Why your R&D organization needs to move into the cloud
An informative look at what the cloud actually is and why your business should take advantage of it to transform your R&D process at an affordable cost
Benefits of the Cloud
The use of cloud-based models has flourished in recent years, because of the ever-increasing cost and complexity of on-site ‘buy, build and maintain’ IT infrastructures.*
In this eBook, we take a look at what the cloud actually is and explain why more and more customers, of all types and sizes, are taking advantage of cloud-based solutions.
What IS the Cloud or SaaS?
Cloud-based services, commonly called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), are transforming IT today, enabling all types of businesses, regardless of size, to improve their business processes at an affordable cost.
- 82% of companies reported saving money when they adopted the cloud and 14% report downsizing their IT department as a result of the presence of the cloud.*
- 54% of IT decision makers globally reported keeping sensitive information in the cloud.*
80% of enterprises globally use the cloud to store their data.*
Gartner defines SaaS as “Software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more provider. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions that is consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at any time on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on use metrics.”
In effect, SaaS is leased software maintained by its creator, hosted in the cloud or by the software vendor, and not on
WHY IS SAAS POPULAR WITH ENTERPRISES?
The popularity of SaaS is steadily increasing for enterprises because it simplifies deployment and reduces costs.
With SaaS, an enterprise can seamlessly roll out new technology to their employees without the need for complex setup and deployment plans. On top of this, SaaS allows companies to scale as quickly, and as much, as needed, without costly infrastructure alterations or additional IT staff and support.
WHY IS SAAS POPULAR WITH IT TEAMS?
A recent survey of 1,000 IT professionals by Forrester Research found that IT teams are turning to hosted (SaaS) products as a way to offload management of non-mission-critical applications and to free up time and resources to focus on mission-critical or strategic projects. In addition, the costs of a subscription-based SaaS pricing model keeps IT budgets more consistent, or lower, than packaged or home-grown software. The overall reduction in the cost of ownership is broader than just the license costs and extends into the infrastructure procurement and amortization, as well as on-going costs associated with systems.
WHO USES CLOUD SOLUTIONS?
Industry analyst Forrester Research notes that, to date, SaaS has primarily been used for human resource management (HRM), customer relationship management (CRM), collaboration software (e.g. email), and procurement solutions, but the use of SaaS is widening to accommodate many additional workloads and requirements at an ever-increasing rate.
TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLOUD
Today, it’s possible to have almost any technology running in the cloud and provided through SaaS, from business intelligence software, to complex database systems to simple collaboration technologies. The dollar savings can run into the millions. SaaS installations are often up and running in a fraction of the time of on-premise deployments – some can be ready in just hours.
Sales and marketing professionals are likely to be familiar with Salesforce.com, the leading SaaS CRM, with millions of users across more than 100,000 customers. However, research is going the SaaS route too, with technology available to support all aspects of a company’s research needs in a single, scalable and fully integrated offering.
UP AND RUNNING QUICKLY
Because most people are familiar with using the internet, SaaS applications tend to have high adoption rates and a low learning curve.
The ease of use for SaaS solutions, combined with easy access to online learning resources, means users can be up and running far more quickly than they would be with older legacy, on-premise technologies.
Our SaaS solutions can be securely accessed from anywhere in the world, on any computer or device. Users are able to access their data and work more efficiently, making life easier for home-workers or those who work across multiple sites.
On top of this, users get access to new features and fixes as soon as they become available, removing the need to wait for cumbersome upgrades and improving service and end user satisfaction.
LOWER INITIAL COSTS
The IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud is subscription based. No license fees means no large up front procurement of the software, which leads to lower initial costs. Having IDBS provide and manage the IT infrastructure also means lower costs for IT, software and the people needed to manage it all.
With The IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud, you pay for what you need, without having to buy hardware to host your new applications. The time to a working solution can drop from months, in the traditional model, to weeks, days or hours with the SaaS model.
Because IDBS provides and manages all updates and upgrades, there are no patches for customers to download or install themselves.
We also manage availability, so there’s no need for customers to add hardware, software or bandwidth as their user base grows or their demands and requirements increase. At any one time, you can be assured that you will always have access to the most up to date, optimized software.
Having access to the latest technology and providing new features or fixes to end users quickly improves adoption, increases ROI and ensures IT is the hero by significantly increasing end-user satisfaction and their whole end-to-end user experience.
Our cloud architecture can upscale indefinitely to meet our customers’ demands. We also offer customization capabilities to meet specific needs or out-of-the-box solutions.
On top of this, we provide APIs that let you integrate existing systems, instruments or technologies into The E-WorkBook Cloud, providing the same rich experiences and benefits as our on-premise technology.
The IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud provides support for customization and integration with other systems and instruments. Over the years, IDBS has accrued significant experience in integrating with different technologies, from ERP to balances and LIMS to high-end automated instruments. Many of these integrations are still available when moving to the cloud, however, we recommend an assessment of your individual requirements before you get started.
GUARANTEED LEVELS OF SERVICE
The IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud is managed by our experts who understand the application inside out. Our experts are familiar with all operations of the application and can make changes to the cloud deployment to ensure that maximum levels of performance and robustness are achieved.
This is often not the case with traditional on-premise software that has to be maintained and managed by your internal IT teams, who are likely to be managing lots of different applications at once and could never reasonably be expected to understand vendors’ software to the same level.
With most traditional software, you are not given a guarantee on how well it will perform when installed on your local infrastructure given all the variables at play (database, servers, network, end user machines, etc.).
With The IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud you are, and at IDBS, we guarantee your applications will be available 99% of the time. In the event we don’t deliver (which hasn’t happened to date), there are penalties to be paid by us.
BACKUPS AND DATA RECOVERY ALL TAKEN CARE OF
If you are familiar with traditional database software, you’ll know that unless a potentially costly automated solution has been implemented, the process of backing up your data on a weekly basis can be laborious even at the best of times.
The IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud eradicates this painstaking yet essential task, scheduling automatic backups without user intervention and ensuring the integrity and security of your critical data.
Current best practice for SaaS data infrastructures is to have two separate geographical locations that identically store and mirror your data. In the incredibly unlikely event that a disaster occurs in one of the centers, the other data center can continue delivering the SaaS service without interruption or loss of data. Not many organizations can do this on-premise.
When delivering business applications via SaaS, the complexity of the underlying IT infrastructure is all handled by your cloud provider.
Neither your users nor your IT department have to worry about maintenance of hardware or which operating system version supports which databases – we take care of all of this, so you don’t have to.
Because we work with our cloud service provider to host The IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud, you won’t need to invest further in any infrastructure. All initial investment on licenses, hardware, databases and IT specialists are managed by us.
In many instances, an organization’s business information is more secure in a SaaS solution than in a traditional software on-premise situation.
While some IT personnel worry about information security outside of the enterprise walls, the truth is that SaaS vendors provide a much higher level of security than standard enterprise IT infrastructure, alongside the added benefit of data/disaster recovery.
PAY AS YOU GO
SaaS software gives you the benefit of more predictable costs for both subscription and administration.
Even with upscaling, you can have a clear idea of what your costs will be. This allows for much more accurate budgeting, especially when compared to the costs of internal IT to manage upgrades and address issues for on-site solutions.
The subscription method also highlights the many unseen or forgotten costs that come with internal installations of software. When these costs are part of your monthly or annual subscriptions, the benefits of the savings you make are clear to see.
As mentioned earlier, with software hosted in the cloud, users can access it via a range of devices or browsers, from wherever they have an internet connection, enabling them to continue write-ups, and analyze data with access to real-time data information.
For remote workers, the ability to access the software and data when they need it can increase the productivity of teams. It also means you can invite third-party collaborators into the software, with most cloud-based solutions, allowing you to set the level of access as required.
BUILDING LONG-TERM CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS
We believe this point is the most significant. At IDBS, we charge our customers an annual fee to access and use our software and technology. We have invested significant amounts of resource in technology development and time into running the system for our customers.
SaaS gives customers far more flexibility in how they adopt and procure technology and, without the capital outlay, it is far easier to switch to another vendor. However, we invest a lot in our customers from day one: setting up the processes, systems and required technology from the start.
This investment not only ensures you get the best experience, but it also provides us with the motivation to ensure you stay with us for the long run. And we’re committed to making sure that’s the case.
We understand how important it is that you start, and stay, happy with the service you receive from IDBS and that you are able to fully and consistently utilize all the technology we provide in the complete IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud.
We must provision hardware, manage the infrastructure, invest in technologies for back-up, fail-over and up-time. We also have to factor in monitoring tools, security technologies, our experts and support whilst ensuring we cost and manage upgrades completely seamlessly.
WHAT MAKES IDBS DIFFERENT?
Our single platform has all the technology and capabilities required to perform R&D across the value chain.
There are so many cloud providers for so many types and sizes of businesses – the cloud is becoming part and parcel of running an efficient and cost-effective organization.
In the world of R&D, the stack is starting to move to the cloud too, and at IDBS we are leading the charge. The award-winning IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud is a modular product set delivered in a single, integrated cloud SaaS interface.
This means, that by selecting the product set that’s right for your business, you get everything in the same place – from one provider. This reduces the chance of software conflicts and integration issues, and simplifies procurement and deployment. It makes everything more efficient.
In some instances, compromises on capabilities have to be made when moving to the cloud, but because each of our technologies are feature-rich and incredibly powerful on their own, with The IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud you get flexible, scalable and powerful enterprise-level software combined into one of the world’s best R&D cloud platforms.
SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATED EXPERIENCE
Many cloud providers in the R&D space have either acquired multiple technologies and ‘glued’ them together, or only supply part of the technology, whether it be a single workload or a broader set of workloads that are very basic.
IDBS provides a complete end-to-end cloud research platform that supports internal, external and hybrid research needs. The IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud is a proven enterprise cloud platform that combines best-in-class ELN functionality with cutting-edge data capture and analysis tools, integrated job requesting and management, integrated inventory management, biology and chemistry, all backed by award-winning, best-in-class support and decades of industry experience supporting the world’s leading R&D organizations across the globe.
The modular design of our cloud platform means you don’t need to buy it all in one go. The E-WorkBook Cloud grows with your needs, so you are free to add new modules as you need them.
By integrating these different pieces together and focusing on user experience, we significantly improve work flows and traceability of information. This means we place more data at users’ fingertips and reduce time spent transcribing between systems. On top of this, we add new features as they become available, so we provide the most up-to-date and complete platform to our users.
TAKING AWAY THE PAIN OF VALIDATION
IDBS have over 25 years of experience working with organizations, small to large, and we understand the requirements and regulations imposed on our clients from regulatory bodies.
The IDBS E-WorkBook Cloud can be fully validated and made 21 CFR Part 11 compliant for our customers and we have complete processes and systems in place that can take the pain out of validation for you.
READY TO MOVE TO THE CLOUD?
Our purpose is to provide the best cloud-based R&D technology and solutions to the world’s most forward-thinking companies, helping them solve global challenges.
So, if you are ready to move your R&D organization into the cloud then speak to one of our team today about how IDBS can help you.
*Source: 2015 Vormetric Insider Threat Report (Harris & Ovum)