Case Study: Roche’s New Scientific Method & Google Essay

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Pages: 10

Case Study


KEY TERMS business diamond (p. 34) business strategy (p. 26) cost leadership (p. 27) differentiation (p. 28) focus (p. 28) hypercompetition (p. 30) IS strategy (p. 37) Information Systems Strategy Triangle (p. 23) managerial levers (p. 36) mission (p. 25) organizational strategy (p. 34) shareholder value model (p. 29) strategy (p. 25) unlimited resources model (p. 30)

1. Why is it important for business strategy to drive organizational strategy and IS strategy? What might happen if business strategy was not the driver? 2. Suppose managers in an organization decided to hand out laptop computers to all salespeople without making any other formal changes in organizational strategy or business
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To solve its screening bottleneck, Roche installed an ultra-high-throughput machine made by Carl Zeiss at a cost of more than $1 million. ‘‘We can test 100,000 compounds a day,’’ says Larnie Myer, the technical robotics expert who runs and maintains the screening machine. Though most of those compounds don’t work out, identifying just a few ‘‘hits’’ within several weeks of testing

Case Study


can speed up Roche’s overall efforts. The Zeiss machine ultimately has led to changes in the entire research process.

Change Everything—One Piece at a Time
Genomics could dramatically change things at Roche: In Palo Alto, researcher Gary Peltz built a computerized model of the mouse genome that allows him to simulate classical lab studies in a matter of minutes. In Iceland, Roche teamed up with Decode, a company which researches Icelandic genealogical records. Decode used the data it had collected to identify and locate genes that are associated with stroke and schizophrenia. In Nutley, genomic data is being used to size up a drug’s side effects before embarking on lengthy animal experiments. Each of these initiatives runs on a different timeline. Some parts of Roche will see dramatic business changes in a year or two, while others will not see changes for much longer ‘‘This isn’t just a matter of turning on a light switch,’’ says Klaus Lindpaintner, Roche’s global head of genetics research.

Discussion Questions
1. How does the business strategy affect