Why your organization should be using cloud-based technology for external collaboration
Research collaborations allow researchers to ask questions they wouldn’t be able to ask if they worked alone
External collaborations are on the rise.
Working in R&D, you’ll already be familiar with the use of contract research organizations (CROs), joint ventures, academic partnerships and consortiums. In fact, you probably work with some of these groups already – and if you currently don’t, you certainly will in future.
If you’re reading this, you’ll already know why your organization collaborates, or is looking to collaborate,
with external partners. But, have you considered what happens once you begin collaborating? Have you considered how these partnerships work in practice?
At IDBS, we think the benefits of cloud-based technology make it the ideal solution for your collaboration projects, old and new. This short eBook explains why!
Get started quickly
So, you’ve entered into a collaboration agreement, that’s the easy bit. Now you need to get ‘up and running’. Not so easy.
Traditionally, when using an on-premise system for data management, you’d need to find a way to give your new collaboration partners access.
Typically, this is via a VPN, opening up your corporate intranet to your new partner (we’ll come on to this in the next section). Establishing a secure connection can take weeks, if not months – it’s not a fun process.
Using a cloud-based system, accessed via a web browser, you can get started immediately – meaning you can respond to market changes quickly and stay ahead of your competition. URL, log-in details, done! And if your user requirement increases at any point, then users can be added easily to meet your needs.
Protect your IP
Your organization is built on its intellectual property (IP). Protecting that IP should be at the heart of everything you do.
Giving third parties access to your corporate systems by punching through your corporate firewall could make collaborating easier, but, it’s not going to help your relationship with your CIO, and it’s definitely not going to keep your IP as secure as it should be.
There are also other challenges. What happens when your contract terminates with your collaboration partner? Have the most recent versions been captured? Will they delete their inbox? Wait… you’re sending data via email? Really?
It might seem that there’s a balance to be struck between security and efficiency. That shouldn’t be the case. With a cloud-based system, you can provide your partners with a neutral environment for collaboration – you can restrict the access levels available to third parties too, meaning private, corporate content remains inaccessible and secure.
Ensure data integrity
When you collaborate with a third party, what you’re really paying for is the data.
Collaboration projects can cause all kinds of logistical problems – with various parties needing to coordinate activities and transfer data and reports. There’s also likely to be someone within your organization tasked with processing these documents and ensuring they are distributed to each relevant corporate repository.
This is a time consuming process and also introduces more opportunity for data loss and corruption. When you’re paying for data quality, is that good enough?
The E-WorkBook Cloud’s spreadsheet technology allows collaborators to enter their data directly into
the system, eliminating the need for disparate data files and formats. Using E-WorkBook Cloud, you can create and share templates with external collaborators and, when a study is completed, data can be seamlessly transferred back to your organization’s internal systems with just a few clicks.
Remember, when you’re paying for data, you don’t want to compromise on data quality.
Picture the scene. You’re collaborating on an important project with an external team, based in another country. How do you know if a study has been started? Have samples been received? Is the report ready for review?
When working with external collaborators, you need clear oversight on what is happening, who is doing it, and when.
E-WorkBook Cloud features built-in mechanisms for document and data review, social commenting and task alerts, meaning you can always be confident that you have the full picture – even when your collaboration partners are on the other side of town, or the other side of the world.
Take the strain off your IT teams
In the very first section, ‘Get started quickly’ we mentioned how using cloud-based technology can keep your CIO on-side, but he/she isn’t the only person you need to consider. Cloud-based collaboration can also keep IT teams off your back…
Let’s assume your collaboration partners have, to the horror of your CIO, been granted access to your intranet. Who sets up the VPN? What about the desktop application that needs to be downloaded to each user’s computer? Oh, did we mention that the collaboration partners are based in a different time-zone? To get started, they’re going to need some remote software support – and that could mean some very unsociable hours.
If you use an on-premise solution for collaboration, this task is unfortunately going to fall onto your internal IT teams. You won’t be very popular.
A cloud-based solution shifts the burden from IT teams. With E-WorkBook Cloud, systems and upgrades are managed by IDBS, and the global infrastructure that runs the cloud is looked after by IDBS and our web services provider. The most complicated thing your IT teams have to look after? Passwords. Given the alternatives, I think they’ll be happy with that!
Did you know…?
Almost 50% of the world’s top 10 R&D organizations have chosen the same collaboration tools
With such a large percentage of productivity tied to effective collaboration, it’s easy to see why organizations have to get it right.
Using the cloud provides you with both the flexibility and security you need to get your collaboration projects moving, saving you time and money.
To find out more information about how the E-WorkBook Cloud can help you collaborate more simply and effectively, speak to one of our experts today. If you would like to read more about E-WorkBook Cloud, you can visit our website.