Prepare for the next generation of R&D innovation.
As biotech and pharmaceutical start-ups experience accelerated growth, they often collide with computing challenges as the existing infrastructure struggles to support the increasingly complex compute needs of a thriving research and development organization.
By anticipating the need to scale the computing environment in the early stages of action for your pharma or biotech enterprise, you can shield your start-up from the impact of these five common concerns associated with rapid expansion.
Insufficient storage space
Life sciences companies conducting R&D particularly have to reckon with an incredible amount of data. Research published by the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that each organization in this sector could easily generate ten terabytes of data daily, or about a million phone books’ worth of data. Start-ups without a plan in place to handle that volume of information will quickly overwhelm their computing environments. Forbes notes that companies must address both the cost of storing several copies of necessary data and the need for a comprehensive data management strategy to streamline and enhance access to historical information.
Collaboration and access issues
As demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, remote work has become essential across industries, including biotech and pharma. In addition, global collaborations are more common than ever before, emphasizing the need for streamlined access and connectivity from anywhere. Next-generation cloud-based environments allow you to optimize access and automate processes to facilitate collaboration, including but not limited to supply chain, production, and sales workflows.
Ineffective data security
Security threats compromise the invaluable intellectual property of your biotech or pharmaceutical start-up. As the team scales the company’s ability to process and analyze data, it proportionally increases the likelihood of a data breach. The world’s top 20 pharma companies by market sector experienced more than 9,000 breaches from January 2018 to September 2021, according to a Constella study reported by FiercePharma. Nearly two-thirds of these incidents occurred in the final nine months of the research period.
If your organization accesses and uses patient information, you are also creating exposure to costly HIPAA violations. Consider investing in a next-generation tech platform that provides proactive data security, with advanced measures like intelligent system integrations and new methods to validate and verify access requests.
Limited data processing power
As biotech and pharmaceutical companies increasingly invest in artificial intelligence, organizations without the infrastructure to implement next-generation analysis and processing tools will be at a significant disadvantage. AI and other types of machine learning dramatically reduce the time it takes to sift through seemingly endless data to find potential drug matches for disease states, understand mechanisms of action, and even predict possible side effects for drugs still in development.
Last year, The Guardian reported that 90% of large global pharmaceutical companies invested in AI in 2020, and most of their smaller counterparts have quickly followed suit. The Forbes article cited above projected AI spending of $2.45 billion in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries by 2025, an increase of nearly 430% over 2019 numbers.
Modernization and scale
Cloud-first environments can scale in tandem with your organization’s accelerated growth more easily than an on-prem server system. Whether you need to support expanding geographic locations or expanding performance needs, the cloud compute space can flex to accommodate an adolescent biotech company’s coming of age.
When your organization commits to the cloud platform, place best practices at the forefront of implementation. A framework based on data fidelity will prevent future access, collaboration and security issues. The cloud relies on infrastructure as code, a system that maintains stability through every phase of iterative growth.
Concerns about compliance
McKinsey & Company identified the need for better-quality assurance measures in response to ever-increasing regulatory scrutiny nearly ten years ago in its 2014 report “Rapid growth in biopharma: Challenges and opportunities.” Since that time, the demands of domestic agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration have been compounded by the need to comply with numerous global regulations and quality benchmarks. Efficient, robust data processes can help adolescent biopharma companies keep up with these voluminous and constantly evolving requirements.
With a keen understanding of these looming challenges, research teams can leverage smart IT partnerships and emerging technologies in response. The 2014 McKinsey report correctly predicted that to successfully address the tech challenges of growth, organizations must expand capacity to adopt new technologies and take risks in terms of capital expenditures to scale the computing environment. Taking advantage of existing cloud platforms with innovative tools designed specifically for R&D can save your team the time and money of building a brand-new infrastructure for your tech needs.