Early-Stage Life Sciences

Early-Stage Life Sciences

The life sciences industry is booming, and with that growth comes the need for IT that can keep up. Fueling this upsurge are venture capitalists and other early-stage investors pouring capital into funding innovation in cities like Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, the South Florida area, the San Francisco Bay area, and more.

Early-stage life sciences companies are faced with specific challenges as they scale from startup to IPO. From biotech and biopharma to health tech and clinical research companies—and everything in between—all face similar growing pains when it comes to IT. This blog post explores some of these challenges and what you should expect as your company grows.

Technology is an Innovator in Life Sciences

Life science is an industry in which digital disruption has upended how IT intersects with strategy and operations. IT has morphed from a business cost center into a significant driver of innovation and success. The technology opportunities presented by advances in data analytics, AI and machine learning, hyper-automation, and quantum computing represent a shift towards IT as an integral component in business growth.

Additionally, healthcare and life sciences trends are driving the need for technology advancements, including a shift towards a customer-centric commercial model, new types of collaborations, and improvements to the clinical research development and review process.

While technology innovation presents new opportunities, that does not eliminate the back-end demand for IT functionality. For example, even the most innovative biopharma startup needs IT infrastructure to power their everyday business operations like email, cloud storage, employee onboarding, and more.

The IT Challenge for Early-Stage Life Science Companies

The challenge for series A and seed-funded life science firms is finding the right balance between innovation, business operations, and budgetary restraints.

While in this stage of development, many early-stage companies may want to only focus on their current IT needs; nevertheless, it is critical to plan for future growth. Worries like compliance requirements and intellectual property security may seem like distant concerns, but it is ideal to take a birds-eye-view approach and not just keep an eye on the path directly ahead. Lacking the knowledge about a coming fork in the road, your company could find itself on a very real dead-end requiring disruptive and costly changes to core business systems. And with the growth of the industry and the trend of an accelerated development cycle, you could find yourself needing to address increased IT investment sooner than expected.

Positioning IT for Growth

In the early stages of business development, many life science startups have been too busy focusing on funding to think about IT beyond their initial business plan. However, with funding secured, it is crucial that you begin building the foundation of your IT infrastructure.

At this point, most startups in the life sciences space choose to outsource some or all IT functionalities. However, the risk here is selecting the wrong IT partner who can’t scale with you, recommends the wrong core systems, provides low-quality support, or just doesn’t understand the unique needs of your specific industry within the life sciences sector. Therefore, it is critical that you conduct a due diligence process to ensure future success.

Related Content → IT Vendor Due Diligence Checklist for Life Sciences.

What Are the IT Requirements for a Life Science Startup?

Before beginning the due diligence process, it is critical to understand and evaluate your current IT requirements while considering how to power innovation and develop operational scalability and flexibility. Whether an early-stage medical devices manufacturer, a digital health company, one of the many biotech incubators, or other life sciences startup, IT setup generally includes the following fundamentals:

  • Core system infrastructure consisting of email services, file storage, productivity, collaboration tools, and more.
  • A reliable means of seamlessly onboarding a steady flow of new employees.
  • Security implementation including antivirus and antimalware, multifactor authentication, master data management, Office Firewall, and more.
  • Cloud storage that can efficiently and quickly scale to support the changing needs as your need for data grows.
  • Above all, the greatest need is for a trusted strategic IT advisor with robust experience within the life sciences domain to help plan for growth.

To dive deeper, download our data sheet → What Early-Stage Life Sciences Startups Need to Know About IT.

An Experienced Partner

Coretelligent has extensive experience working with startups in the life sciences industry. We currently support over seventy-five life sciences firms in a variety of fields around the country. Our top priority is understanding your firm’s business strategy and providing solutions to help you meet your goals. We have experience scaling IT for a startup in the earliest stages through to a late-stage life sciences company.

As an industry leader, Coretelligent can help you meet all the IT requirements of your developing biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, health technology, or other life sciences firm. We guide clients throughout their journey towards success with our full suite of managed and co-managed IT solutions, including cloud services, cybersecurity, support, strategic services, and more. Reach out to learn more.

Top Emerging Technology Trends in Life Sciences for 2022

Technology Trends for Life Sciences

Maintaining a proactive technology stance will allow your life sciences organization to grow and be competitive in the fast-paced world of biotech, pharma, biomedical, and other life science startups. Companies that do not stay abreast of evolving tech could be missing out, and depending on how fast your business adapts, left behind altogether.

Technological change is accelerating at an increasingly rapid pace. As a result, it can be challenging for startups and small- to mid-sized companies to leverage emerging tech. In addition, not all tech trends are appropriate for all businesses, especially when it comes to information technology for life sciences. That is one of the benefits of partnering with an experienced and knowledgeable IT partner with experience in providing life sciences technology.

We constantly see lists touting the latest information technology trends to watch. However, it can be a challenge for leaders of drug development, medical devices, research and development, and clinical development companies, among others, to keep up with the latest and make informed strategic decisions about tech investments.

We’ve broken down some of the technologies of most interest to life science companies.

5 Technology Trends in Life Sciences to Watch

  1. Hyperautomation

The growing use of artificial intelligence in business processes is having a powerful impact on the way businesses operate. One of the main results of this is hyperautomation, where businesses use automation technologies to speed up and improve their outcomes. Hyperautomation involves the automation of business and technology processes through AI, Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and various other tools and platforms. It allows businesses to program simple, repeatable tasks and creates opportunities for more intelligent automation.

  1. Low-Code/No Code

Low-code and no-code allow non-developers to create custom solutions without specialized knowledge. Low- and no-code platforms typically use visual programming interfaces that enable non-developers to combine automated workflows or application and data integrations. Sometimes referred to as citizen development, these platforms allow enterprises to solve business problems faster and more completely than could be accomplished with full-on software development. This evolving technology is expected to support digital transformation in the healthcare and life sciences industry.

  1. Networking, Connectivity, and Security for Distributed Work

Networking, connectivity, and security are key considerations for any distributed work model. Whether formalized or just a liberal remote work policy, protecting data and systems is essential. In fact, Ladders predicts that 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. This shift will top the priorities for IT professionals looking to balance collaboration and connectivity with security.

  1. Privacy Enhancing Computation

Privacy-enhancing computation (PEC) consists of a collection of methods to improve data privacy. With most financial and medical records available online, data protection is critical for both consumers and the highly regulated industries serving them. With PEC, data can be shared without exposing or releasing the actual data to shared parties.

A number of techniques have exciting new applications across the business landscape, including multi-party computation, homomorphic encryption, and trusted execution environments. Without getting too far into the weeds about how these technologies work, the main takeaway is that PEC will transform how organizations share data and maintain compliance as the need to protect personal information and other data continues to grow.

  1. Cybersecurity

Finally, the cybersecurity landscape is always evolving, and cyber threats will increase across all fronts, but two types of attacks will likely see increases.

First, businesses can expect to see more 3rd party and supply chain attacks, as well as vendor breaches. In addition, protecting users from multi-channel phishing will be critical. Phishing attacks will expand beyond email to include collaboration tools such as SMS and text, Slack, LinkedIn, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other platforms.

Additionally, the increased number of devices and locations accessing cloud-based data will increase the complexity of data security. Therefore, expanding the focus on good data governance and security will be crucial to protecting data and systems.

Technology Trends in Life Sciences and Your IT Strategy

While these are not the only tech trends of note, they are trends that we expect to impact the life sciences sector. We stay on top of emerging trends and work with clients as they need to better understand their impact on their industry and business.

As your life sciences firm scales, it is necessary to adjust your IT strategy accordingly. As a leading managed service provider with a focus on technology for life sciences and full IT lifecycle solutions, Coretelligent can help guide your business in determining what technology enhancements are appropriate to incorporate into your firm’s IT strategy.

Life Sciences Industry Innovation is Where Business & Technology Intersect

Life Sciences Industry Innovation is Where Business & Technology IntersectThe life sciences industry is experiencing a period of rapid growth. Not only does the sector produce life-saving and life-enhancing treatments, but it is fueling investment across the globe. For example, 78 startups went public in 2020 in the biotech sphere, representing a 77% increase from the previous year. Additionally, the first half of 2021 saw already seen 62 biopharma companies progress to IPO status. With the increased demand for innovative drugs, medical devices, and other therapies in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine development, various trends within the industry (like changes to clinical trials), and increased levels of investment, 2022 is shaping up to be a big year for the sector.

Innovation is the driver of the current expansion within the life sciences market. However, the key to maximizing this ROI, or Return on Innovation, requires that business and technology synchronize. This imperative calls for a carefully planned IT roadmap that enables companies to achieve a competitive advantage and improve business outcomes throughout the development, startup, growth, and expansion stages.

To help executives better understand the timeline, Coretelligent has developed a chart outlining the technology and business needs of the life sciences ecosystem throughout their life cycle. Download our datasheet Innovation is Where Business & Technology Intersect outlining how to plan your company’s IT strategy as you move through funding phases.

To dive deeper, download our data sheet → Innovation is Where Business & Technology Intersect.

In an earlier post, we shared some of the IT challenges faced by early-stage life sciences organizations. With this post, let’s take a deeper look at later-stage companies and what their IT strategy should be focused on as they scale.

What are the main IT priorities of life science firms as they move into their growth and expansion stages?


→ Employ technology for data management

As biotech, biopharma, and other life science enterprises grow, managing data increases in scale and complexity. As a result, cloud-based solutions and SaaS applications must align to ensure that enterprise data is available, usable, consistent, reliable, and secure. Employing the right technology solutions, including cloud-based services, backup and recovery, and others that store, manage, and protect data are critical at this stage.

→ Leverage technology to drive innovation

Not only has innovation come to the life sciences space, but it’s also bringing emerging technological trends with it. Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RBA), Machine Learning (ML), Cloud/Big Data, and other developing technologies are evolving as disrupters to the sector. Successful life science companies will envision how to capitalize on these tools.

→ Optimize technology to grow operations

Even as innovative technology trends shift the landscape, IT becomes more integral to the core business operations as companies scale. While some may be using a managed IT model, most companies likely employ co-managed solutions during the later stages. A co-managed service provider empowers internal IT staff to drive technology delivery at scale and focus on strategic priorities. A technology partner can lighten the load by fulfilling tech support, plug critical skill gaps, and complement in-house capabilities with specialized technology services.

→ Utilize technology to ensure security and compliance

As a life science firm grows, compliance requirements increase in size and scope. At the same time, these companies have become more attractive targets for cybercriminals. As a result, life science firms must prioritize implementing robust cybersecurity tools and compliance processes to keep pace with evolving regulations while protecting sensitive data from bad actors.

Related Content → GxP and FDA 21 CFR Part 11 Compliance with Egnyte for Life Sciences.

Developing IT Growth Strategy for the Life Sciences Industry

The life sciences industry is booming, and the future looks even brighter. But the key to success involves more than just innovation—effective growth also depends on how well your life sciences company can leverage IT capabilities throughout your life cycle. In building out an effective IT strategy for startups, begin by understanding where your organization stands today, followed by preparing for those IT areas that will require digital transformation. Furthermore, leveraging new technologies like AI, RPA, ML, and Big Data, can help accelerate your progress and open up new opportunities in the journey towards achieving your goals.

To sum up, you need to understand what’s possible before embarking on any journey. By taking stock of current practices, planning ahead, prioritizing initiatives based on pain points, incorporating new technologies, and teaming up with a technology partner, you’ll be well-positioned to meet future growth. Coretelligent is an industry leader with extensive experience in the life sciences sector. To learn more about how Coretelligent can help your company successfully scale so that growth doesn’t stifle innovation, talk to one of our technology experts today.