Companies in the life sciences often discuss Business Strategy and R&D Strategy, focusing primarily on creating value and gaining an edge over their competition.
But we rarely discuss a newer type of strategy: Digital Lab Strategy, which has become a foundational pillar for a successful organization. The number of software and instruments that deal with raw data analysis, collaboration, and accessibility is now massive and an immediate need of day-to-day laboratory operations.
So, if developing a Digital Lab Strategy is at the bottom of your to-do list, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
Digital Lab Strategy has revolutionized the industry by allowing labs and research facilities (and most likely your competitors) to drive innovation and digitalization. In this blog, we will discuss why labs need a comprehensive Digital Lab Strategy and how you can implement it to accelerate performance and achieve better results.
Whether navigating the road to FDA approval, applying for grants, and/or publishing research papers, there is generally a rough strategy that will help you achieve your goal. This may include hiring the right people, choosing the suitable therapeutic modality or target, developing the proper internal team hierarchy, identifying partners from other organizations, outsourcing animal studies to skilled collaborators, and attracting investors or grants to give you the money to achieve all of the above.
Previously, digital solutions were just some of the many tools used to achieve these goals.
Nowadays, however, they define the strategies, set the pace and timelines, and serve as a unique selling point for collaborators and investors.
For example, an un-digitized biotech start-up may appear not to be keeping up with times or keen on moving forward by a potential investor, regardless of how revolutionary their IP might be.
Countless barriers stand in the way of organizations developing and implementing a Digital Lab Strategy.
For Big Pharma companies, the problem is being “too digital.” One of the biggest problems is having decentralized data and using many digital tools. This leads to a loss of data and longer data analysis periods.
In Academia, the problem is a bit different. Labs and PIs are rushing to get grants and churning out publications in an environment with a rapid churn of personnel. This makes it difficult to formulate a sustainable digital foundation and leads to repeating old experiments, losing samples, and a slower research pace.
In Healthcare, the lack of digital lab strategy is primarily due to using ancient, in-house systems. For example, an older Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) can be inconsistent, not very user-friendly, and experience issues with data updates. Taken together, this makes scientists apprehensive about using it. Decentralizing data in different digital tools and creating a sustainable ecosystem becomes a headache for scientists working in the industry.
To prevent these issues and inconsistencies, having a Digital Lab Strategy is integral for all labs and research facilities. Digitalization is multi-faceted, and there are a lot of different parts of lab operations where it can be integrated. To help you prepare a comprehensive digital lab strategy, we have provided a checklist for further guidance:
General Sample Strategy
General Inventory Strategy
SOP Tracking and Development Strategy
Data Reporting and Experimental Design Strategy
Customization and Integration Strategy
General IT and Digital Security Compliance
Compliance with Different Regulatory Environments
Data Science Strategy
Overall Digital Strategy
In conclusion, Digital Lab Strategy is now “in the DNA” of all labs, and it trickles down to the research and business strategy rather than the other way around. The sooner an organization embraces digitalization, the quicker it can pivot in the right direction. It is anticipated that labs that uphold strict and standardized digital protocols and adopt AI and ML, will be leaps ahead of their competition. This pattern can already be observed with the current customers.
If you are ready to strategize about your digital lab journey, get in touch with us today!
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