UPDATED: AstraZeneca leans on IT to transform an ailing business

In an effort to engineer a turnaround at the struggling giant, AstraZeneca ($AZN) has zeroed in on information technology projects that could deliver desired business results. And Angela Yochem, the company's technology chief since last year, has been digging into the miscues at the global company and believes that IT tools will play a role in addressing some of the problems, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Leading IT aspects of a strategic review of the company, Yochem has zeroed in on boosting AstraZeneca's ability to support collaborations internally and with a network of external academics, biotech startups and other groups, the WSJ reports. This will require revamping the company's software backbone and emphasizing IT projects that tackle some of the sore spots in the business.

Eschewing mere tech fads, Yochem's group at AstraZeneca plans to adopt systems that can deliver business value during a tumultuous time for the company. The recent ouster of CEO David Brennan underscored investors' disenchantment with the direction of the London-based drugmaker, which has suffered from a series of R&D disasters, patent setbacks and sinking profits. And Yochem aims to make IT a central component of a new direction for AstraZeneca.

"We in IT are no longer taking orders and making systems," Yochem told the WSJ. "We have an opportunity to move execution details [of information technology] out to the vendors, and focus instead on opportunities to move the dial for our businesses."

- read the WSJ article

Editor's note: This article was updated to reflect a clarification made in the source article from the WSJ, which incorrectly gave the impression that Yochem was leading AstraZeneca's strategic review. She is in fact one of several executives working on the review and is in charge of IT aspects of the effort.