Many pharma organizations are seeing the benefit of utilizing Cloud operating software to manage their IT infrastructure, improve efficiency and boost return on investment. The nature of the pharma industry is extremely competitive. With demands for designer drugs to be created faster, pharma organizations have had to adapt and find a way to keep up with demand.
Outsourcing to CROs (Contract Research Organizations) is one method of maintaining a strategic advantage, but there have been concerns over the integrity of data acquired when partnering with CROs. How does a pharma organization based in the U.S. monitor and track the data acquired from a CRO overseas? There is a fear of sharing data in the Cloud, and its vulnerability to being manipulated, but in reality your company is more at threat from a power outage caused by rodents, than any malicious cyberattack.
Last year, Jon Inglis, former Deputy Director, U.S. National Security Agency said, “I don’t think paralysis [of the electrical grid] is more likely by cyberattack than by natural disaster. And frankly the number-one threat experienced to date by the U.S. electrical grid is squirrels.”
Last year Massachusetts, a state known for its science hub, with several large enterprises utilizing Cloud technology had nine serious outages caused by small animals – in comparison to Germany with 20 animal-related incidents in 2015.
A 2014 Eurostat survey reported that only one in 10 German enterprises were using Cloud services in some form, far lower than the European average of one in five, with many stating that their lack of knowledge was stopping them from even considering Cloud computing. However, the Cloud’s appeal is growing rapidly, and 2015 saw a 37.5 percent increase in the number of European enterprises making use of the Cloud.
In the U.S., the uptake in Cloud services, particularly hybrid Cloud strategies has historically been higher. A RightScale 2016 report found that a staggering 82 percent of U.S. enterprises use a hybrid Cloud approach with 95 percent of those surveyed running applications as part of an infrastructure-as-a-service.
U.S. reservations about the Cloud are similar to Europe, but the main challenge in the U.S. is the lack of resources and expertise rather than lack of knowledge, with security following at a close second. Yet security is largely dependent on the application of expertise, and is no longer seen as a barrier to the Cloud by those that put in place the right policies and procedures. RightScale’s report went on to support the same European conclusions that Cloud governance and policies are paramount when migrating to the Cloud. The year 2016 saw an increase of 30 percent in the number of U.S. enterprises establishing new policies in response to Cloud governance.
Planning your prevention strategy is important whether in the Cloud or on premise and should have three key things in mind: identify your trade secrets, consider your threats and control the flow of information in and out of your enterprise. Deploying systems on the Cloud affords redundant backup capabilities that avoid outages, which would otherwise put small- to mid-sized enterprises at a disadvantage with those with larger budgets.
Cloud solutions offer companies an alternative to capital budget burdens, allowing them to take advantage of operational funding in order to solve a business problem. Routine operations such as upgrades, patches and end of life hardware replacements become the responsibility of the provider, giving vital time back to the organization to focus on more strategic objectives and research.
There are many business reasons to move some or part of your business to the Cloud, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t do your homework. Factors such as reducing costs, going green, flexibility and scalability are all beneficial to a range of industries. You need to carefully plan your Cloud strategy, security measures and costs completely, and take advantage of the expertise many technology providers are bringing to the Cloud arena. While the Cloud’s growth may have started slowly, people are certainly paying attention to the movement, and there is no sign of it slowing down in the U.S.
J.T. Kaminski has been with IDBS since 2008 leading the U.S. North East’s services teams until 2015, where he transitioned to his current role as Director of Professional Services and Technology for EMEA, providing transformational business services through successful project implementations and change management.