A digital cloud platform delivers the benefits without the complexity and high cost of on-premises solutions

by Dawn Waite

Digital platforms are taking the business world by storm, paving the way for new ways to work — thanks to better interoperability and greater flexibility of advanced technology. But digital platforms aren’t without their complexities. Building an on-premises digital solution is costly and requires having a pool of talent available to scale up capabilities and changing technologies, train users, and get the most from the platform.

Adopting a common cloud platform minimizes many of these burdens, delivering not only the advantages of digital — interoperability and flexibility — but also providing assurance when it comes to business resilience, specifically as it relates to cyber security and access to talent.

Interoperability and flexibility

The problem with using disparate systems is that it’s very hard, if not impossible, to get data from one platform to another in a timely and frictionless fashion. Increasingly, life sciences companies want to be able to integrate their data and leverage it for other greater purposes — such as analytics and artificial intelligence — or even simply to get submissions to various regulators around the world in an automated and timely manner.

Recently, we spoke with one life sciences organization that has had some issues when it comes to submitting data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration through the Electronic Submissions Gateway (ESG). While this is a relatively easy activity within the United States, the organization has had problems transferring the data from some global locations because of latency issues. This has resulted in heavy use of resources to complete the required activity and has frustrated personnel. However, with a common digital platform, deployed in a location that allows users to access the system, it’s a very short hop to that ESG gateway, eliminating those historical problems.

One of the overarching benefits of deploying a digital cloud solution is that it gives you the scope and scalability to achieve the desired integration without under- or overinvesting in technology and resources.

Another advantage of a digital cloud platform is the flexibility to test new ideas without having technology stand in the way. For example, an organization might develop an idea that is ahead of the curve but find that its technology precludes it from testing that concept without making costly investments. And, without knowing whether that idea will be advantageous to the business, it can be difficult to get management approval for the needed financial outlay. However, with a digital cloud platform, it’s possible to simply dip your toe in the water to explore the feasibility of a project, allowing your company to grow in new directions and earn revenue that you might not previously have thought possible.

Gaining assurance and security

Digital platforms vastly expand your company’s scope, for example, enabling greater analytics capabilities. But, as mentioned above, among the problems with on-premises digital platforms is having the personnel to implement and use them, and then training others in their use. Starting out on the digital journey involves a serious learning curve.

Working with a partner through a shared cloud platform lets you tap into talent as needed and when required — whether for knowledge about the system, for scaling up solutions or for training your staff on the platform so they can make the most of it more rapidly.

Another critical element is having the resilience to withstand attacks and threats — be they cyber crimes, internal threats, human errors or natural disasters. The preponderance of merger-and-acquisition activity is also a key factor, and organizations going through such processes need to ensure that their data can withstand scrutiny.

When it comes to any kind of security threat — either due to criminal intent, error or natural disaster — it’s important to realize that you can’t plan for everything. So, when deploying a digital cloud platform, having a partner that puts security front and center and has experience in addressing all potential security threats is paramount. An experienced partner will be in a position to enhance security across multiple organizations to give you the best security options available but without the prohibitive costs of implementing similar security measures internally.

To learn more about the benefits of a digital cloud platform, view our recent webinar on demand: Re-platforming the Enterprise for a Life Sciences Connected Ecosystem.

Dawn Waite is the regulatory managed service offering lead at DXC Life Sciences, with experience in utilizing cloud in both Life Sciences and the hospitality industry. She is responsible for the management of the Life Sciences Regulatory Managed Service Offering enabling organizations to benefit from running applications across the business within the Cloud whilst maintaining compliance.

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