Can cloud adoption boost innovation in life sciences?
Every sector faces unique roadblocks on their path to the cloud. In life sciences, however, the stakes of executing a successful digital transformation can literally be life or death, and protecting patients and their data has always been a top concern when adopting new technology.
In that same vein, however, a reluctance to innovate or deploy technologies that can speed up the sharing of essential information (and in tandem the development of cures) is simply unacceptable.
This is the balance that those in life sciences have been struggling to strike as cloud adoption ramps up collaboration — and simply the speed of work — across sectors. While the stakes are different than in retail and finance (although some in banking may beg to differ…) teams in healthcare face many of the same back-office challenges that impact traditional enterprise environments.
“In life sciences the challenges to enabling better global collaboration are the same [as/in] any large corporate venture,” Nick Maynard, senior analyst for Juniper Research, told Healthcare IT News in a recent interview. “Data is often held in silos, which means that different teams can be working on related areas but not have access to each other’s data or even know it is happening.”
Moving to cloud-based systems, Maynard explains, can help break down some of the silos that have historically separated teams that may have worked in isolation from each other, despite working toward the same or similar goals. The benefits here are many, but for life science workers, it breaks down into two primary buckets.
For starters, new cures or research can benefit from greater sharing of information that was historically hindered if not by geography than by inefficient workflows that couldn’t advance at pace. Cloud-based technology simply allows for teams to more easily manage and share data on a global scale than operations that only employ on-premise solutions,
Secondarily, when talent doesn’t have to be specifically sourced from one location, teams can be more aggressive about finding the best fit possible for a specific role, not limiting the scope of talent to a local pool. Individual employees, too, can take part in projects or seek out opportunities within their organization that were previously closed off before cloud workflows were introduced, engendering greater employee satisfaction (and, by proxy, retention).
Embracing more cloud technologies in the life sciences sector also presents a great opportunity for teams to explore partnerships and collaborate with other companies working toward the same end. Already, these businesses require collaboration across multiple subsidiaries, and by leveraging collaboration through the cloud teams could speed up review processes, for instance, helping to bring life-changing (and saving) treatments to market at greater speed.
Any company, regardless of industry, could enjoy similar cost-savings and productivity boosts by employing new cloud-delivered workflows to help improve collaboration behind the scenes. But doing any kind of overhaul of essential network infrastructure requires detailed network monitoring before, during, and after execution.