Mar 16, 2023
Software is key to unlocking the power of life sciences

Gunther Lenz, Vice President of Software R&D, BD

When people think of the life sciences, they traditionally think of the instruments, assays and reagents found in hospitals and labs. But there’s another side to the study of living organisms that plays a critical role in how scientists make breakthrough discoveries in everything from infectious disease to cancer research. And that side is software.

Having worked at traditional software companies like IBM, Microsoft and Google, I love to share with others how healthcare software differs and how our digital transformation journey at BD is unique in its power to positively impact patient lives. Software allows BD to deliver the latest innovations to researchers and patients faster and is a differentiator in how our products are used to push the boundaries of the healthcare landscape and ultimately strive for better standard of care and treatment.

Accelerating software innovation through the collaboration between BD software engineers and the Thoughtworks team.

At BD Biosciences, the business unit in which I work, software is essential across the workflow spectrum for life scientists who are trying to solve some of the biggest healthcare challenges—including finding new treatments for cancer and other chronic diseases. Software impacts how these researchers design experiments, identify and analyze cells, extract meaningful insights from enormous datasets, and achieve those aha moments that otherwise could have gone unrecognized.

BD has more than 2,000 software engineers around the globe, and I have the privilege of leading more than 150 of them – some of the best and the brightest in the industry. Culturally, our digital transformation journey is centered around software-centric practices like empowering product managers, encouraging autonomous teams and flexible architecture, and thinking in terms of ecosystem.

Strategically, we focus on three principles that are propelling us to the next level of digital fluency as an organization. These principles are the “Lean” principles of Left to Right Flow, Fast Feedback and Continuous Learning. And a key part of continuous learning is collaboration. As with most organizations, not all capabilities must be built in-house, and part of our task is knowing when to bring in the right collaborators to accelerate our innovations. A recent example of this is our collaboration with Thoughtworks.

Thoughtworks is well known in the software world as a leader in agile software development, cutting-edge architectural principles and best-in-class software practices. By joining forces with their team, led by Chris Murphy of Thoughtworks North America, for a defined set of projects, we are able to jointly accelerate the modernization of our core systems to support digital reinvention, product development and world-class user experiences. Guided by shared principles and goals, this collaboration helps all teams achieve even greater software engineering excellence.

By thoughtfully and consistently applying our principles together, including continuous learning and collaboration, we can continue to harness the power of software to take the life sciences to new frontiers.

In the future, software will continue to be a key driver in pushing the limits of what's possible in healthcare. There is so much exciting, innovative and potentially life-changing software work happening across BD. Advancing software innovation will continue to be a critical part of how we help impact human health and deliver on our purpose of advancing the world of health™.

Want to grow your career while making meaningful contributions that could help improve human health?  Learn more about the exciting software engineering roles at BD on our careers page.


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