Zimmer Biomet

                Getting a whole new view of its IT landscape with Alfabet

                Meet our customer hero

Zimmer Biomet is a leading musculoskeletal technology company that designs, manufactures, and markets a range of medical devices for use across the healthcare industry. It has been on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. companies since 2016.


  • Lack of centralized application repository
  • Complex IT landscape due to years of acquisitions
  • Need to better manage IT lifecycles
  • Spiraling costs linked to redundant applications


  • Provided “whole view” IT visibility
  • Identified application interdependencies and redundancies
  • Created a more agile back-end operation
  • Cut costs through reducing redundancies
  • Enabled focus on innovative product development

                    "Alfabet has given us a 360-degree view of our entire application landscape. It’s enabled us to achieve greater agility, cut costs and accelerate medical innovation"

– Dave Lahiri, Enterprise Architect at Zimmer Biomet

                You can’t act on what you can’t see

For nearly a century, Zimmer Biomet has been at the forefront of healthcare innovation. The company has grown from a small family-run operation into a global player. Despite its size, the company’s mission remains simple: to alleviate pain and improve the quality of life for people around the world.

Until recently, Zimmer Biomet’s IT systems were anything but simple: like so many others in its industry, years of mergers and acquisitions had led to a complex IT landscape. Staff lacked a centralized, holistic view of applications that drive Zimmer Biomet’s daily business—from the software powering its precision manufacturing to the tools that help it comply with government regulations. At an inventory level, it was hard to understand software interdependencies and identify redundant, cost-consuming applications.

Complete IT portfolio transparency

Zimmer Biomet has never been a company to stand still, and management was fast to realize they needed a change—toward an IT portfolio management solution that would offer complete IT transparency and ultimately drive a nimbler IT strategy. It chose the “whole view” solution from Software AG.

“We can’t manage what we can’t see,” says Dave Lahiri, Enterprise Architect. “That’s why finding a product like Alfabet was so important.”

The choice of Alfabet came down to two main factors: its robust capabilities and remarkable ease of use. Alfabet came equipped with the richest meta model for a host of IT projects: from strategy alignment, to agile innovation, to due diligence ahead of mergers and acquisitions. Its easily configurable reports, road maps, and workflows meant staff all across the company would have the precise information they needed to make good decisions on what needed to change in the IT landscape. The platform’s ability to sync with all commonly used IT management products made it perfect for Zimmer Biomet’s primary goal: complete IT portfolio transparency.

Quick release of value

Alfabet’s array of capabilities soon brought tangible results. Since acquiring the platform, IT staff have used it to generate multiple reports—from a simple, but essential, list of IT applications and their lifecycles, to others offering a range of sophisticated insights useful for company-wide IT transformation initiatives. One quantifies the value to the company of all software in its portfolio—helping staff separate the mission critical apps from expendable ones. Another tracks application dependency: if one application goes down, the architecture team knows precisely how others will be affected. A third maps the servers where on-premise applications are based—an essential piece of information for a firm with such a global footprint. Now, Alfabet-generated insights are enabling Zimmer Biomet to improve staff efficiency, minimize systemic risk and reduce IT spending.

“With Alfabet,” Lahiri says. “we’re able to run the operation more efficiently.”

Today, with its sleeker IT architecture, Zimmer Biomet has more bandwidth for developing new innovative products—such as artificially intelligent knees, hips, and surgical planning systems. According to Lahiri, the company’s newfound IT visibility also leaves it far better prepared for future growth. “The next time we acquire a company, it will be much easier to align our IT strategy and architecture,” he says.

The endgame for Lahiri is to be in lock-step with business, that is, to have a vested interest in business outcomes and help the company achieve them from an IT perspective. This is where Alfabet comes into play again: measuring IT alignment to the targeted business outcomes and deriving IT change plans accordingly. “Ultimately,” says Lahiri, “as we get closer and closer alignment to business, we’ll be able to proactively prepare for future business needs with an IT portfolio that’s innovation-ready.”

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