The Legal, Economic, and Operational Advantages of Using Cloud-Based Systems in Life Sciences
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As data becomes more and more integral to life science companies, especially those that develop therapies, providing data integrity, security, and transparency is crucial. Since the dawn of the digital age, there has always been a concern about how to best protect sensitive information and make it accessible to those who need it.
IDBS, a global life sciences software company headquartered in Woking, UK, is the leading innovator in cloud-based BioPharma Lifecycle Management (BPLM). The company’s new BPLM platform enables customers to securely and efficiently capture data to create a persistent, dynamic data backbone throughout the biopharma lifecycle.
Chris Ovett, Senior Product Manager Cloud & Platform at IDBS, has spent the past year working with the IDBS team to provide life science organizations with a solution to the tedious task of managing data. Given all the risks that come with handling data in any form, Ovett and his team have focused on providing users with a way to protect data for their projects.
Naturally, security is a concern when outsourcing data to third-party companies – especially with organizations that focus on life sciences. Data breaches, which are always a concern for businesses in every industry that relies on data to function, put all parties at risk. Protecting against these usually unexpected and treacherous events is something that cloud-based programs can help with.
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The use of these programs via software as a service (SaaS) solutions also helps customers retain control over their data, allowing everything to be accessible to those who need it. Ovett emphasized the importance of this, making the point that data within the cloud is not an “open house.”
“What we ultimately want to ensure is that the customer still has control and insight, and a level of clarity over the outcome of moving to the cloud.” he says.
This control, clarity, and insight come from users being responsible for connectivity and authentication, two things that they know best according to Ovett. In turn, the platform is responsible for the security and compliance within the cloud – taking the pressure off of customers.
Not only does this free up time for the customer’s IT department to spend on other pertinent tasks, but it also allows facilities to have more flexibility in how they access and use their data.
Fig. 1. Security Design Principles.
Beyond the security that cloud-based programs can offer, life science businesses can also have scalability. Growth is inevitable in a field that thrives on constantly changing technology and innovation. Because of this, platforms like the IDBS Cloud must be able to expand and evolve with businesses that depend on their reliability.
Cloud-based programs are also a more cost-effective alternative to traditional methods of storing and sharing data. Because all information is ported into one accessible place, it prevents life science facilities from having to allocate funds for several different data storage and management solutions.
However, no matter how spectacular a program is or how much security it can provide its users, one thing is central to ensuring that life science companies can navigate the uncertainty that often comes with managing data: trust.
Ovett talks about how this is a central part of IDBS’ philosophy as a data management and organization platform. Without the presence of trust between company and customer, it is extremely difficult to build a working relationship.
Most of the data that life science companies handle are sensitive, private, and personal, making it crucial that platforms like the IDBS Cloud are able to adequately protect it.
Part of building trust includes “having the voice of the customer and the customer insight,” allowing programs to continue to bring new and useful solutions to the field. Because data management programs come in all shapes and sizes, it is vital that users are educated on how their platform works as well.
“The key thing is bringing the customer on the journey with us, [and] listening to what they’ve got to say.”
Ultimately, the life science field as a whole is dependent on cloud-based systems to constantly evolve into more secure and accessible platforms. The legal, economic, and operational advantages of using these platforms will only benefit the organizations as they continue to contribute to a more knowledgeable and data-driven society.