory diseases, cancer, heart disease and epilepsy. GSK researches and makes vaccines that protect against infectious diseases, including influenza, rotavirus, cervical cancer, measles, mumps and rubella. It makes innovative consumer health care products, with a portfolio that includes well-known brands such as Horlicks, Panadol and Sensodyne. GSK is a global company operating in more than 115 countries with approximately 100,000 employees.
One of GSK’s strategic priorities is to simplify its operating model by reducing complexity and thereby becoming more efficient. This will free up resources to invest in other, more productive, areas of the business. One of the outcomes of this strategy is a more centralised IT organisation, offering standard IT support services to all business areas.
The application support group was formed by merging a number of autonomous, business-facing IT groups and is responsible for a portfolio of more than 2,000 applications supporting every stage of the value chain (research, development, manufacturing, commercial and corporate functions). This department has several hundred permanent staff, based at different locations worldwide. Additional technical support is provided from two offshore business partners.
The application support department has developed a governance framework for GSK.
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