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Based on our analysis of the survey findings and the input of dozens of leading R&D organizations that we work with at IDBS, we’d like to propose the following practical strategies to help you tackle R&D Informatics in 2012.

Step 1: Reduce Complexity:

  • Legacy system de-cluttering – can you identify systems you don’t want to interact with anymore?
  • Explore where you can use flexible, multi-purpose, multi-domain systems. Take steps to future proof your systems for inevitable business change
  • Don’t think that removing a system removes capability, it may enable implementation of better processes
  • Don’t accept “we can’t do that, the system won’t let us”

Step 2: Improve Collaboration:

  • Think data, not documents – all data (yes, even raw data) should be easily accessible in real time, accessed controlled, searchable and reportable
  • Who are your partners in the ecosystem? Consider who are the consumers and contributors of your data. Where do you fit? Can they see your data?
  • Maximize online access to data – employees expect to be able to collaborate as easily with their work systems as they do with their social media tools. A reliance on summary level information only allows superficial collaboration
  • Don’t use different systems for internal and external collaboration – you’re just creating more silos

Step 3: Maximize Capture of IP & Innovation:

  • Explore how IP capture can be automated from existing data capture process – can you make it an inherent element of every stage of research, so that it is not an additional activity?
  • Where are the opportunities to harvest IP from your existing processes? Don’t create a new IP capture activity – this simply makes more work for the scientists
  • What are the barriers to current IP capture?
  • Can you share your innovative processes with others?
  • Don’t think it’s someone else’s problem – it is the responsibility of everyone to capture and share their innovations
More topics:   People and informatics (Part 2)

Discover more by listening to our ondemand webinar.


Let me know your thoughts on these approaches and your own strategies for addressing R&D Informatics in 2012.