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To address rising cost and risk pressures, improve innovation and focus on core competencies, many science-based organizations are moving collaborative relationships beyond traditional boundaries and creating flexible networks of researchers. Some are in-house; others are with industry and academic partners, research institutes, consortia and contract research organizations (CROs). Over time, these externalized networks are increasing in size and complexity. Many combine numerous partners with diverse objectives involving single or multiple research projects that, in some cases, can tie up more than 50% of a commissioning organization’s IT budget. Internet-based collaboration solutions such as email, SharePoint, VPN, Citrix and other data exchange mechanisms often introduce security challenges, incompatible data formats and the need to prepare and curate files manually. These difficulties can reduce productivity, decrease data quality, lengthen project timelines and increase failures.
With these challenges in mind, combined with an enormous pressure to reduce their informatics footprint, organizations in life sciences; chemical; consumer packaged goods; energy, process & utilities; industrial equipment and other industries are turning to cloud-based solutions as a scalable, secure, state-of-the-art environment for research collaboration. With cloud adoption significantly enhancing collaborative projects, increasing operational agility and lowering total cost of ownership (TCO), cloud computing has become a valuable and viable solution today; however, organizations are often uncertain about the best way to evaluate, select and implement a cloud collaboration platform.
This paper will discuss the challenges of internal and external collaboration and how scientific research organizations can manage the transition to a more highly performant, flexible and agile partner workspace in the cloud with the help of a qualified cloud provider. The paper will also consider the benefits of cloud computing and the questions to ask when investigating and selecting a cloud-based collaboration solution.
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