Cloud Computing: Prime time for Life Sciences
Cloud computing has taken the world by storm — as an architecture, platform and services strategy. Industries from media to banking have invested significantly in cloud computing to leverage significant benefits in systems agility, asset efficiencies and marketplace advantage. Given the information-dependent nature of most Life Sciences companies around R&D, commercial operations, supply chain and quality and regulatory, cloud computing can have great potential for the industry. Additionally, cloud-based storage and service-based software can offer support for today’s virtual development and manufacturing by enhancing integration and collaboration. However, Life Sciences technology leaders have typically hesitated to adopt the new technology, which may be a potential disadvantage to both their near-term operations and long-term business competitiveness.
A common concern in Life Sciences is that cloud computing services are not adequately secure and cannot meet privacy and compliance requirements. This is changing rapidly as the cloud industry evolves. Security misconceptions are rapidly dispelled as implementations of cloud services mature, production cloud services deliver significant technical and business value and regulatory and security standards are met.
Cloud computing is becoming more compelling for Life Sciences today. There are now cloud technologies that can:
- Support security, privacy and audit requirements for compliance
- Provide systems agility for rapidly growing and changing environments
- Enable the Life Sciences enterprise, from clinical trials, to sales force automation and internal communications
Any capital-intensive business must manage its asset utilization efficiency. Cloud computing architectures are now designed to provide highly scalable, efficient and secure environments, increasing the benefits of technology virtualization. Specific benefits can include:
- On-demand: Scalable, agile services to dynamically provision computing resources as needed
- Pay-for-Use: The ability to effectively meter usage by service for cost allocation; managing expenses for internal cost allocation, service level agreements and/or external pricing
- Flexibility: Because cloud services are made available as needed, they offer highly flexible capacity and enable significantly enhanced business responsiveness
- Control Options: Cloud services may be operated internally; through external vendor services; or through a hybrid environment, to balance ownership and control requirements
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