Director, Systems Delivery & Support, Discovery - Open to flexibility

Stevenage, Hertfordshire
14 Mar 2017
28 Mar 2017
Contract Type

Director, Systems Delivery & Support, Discovery - Open to flexibility

Basic qualifications: 

  • Deep knowledge of pharmaceutical R&D
  • Leadership in line and matrix management
  • Track record of successful delivery of complex IT programmes and lifecycle management
  • IT Service management and Continuous Improvement Skills
  • IT continuity/ crisis management

Role requires:

  • Broad knowledge of pharmaceutical R&D and an education in life sciences.
  • Track record of successful delivery of complex IT development programmes.
  • PhD ( Preferably Chemistry, Biochemsitry. Pharmacology or Genetics)
  • Good knowledge of industry standard and GSK strategic IT platforms used in R&D and of GSK IT project delivery methodologies.
  • Ability to lead and drive simultaneously, project development and services which meet business need. 
  • Extensive experience as a line manager and leader of large teams.
  • Ability to inspire, enable and support people to excellent performance.
  • Extensive experience in managing outsourced ADM suppliers.
  • Ability to manage crises and to define plans to resolve issues promptly.
  • Ability to discern and dissipate distractions and trivia.
  • Excellent influencing, communication and stakeholder management skills.

Preferred qualifications: 

  • Higher degree in life sciences with IT qualification or experience.
  • Experience with ITIL based Service Management practices.
  • Knowledge and experience working with Six Sigma/Lean Sigma processes and tools.



GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical, vaccine and healthcare companies, employing over 100,000 people globally with offices in more than 115 countries, with more than a third in emerging markets. 

GSK have a significant global presence with commercial operations in more than 150 countries, a network of 84 manufacturing sites in 36 countries and large R&D centres in the UK, USA, Spain, Belgium and China. 

GSK Mission and Strategy - to help people do more, feel better, live longer

The Department

The Discovery part of the Research & Development organisation at GSK brings together biologists, chemists and engineers, many of whom are internationally renowned, to focus on the  early stages of  the development of new medicines.  They partner closely with  scientists  across the globe to generate genetic evidence  and greater understanding of cell biology to recognise the links between targets and disease.  They identify the  optimal forms for  new medicines, and  they design the molecules which have  best  features for  effectiveness. Highly automated  experimental protocols enable millions of potential  lead molecules to be  assessed quickly. 

The Director, SDS Discovery will  lead a team of IT professionals to partner with these scientists to design, deliver  and support IT systems to manage and analyse the  huge quantities of data that Discovery generates.  The IT systems used in Discovery  is extensive, and includes a number of niche and emerging products.

Job Purpose:

In this role you will be accountable for the delivery, performance and maintenance of R&D IT systems and all services required to run, grow and transform the R&D Discovery business domains. 

You will work effectively with IT Business Process Partners to implement the agreed IT strategy for the R&D domain, and to ensure that levels of IT service delivery are achieved in accordance with agreed targets.

You will provide leadership, vision and direction to members of multi-disciplinary teams to ensure that programme, project and service goals are achieved within agreed time, cost, scope & quality parameters in line with business and IT objectives.

The role has accountability for significant line management of staff based on GSK sites across the globe.  In addition, an effective partnership with outsourced ADM suppliers and vendors, critical to successful systems delivery and maintenance at optimal cost and risk is essential. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Accountable for the implementation of IT projects and services required for the Discovery business domain.
  • Accountable for ensuring that all 3rd party services are delivered at optimal cost and that capacity is fully utilized within their portfolio.
  • Accountable to ensure that projects are successfully managed from inception to closure, delivering the agreed business benefits within agreed time, cost, scope and quality targets.
  • Accountable to ensure adequate levels of resources for each project or service implemented for the domain. Project and  service portfolio characteristics:
  1. Tier 1 to Tier 4; budgets from £500K- £50M; up to 20 projects running simultaneously
  2. Delivering across business units and geographies
  3. Line managed staff: up to 50
  4. Outsourced resources: up to 100  from strategic and non strategic suppliers (via T&M or Fixed Price contracts)
  5. Multiple GSK Regions / Functions
  6. Broad / Multiple IT Platforms & Technologies
  7. Stakeholders: SVP (across multiple business units / divisions/ functions)
  8. External Suppliers : strategic ADM suppliers + product vendors
  9. Data complexity (volume, PII, confidentiality etc)
  10. Number of users > 0000’s+ (internal / External)
  • Accountable to provide leadership and direction to project teams  within domain and ensure that methodologies & standards consistent with GSK IT and regulatory standards are followed.
  • Accountable for developing and directing a team of service managers and service specialists for the ongoing support, compliance, maintenance, life cycle management and planning of several hundred production business applications used within their service line and ensuring the support strategy is in alignment with the overall IT and  business direction. 
  • You will work directly with all IT groups (IT Business Process Partner, EIS, other IT Delivery groups and IT Regional Support), , external product vendors, data vendors, and offshore support suppliers; setting objectives, service levels, and conducting service reviews with all areas. 
  • Accountable for identifying service improvements that will lead to improved robustness and  lower total cost of ownership for  GSK.  
  • Accountable for the management and remediation of any audit and compliance findings per GSK standards (SarBox, WADS, Security, GxP, etc.) and ensuring routine testing of agreed IT Continuity Plans.
  • Accountable for inspiring and developing staff in  his/ her team to deliver the highest levels of performance

GSK is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, disability, genetic information, military service, covered/protected veteran status or any other federal, state or local protected class.

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