Digital transformation has been slow within the biotechnology industry. Strict regulations and compliance mandates have made technology upgrades a major undertaking. Nonetheless, the industry has been steadily taking advantage of cloud computing because of its plethora of benefits and advantages.
Take BioDerm, for instance. A maker of hydrocolloid products for urinary management, BioDerm started with QuickBooks and on-premise software but made the move to a cloud-based enterprise resource planning solution for easier IT management, improved compliance, and overall automation and reporting that it just couldn’t get without the cloud. The company’s digital transformation took several years, and it still is a work in progress. But the jump to the cloud has significantly improved operations, according to the company.
With that in mind, here are five reasons that biotech firms are undergoing digital transformation and putting in the effort to adopt a cloud-based infrastructure.
1. Lowering Infrastructure Costs and the Leveraging Outside Expertise
Biotech companies have enough to juggle without adding the complexities of a complicated IT infrastructure and maintaining skilled staff to manage it. The cloud represents a winning investment because it offers a scalable and agile architecture that is managed and maintained by experienced external staff.
Businesses benefit from low infrastructure costs that typically may be budgeted as regular operational expenses instead of a lump-sum capital investment. External IT experts maintain and manage the system infrastructure, allowing busy biotech companies to use their own precious IT resources to focus on core projects and technology directly related to their line of business.
Additionally, a cloud infrastructure provides massive energy savings compared to maintaining equipment on-premise. Organizations also benefit from regular backups and redundancy without the need for oversight.
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2. Decreasing Capital Investment and Operational Costs
Companies that work with a cloud provider benefit from not needing to purchase their own equipment. They also don’t need to deal with the hassle of managing and maintaining such investments.
Biotech businesses that use the cloud are able to shift their spending away from hefty capital investments and having to train IT staff (or hire new workers with specific expertise). Instead, they may allocate regular operational expenditures for cloud hosting. This offers major advantages from a budgeting standpoint, helping biotech firms to more accurately estimate their monthly technology costs.
3. Delivering End-to-End Visibility for Compliance and Oversight
Regulatory compliance is critical for biotech firms. This includes FDA systems validation, processes that conform to regulatory requirements, and clear audit trails for review and verification.
Cloud-based systems built for biotech not only simplify the validation process, they also help businesses manage complex regulatory requirements by enforcing processes and bringing end-to-end visibility for ensuring that compliance needs are met and maintained.
Further, the visibility from cloud-based solutions make auditing substantially easier and more complete. With manual processes and multiple systems, a complete audit trail is challenging to achieve. But with cloud solutions, it is possible to capture and record every input, process and operational action for a complete and automatic audit trail.
4. Adding Additional Data Controls
Biotech businesses generate massive amounts of data on a daily basis. Working with a cloud provider ensures that data is accessible, secure and easily managed. Data may be manipulated and intelligently analyzed to gather useful information and identify trends, pain points and areas in need of improvement.
Managing and maintaining data in a central cloud location also can facilitate collaboration within a business, and make it easier to share data with other businesses and customers.
5. Increasing Agility and Scalability
The cloud offers enormous flexibility and agility for biotech companies. As elastic computing infrastructure, cloud-based resources can be easily be scaled up or down to meet changing needs and demands. Furthermore, businesses need not worry about running out of storage or other resources, and they also won't have to pay for time and resources they may not be using.
This flexibility also means that biotech companies are more easily able to pivot and adjust business models as needs change. With on-premise or manual solutions, quick adjustment is hard or impossible. But with cloud-based solutions, biotech firms can quickly add functionality or adjust operations as needed.
Biotech companies perform valuable work both for shareholders and their community at large. By embracing the benefits of the cloud, biotech firms can eliminate many of the headaches associated with maintaining on-site infrastructure and focus instead on core projects and strategic business objectives.
Working with a cloud provider can be a game-changing prospect for a biotech company. A cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is an important component for most successful biotech firms today as noted above.