Pharmaceutical Research and Development is at a technological crossroad. Presented with the opportunity to substantially reduce costs associated with clinical trials by moving data management to the cloud does not come without issues. If a choice is made correctly and the proper partner has been selected, Pharma R&D can maximize efficiency while reducing the risk of errors and mistakes within data sets. If an incorrect choice is made, a significant investment is made in a worthless product.
The challenges of setting up and maintaining software for clinical trials in an on-premise model are typically time and cost (which is also associated to time). A company would need to procure hardware to support this strategy as well as in-house staff with the skills to maintain the hardware and software on a 24/7 basis. For small companies, this can be a large ratio of overall spending on R&D, which, ultimately, takes resources away from the core focus of research. In addition, there will be requirements to maintain and update software that causes outages and more distractions from the core focus of an R&D group.
When large businesses (in almost any industry) invest in serious technology upgrades, more often than not, they will be dealing with at least one potential vendor who is less than forthcoming about true capabilities – or, ‘Vaporware’ Salesmen.
Consider the analogy of buying a car: you state your requirements:
“I live in a cold climate and need a vehicle to handle rough terrain.” The representative for the car company assures you they have just the right model for you. All that is needed on your end is a signature, and net payment within 30 days to take delivery of your perfect new car. The 30 days come and go, and you reach out to the dealership who assures you that your purchase is on its way. Another week passes, and your vehicle finally shows up – except… it’s a motorcycle that’s missing a wheel. Furious, you call the car representative who sounds slightly bewildered.
“Well, this is our offering for what we think handles rough terrain!”
“But, it’s missing a wheel,” you reply.
“Yes, unfortunately since our last manufacturing run, we’ve upgraded the current design, and you’ll need to purchase the rear wheel 2.0 upgrade,” the salesman says with a tone of remorse.
As absurd as it may sound, more often than not, many Pharmaceutical Companies are left with a bad taste in their mouth, and more challenges than they wish to face after a bad experience with a cloud technology company. Cloud software applications are becoming more commoditized regardless of industry, and it is important to keep in mind the potential for fly-by-night and ‘me-too’ offerings from unsavory businesses.
If companies do not invest properly, they may run into situations where important information is not available due to lack of service. This model can work effectively for very large organizations but smaller start-ups should not go with this approach. The return on the investment takes many years to realize.
Typically an eclinical solution can be set up and available with a few hours to days. The cost generally consists of smaller, upfront fees with the ability to turn off the system if it is no longer needed or beneficial. The best way to approach vendor selection is to find one that will provide not only the technology, but also the service to ensure you get the most value out of the information you will be tracking. The right partnership can create a very favorable business model that allows start-ups to remain extremely focused on their area of expertise, which will bring their company value quicker. As a technology company, we at Y-Prime also search for business applications on the cloud that allows us to focus all of our efforts on our products and services which brings value to our customers and stakeholders.