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15. Nov 2021 •4 minutes read
The impact of using software in the biotech industry
The digital revolution has been on the move for a while and some industries are slower to adapt than others. For instance, the world of biotechnology is one of those industries. A lot of industrial bio-production, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies are still convinced that in order to use the best software solution, adequate tech must be developed and maintained in-house and the data should be stored on internal servers instead of other options, like the cloud. However, experts in the field agree that in the next decade, this industry must also quickly adapt to the ever-changing market, embracing the digital transformation and creating new opportunities for growth and scientific breakthroughs.
Only a few years ago, experts stated that the industry employs incredibly smart people but provides them poor tools to perform their work. Back then, these professionals stated that most applications scientists work with are less advanced, less reliable, and deliver inferior results as let’s say, some of the apps on our phones. Years went by, and the fear to adopt the latest advancements are slowly but steadily dissipating, giving the industry a chance to save time, streamline complex processes, reduce costs and errors, meanwhile creating highly agile resources.
A fully digital biotech company
Nowadays, more and more science companies embrace the latest digital tech and strive to be fully automated. These companies usually use several digital solutions that patch analog processes while others rely fully on software to perform not just the data gathering but the entire process of a scientific procedure.
On the other hand, those companies that fully updated the digital transformation truly understand how to drive value with the available tech and strive to cultivate a digital culture that can rapidly react to the slightest changes on the market. These companies aren’t afraid to embrace cloud services, and all the latest features biotech software development has to offer.
The actual impact of computer software on the industry is immense and sometimes hard to even fully comprehend. The latest advancements in technology enable industry players not only to optimize their workflow and cut costs but to design their experiments, interpret precise data, store that data, and interpret it. There are several different software types in the industry, from laboratory management software, bio-imaging software, product-specific solutions, to less “niche” project management solutions to optimize teams across the board.
As already mentioned above, a few years ago, when industry experts first expressed their concerns regarding the relationship between the biotech industry as a whole and the digital transformation, it was evident that the paradigm shift won’t be rapid. In a sense, that’s still the case today in some segments and with some companies. There are firms still out there today who believe that all the software they use should be created in-house, with all the info stored on internal servers. These companies will still have large IT and software teams working for them just to maintain the entire system and the produced data. While remaining in this “comfort zone” might seem like a good idea for some, industry leaders believe that those who do not adapt to the latest trends may quickly find themselves losing key business metrics, including profitability, market share, revenue, and even capital.
In order to keep being competitive, biotech companies must also become more open to software development and digitization like other niches. Biotechnology is a prime industry that grows fast with rapid IPO activity, making it easy for smaller start-ups to enter the market. Plus, Investments in the field are constantly on the rise and the industry is rapidly heading towards affordable infinite computing capacity that makes the old model on-site infrastructure obsolete. For the most part, it’s evident that operations both in small or large companies should happen in a fully automated pipeline with computer-aided manufacturing. Instead of sticking to in-house development models, the biotech industry should now focus more on off-the-shelf solutions and infrastructure management software, This way, industry players will avoid data leaks, avoid employing expensive and overblown software teams and will be able to improve cost-efficiency, and inject funds where it’s most needed.
Predictions for the future
You don’t have to be an expert to see that software and the digital transformation as it is will slowly change all industries and the entire world we live in. As of now, some biotech companies still struggle to adapt and to properly respond to said change.
Even though going fully digital is probably one of the best investments a biotech company can make, most experts state that these firms should develop a slow, and steady, conservative approach, but still a dynamic one that won’t let the entire industry lag behind.
Most professionals in the field agree that the future for companies lies in embracing digital and cloud technologies. It has been evident in other niches, that businesses and companies who use these technologies generally outperform their conservative competitors on various metrics, let that be revenue, profit, or ROIC (return on invested capital).
The digital change is inevitable and all industry players who want to remain afloat must develop an objective view of such technologies like the cloud, and other possibilities like using off-the-shelf software solutions from expert third parties that focus solely on delivering the best data-gathering and interpreting services that in-house algorithms and software solutions might not be able to follow them for long.
On the other hand, the in-house approach will become less cost-effective over time. Companies that will manage to adapt to the challenges and trends of the digital transformation will probably end up with huge advantages with precise data in their hands that enable them to make both smarter scientific and business decisions.