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R&D Informatics – It’s all about reducing complexity, improving collaboration & protecting IP

31st Oct 2011

This is part II of a series of blogs analyzing the results of our recent R&D Collaboration trends survey. See R&D Informatics – are you ready for 2012? for the first post.

Reality of the R&D Informatics landscape

It is often easy to assume the majority of organizations have had the opportunity to address basic data management and reporting requirements. For example, report production and tools for compiling data are a “must have” for today’s organizations who want to stave off the competition. The general assumption is that everyone has solved this problem, but the survey reflects a different reality. There is strong need for enterprise-level data management systems that collect and store information and make it readily accessible to multiple layers of users within an organization.

What are researchers concerned about?

It’s not just the voice of analyst and executive management, but this survey exposes that at researcher level three main themes cause respondents the most concern:

80% think the IT environment is too complex – they cited issues with existing tools, too many systems and lack of informatics staff as causing the most concern. There is a clear need for the capability to better manage data consistency across multiple domains.

Comment: This means organizations must simplify the desktop and make the data ecosystem less complex.

55% cannot collaborate effectively – they cited the ability to effectively share and collaborate through data, both internally & externally as an area of concern.

Comment: This means organizations must make data searchable, rich in context and digital – delivering the ability to align data, gain insight and make it usable across the enterprise.

37% believe that they are losing intellectual property – they voiced concerns about effective IP capture, management and security.

Comment: This means making sure researchers capture and securely share their innovation, without having to add to their workload. Their systems should seamlessly capture innovation and make IP auditable.

Top collaboration challenges:

Drilling down the topic of collaboration, the survey found that a staggering 91% of respondents surveyed reported their number one collaboration challenge is managing data to ensure the consistency of research results and avoid rework.

The top three collaboration challenges reported were:

  1. 91% are worried that they cannot align results with their colleagues
  2. 80% are worried that they cannot share their data with their colleagues
  3. 78% had problems recording and tracking intellectual property

Comment: If you can’t manage and align data easily then you can’t collaborate with it or secure the IP – which becomes a vicious circle. Document centric approaches just make this problem worse.

What are people’s responses to these issues?

In the next year, R&D organizations are planning to address these data challenges by creating a simplified environment which captures innovation, enables collaboration and provides insight.  Initiatives organizations are focusing on include:

  • External collaboration
  • Systems consolidation
  • Open innovation
  • IP capture
  • R&D governance

So now we know the issues, what are we going to do about it?

Discover more at IDBS seminars “R&D Informatics: Strategies for 2012” during November in Paris, Frankfurt & Boston, or attend our webinar on November 17.