How the cloud can power next-gen life sciences


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Over the last few years, life sciences companies have been ramping up investments in cloud infrastructure to improve productivity, resilience, and competence. In fact, this past June, the rate of pharmaceutical companies hiring for cloud roles rose in comparison to the same time last year. From making new medicines to medical devices and vaccines, companies generate, manage, and analyze a massive amount of data to secure breakthroughs. Today, more than ever before, digital technology transformation through cloud in patient-centric health care and adaptive analytic systems are empowering physicians and improving the patient experience at scale.

One of the many benefits of cloud is its ability to facilitate streamlined productivity. Utilizing the cloud enables businesses to deliver new services in less than six months, increasing the time to market from quarterly to weekly, and cutting down the deployment lead times from days to hours. Cloud heightens speed for software development and affords the ability to engage in additional experimentation.

Pharma companies today leverage cloud to reduce go-to-market time

According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society analytics survey report, more than 83% of pharma companies are already leveraging cloud services. Many large and mid-sized pharma companies have implemented cloud for long-term content storage. Realizing the value of cloud, life sciences companies and leading pharma organizations across the world’s R&D teams are increasing operations to collaborate and drive clinical trials.

As an example, many are aware that cloud was essential in delivering the first Covid-19 vaccine candidate to the U.S. National Institute of Health for Phase I trial in less than 50 days leveraging the power of cloud technology.

Customers are even migrating their application and data workloads to the cloud.Ho Some migrating to increase the productivity of their workforce, while others are due to data center consolidation or rationalization projects. In some cases there are companies that are looking to completely reimagine their business using modern cloud technology as part of a larger digital transformation program.

The benefits of cloud data lakes

Storage requirements for ever-expanding data is a challenge for every life sciences researcher, drug manufacturer and clinical trial scientist. Setting up data servers for storage and delivery not only requires huge capex, but also a high level of expertise and floor area.

A data lake is the contextualization of data across disparate manufacturing systems, solving the problem of managing large sets of datasets coming from new sources of data such as sensors, social media and website interactions in different types of formats and sizes. To enable storage and analysis of semi-structured and unstructured data sets, a new system was needed to process data with speed and intelligence—and this is doing the trick. Cloud data lakes offer life sciences organizations analytics capabilities using AI/ML algorithms to provide better insight of patient data and hospitals usage.

Industry-specific data lakes using public clouds likes AWS (Amazon Web Services), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Cloud are solving many use cases which were not possible with traditional data lakes or data warehouses set up within on-premises data centers—because of the built-in scalability, regulatory and compliance, native features and more which the public cloud brings.

Utilizing a cloud data lake can help pharma organizations better analyze industry trends, inferences and TCO (total cost of ownership) to identify solutions while providing better insights.

Cloud is empowering the future of life sciences 

It is no secret that today digital transformation is driving profound changes in how businesses operate, compete, and generate value for all businesses across the globe. In the life sciences industry specifically, cloud will enhance and create a more resilient enterprise and culture.

Today, most life sciences organizations have on-premises applications burdened with high capital expenses, complex management, scalability challenges, and hardware that needs to be replaced or upgraded every three to five years. Cloud service providers are addressing these on-premises challenges head-on, offering cloud-based production and management solutions that improve efficiency. Because of this, the future of cloud usage in life sciences will continue to pave a cost- and time-efficient path.

Photo: shylendrahoode, Getty Images



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