Why cloud-based environmental monitoring is right for the pharmaceutical industry

11 August 2020

With a large amount of potentially sensitive information passing through the pharmaceutical industry, it is perhaps no wonder that the use of external networks may be met with some resistance, or that innovations in technology are met with caution. This may be why the pharmaceutical industry is lagging behind others in capitalising on the many advantages offered by cloud-based software, despite it being often referred to as “the future” for Pharmaceutical industries.

However, thanks to SmartControl from Microgenetics, the future is already here. Read on to find out more about the cloud and some of the benefits a cloud-based environmental monitoring system could bring to your lab.

What is the cloud?

The cloud is the delivery of computing services - from servers and databases to software and analytics - over the internet. It is an alternative to traditional IT infrastructure, which consists of various pieces of hardware connected to a network via a remote server, usually on a business’s premises. It is estimated that in 2019, 48% of all corporate data was stored in the cloud (see the graph below), a number set to grow even further as more companies seek the benefits of cloud-based systems.

The use of the cloud for storage of corporate data has been increasing in recent years, as shown by this graph of share of corporate data stored on the cloud sine 2013.

Benefits of the cloud

There are too many benefits of the cloud for us to go into any great detail in this blog, so we have summarised a few of the key ones below.

Improved data security

Most experts agree that data security through a reputable cloud service provider is considerably more secure than on-premise systems, despite a common misconception that they are less secure. This misconception stems from some high-profile security breaches, which occurred due to poor personal security rather than poor cloud security. In reality, big cloud providers can invest more in developing and maintaining their security system than most IT teams, offering a broad set of policies, technologies and controls which strengthen overall security.

Reliable data storage

We can all think of a time when our computer has crashed, leading to the loss of some time-consuming pieces of work which we subsequently had to re-do. Not only is this frustrating, but any data loss is a breach of the ALCOA+ principles, which state your data set should be complete to maintain data integrity. Luckily, linking into the above point of security, the reliability of data storage for cloud-based systems can be far superior to traditional IT infrastructure. This means that the chances of you losing data are significantly reduced, through the cloud’s use of backup hardware and replication of data across multiple, physically separate data centres.

Grow with the cloud

If your business is scaling up rapidly, there is no need to worry about diminishing data storage with the cloud. An infinite amount of storage means your cloud-based system can grow with you as your business needs change.

No physical server needed

Without the need for on-site servers, the inconvenience (and expense) of having a physical server is removed for cloud-based systems. No hardware means cloud-based systems are faster and easier to implement.

Accessible data

The beauty of the cloud is that it is everywhere; therefore, with cloud-based systems, you don’t have to be on-site to access your data. Instead, it is available to you at the click of a button, anywhere and at any time. Most cloud-based services are also provided on-demand, for example, with SmartControl you (and an unlimited number of users) can view your data in real-time. Of course, this has a positive impact on your data integrity as accessibility is one of the ALCOA+ principles.

Remove the burden of upgrades

Compared to traditional systems which require regular, often time-consuming and cost-intensive upgrades, with cloud-based software updates are provided, pre-validated and managed by the supplier at no cost. Therefore, all users have access to the most secure, feature-rich version of the software without the hassle, while your IT team can focus on achieving more important business goals.

What this could mean for your environmental monitoring

Cloud-based environmental monitoring software such as SmartControl could help to increase the efficiency of your environmental monitoring; as an example, by making your data more accessible, you can find the information you need faster, saving you and your team time. The time saved could instead be used to second check or innovate, meaning the impact can only be positive!

On a similar note, through being cloud-based, you can better adhere to the ALCOA+ principles, meaning you can have more trust in your data. If we use the example again of being able to find what you need more easily, you can see how this links to the principle of accessibility.

Finally, being cloud-based, some challenges posed by other environmental monitoring systems, such as installing a physical server, accessing your data off-site and regular, labour-intensive upgrades, are removed, whilst your security is improved.

Being a cloud-based environmental monitoring software is just one benefit of SmartControl – click here to find out more.