The life sciences industry is experiencing a major digital transformation. The digitization of the sector has advanced to the point that the next phase of innovation will be found in a digital rather than physical setting.
A survey by TCS found while only 3% of life sciences companies asked said their businesses were digitizing, 75% said vast digital opportunities are available to pursue over the next decade.
This trend towards digitization will have a major impact on data management, collaboration, record keeping, workflow, and security within the industry. With the increased emphasis on digital solutions comes an increased need to integrate IT solutions across the enterprise.
IT challenges faced by life sciences sector
The life sciences industry faces significant challenges when it comes to integrating IT infrastructure, including:
The industry is undergoing rapid growth, with new players entering the market and demand outpacing supply. Greater levels of agility are needed, alongside the ability to comply with strict regulations including data privacy, data security, and regulatory compliance, which drives an increased need for reliable and accurate data to support decision-making.
Scalable cloud-based networks
The increasing importance of the digital transformation in the life sciences industry has led to a growing demand for scalable, reliable, and cost-effective IT solutions. The scalability of these networks is a key feature, and can be provided via various network topologies, including hybrid cloud and software-defined networks (SDNs).
Hybrid clouds are a mix of private and public clouds. They are typically used to store sensitive data – such as customer records – in a private environment, allowing organizations to keep their data secure and compliant with regulations, while using the public cloud to scale up applications quickly as the company grows.
An SDN is a computer network using virtualization to manage network devices, allowing enterprises to adopt agile, scalable, and dynamic IT infrastructure which can be easily managed and updated with minimal disruption to existing services.
With these solutions, IT administrators can scale their networks to support traffic demands without the need to invest in expensive hardware.
Rigorous security posture
The stringent security posture of these networks needs to be matched by the business applications being used. The need for strong security is driven by the highly sensitive data being processed, including original source data, research data, and patient data. This data needs to be protected using a security model with the appropriate safeguards in place, such as encryption.
Encryption is a process of converting information into an unreadable format, which can only be read by authorized parties with the decryption key. While encryption does not guarantee the data will not be stolen or intercepted, it makes the information very difficult to decode.
A blockchain network is a distributed database which stores data in an encrypted format. These networks can be used to ensure authenticity and accuracy of the medical data – from electronic health records, to clinical trial data.
By storing data within the blockchain, it is much more difficult for cybercriminals to access and change the information or commit identity theft. The blockchain also helps with verifying data by ensuring all of the information is coming from a trusted source.
Organizations are increasingly turning to collaboration software, like the Microsoft 365 suite. With this solution, you can easily connect team members to share data and facilitate workflows.
Collaboration software can reduce communication errors, help organize shared data, and allow scientists to share their research results and collaborate on projects outside of their field of expertise. This can help them get exposure to new research areas and gain valuable skills which could be applied in future work.
To optimize collaboration efforts, you can choose to implement software that supports a variety of collaboration tools, including project management and document management.
Managed IT services
With the increasing focus on reliable and accurate data, companies need to determine how best to use the IT resources available to them. Managed IT services can be used to provide centralized support for key IT assets, such as the company’s data center and security, and reliable and accurate data controls, such as audit trails and data-governance policies.
A managed IT service provider will help your business with its digital transformation by creating a more sustainable and robust infrastructure that is built on the latest technologies. This will save your company valuable time and money by reducing the effort needed to deal with IT issues when they arise, allowing you to focus on your work.
The IT experts at BCS365 specialize in partnering with life sciences companies to provide ongoing support and consultation for technical needs, so they can focus on their core business.