31 March 2021

The cloud – and the role it played in creating an independent animal health company

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Posted by  | Chris Keeley | 31-Mar-2021

Corporate separations don’t happen overnight; they take an incredible amount of resources, time, strategic planning, and rapid delivery. When Elanco embarked on this journey a little more than two years ago to complete this effort, from an IT perspective it seemed like an impossible mission – the project scope was massive. However, with extraordinary focus and a dedicated team, nothing is impossible.

Prior to IPO, Elanco was completely reliant on IT services from its parent company, covering everything from data centers and ERP systems to client services. The divestiture in 2018 presented Elanco with the unique opportunity to rebuild IT from the ground up, including new architectures, technologies, processes, and talent. This is an unprecedented situation, where the weight of legacy and technical debt is lifted, enabling a “quantum leap” forward through the creation of a modern IT ecosystem as a foundation for growth for our newly independent company.

I am proud to say that while we maintained daily business operations, the Global Elanco IT organization also owned the construction of an entirely new infrastructure with the foundational capabilities to set the new company up for a successful future -  delivering it all on time.

Two years later, I look at the work our teams have accomplished together and it’s truly an amazing feat:

  • Onboarded 15,000 clients during a pandemic
  • Migrated 65 sites, manufacturing plants, and R&D labs to a new software defined network
  • Achieved 95% cloud adoption (Saas/Paas/Iaas)
  • Created new enterprise data architectures to enable analytics and insights
  • Simplified, standardized, and migrated to a new ERP environment across 45 countries
  • Enabled a new approach to service integration and management
  • Created an all-around modern IT ecosystem

We were able to achieve this all while completing the largest acquisition the Animal Health industry has seen to date and during a pandemic. We tested new limits and identified new ways to transform our company while advancing the animal health industry as a whole. Our goal is always to deliver great outcomes to our business by driving innovative solutions and maintaining secure, dependable, reliable, operations – and the completion of this project is no exception, in fact, it takes it to the next level.

We plan to build on this success – we know our IT journey is far from over - in the upcoming years we’re in a great position to advance our strategic vision for what IT can do for Elanco and the customers they serve. We’re extremely proud of the talented professionals that make up our IT organization and our internal and external partners, for their tireless efforts and amazing dedication to building a strong, independent, purpose-driven, company.


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