December 13, 2010
The pharmaceutical and life sciences industries have been making considerable moves to the cloud, particularly with genomic sequencing applications and clinical trial management. While there are a number of compliance-related issues that have been addressed (and a host of others that still require more robust solutions), big pharma has been taking noticeable, albeit tentative steps to the cloud.
This week at Pharmtech, Julian Upton asked Arun Kumar, Vice President and Head of the Global Life Sciences Business Unit at Infosys, an IT, business and consulting firm, about how the cloud is shaping the pharmaceutical industry.
The impact of cloud computing for the industry is still in its infancy, but is most prevalent in areas of research, development and healthcare information exchange. He states, “the explosion of data from next generation sequencing, growing importance of biologics in the research process, and importance of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to come up with new discoveries is making cloud-based computing an increasingly important aspect of R&D.”
Kumar also noted while there are some genetic sequencing and biomarker data and applications in both public and private clouds, “there is still a need for more integrated data sharing across research, development, manufacturing and sales functions to improve trials, increase time to market for drugs, and utlize feedback faster.”
For pharma, like other industries, the main driver behind cloud adoption lies in the reduced expense of maintaining in-house infrastructure. In short, it is a business advantage, even though Kumar hopes that as wider adoption continues, there will be a “greater focus on aspects related to security, privacy, data protection and IP management.”
This is a common reason, particularly in the enterprise setting, for a move to the cloud. Interestingly, this is one segment of the cloud user base that has strict compliance mandates to adhere to. The risk and expense of compliance is clearly seen as worth it for some of the early adopters of cloud in life sciences and pharma and if Kumar is correct, more are likely to climb on board in 2011.
Full story at PharmTech
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