At a time where collaboration in the life sciences industry is more urgent than ever, and the race to develop medical devices, drugs, and PPE explodes – how can companies and their remote teams – many working from home – stay connected in a secure IT environment to speed innovations to market? For several years even before COVID-19, science-driven companies have been addressing increasing costs and mounting risks by externalizing their research teams to facilitate innovation and refocus in-house efforts on core competencies. Collaboration has been expanding to encompass internal multi-site teams, external industry and academic partners, Contract Research Organizations (CROs), research institutes and consortia. These collaborations fueled rapid restructuring of industry Research and Development (R&D) models and processes, forming vast distributed and integrated R&D networks.
Such shifts in industry practices, while boosting innovation, pose significant challenges for life sciences companies. To realize risk reduction, shorten product development times and increase Return on Investment (ROI), new technologies and systems are required to support remote teams and R&D efforts. Many companies are looking to cloud-based solutions that enable use from anywhere there is a computer and the internet. But before moving to cloud-based solutions, there are several factors to consider
The life sciences ecosystem is complex. First and most important, are the rigorous regulations and the amount of documentation required for compliance. Ensuring compliance becomes harder as the number of people, applications and the amount of shared information increases. As life sciences companies’ efforts outgrow traditional on-premises R&D and computing capabilities, keeping up with the corresponding regulatory and compliance demands becomes a strategic imperative.
Second, are the real-time demands for easy collection and fast analysis of the vast amounts of data, often distributed across multiple locations, teams and people. For example, the data from R&D experimental workflows needs to be collected automatically, with individual lab bench instruments connected directly to a database, and quickly analysed. The stakes are high because any data loss will present a significant setback, making a reliable and effective data backup and recovery systems mission-critical.
Traditional collaboration solutions such as email, messaging and other data exchange methods introduce security challenges and data format incompatibilities. Increasing collaboration in this kind of environment without adequate tools is error-prone, negatively impacts productivity, decreases data quality and lengthens project delivery times.
Enter a cloud-based platform. With adoption of a carefully selected cloud platform, companies across the life sciences landscape can significantly improve operational agility, enable effective scientific collaboration and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Cloud Technology is Key to Collaboration and Efficiency
Life sciences industry poses many unique requirements such as regulatory and compliance issues, and an ever-increasing reliance on external discovery and R&D partners. Cloud technology enables truly collaborative work, it allows companies to break down silos and connect their people across multiple functions and from far-away locations. With support of a cloud-based business operation model, as creative collaboration increases, many processes across the life sciences life-cycle can be streamlined and some can be automated. While automated workflows increase overall efficiency, wider access to shared knowledge and advanced analytics contribute to faster development cycles.
Data and information are at the center of life sciences efforts. Collabration in the cloud makes it easier and faster to collect, store, find and manage vast and complex information, enable better decision-making and more effective execution. Data security is also taken care of with the cloud infrastructure, where access is systematically controlled.
Selecting and Implementing a Cloud Platform Solution
Increasingly, organizations need to be focused on their core competencies. For life sciences companies, that core competency is science, not Information Technology (IT) or security. Yet, their business success depends on the ability to securely collaborate among many remote stakeholders, while efficiently leveraging existing open ecosystems. When such holistic collaboration is achieved, it enables better decision making, drives innovation and lays the foundation for meeting the challenges of ever-evolving industry landscape.
The importance of this holistic strategy is clear and cloud computing has proven itself as a viable and valuable solution. Still, many companies need guidance on the best way to evaluate, select and implement a cloud collaboration platform to meet their business and customer needs.
Life Sciences in the Cloud is the Future
In a highly competitive and strictly regulated industry such as life sciences, companies that embrace creative collaboration and use tools that leverage proprietary data are able to get better insights and make faster, more informed business decisions. Operating “at the speed of the cloud” enables life sciences companies to harness the power of innovation for deeper insights, faster discovery and improved outcomes.
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