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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. Meanwhile, the first half of 2021 has 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, 2021 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.

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 manufacture, 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.

Expanded Managed IT Services in Miami and West Palm Beach

As a leading IT service provider for the financial services and life sciences industry, Coretelligent is pleased to announce the expansion of our field offices in South Florida. With this expansion, we are better positioned to offer our white-glove Managed IT Services in Miami and West Palm Beach to accommodate the growth of the life sciences and financial sectors in this region. Coretelligent brings a wide range of high-quality managed IT services and collocation, including virtual CTO, cybersecurity, compliance expertise, service desk, disaster recovery, next-generation cloud services, and more to South Florida.

Expanded Managed IT Services in Miami and West Palm Beach

Dependable, Secure IT Infrastructure

With over 15-years of experience as a managed service provider, Coretelligent is committed to building scalable and dependable IT infrastructure for our clients. Our team of experts can assist with managing and maintaining your technology systems while safeguarding them from cyber threats. We also offer a full range of data backup solutions that are cost-effective and comprehensive in handling disaster recovery and business continuity needs.

Stand Out IT Support

Having a solid IT infrastructure is not just an advantage in today’s world—it is a requirement, and combined with our white-glove approach, it can help give your firm the edge it needs to succeed. Coretelligent’s deep industry experience and our unrivaled commitment to quality service are what sets us apart from other providers.

Our Approach

At Coretelligent, we understand that one size does not fit all. To that end, we work with clients to tailor the best technology service and custom solutions to fit their needs. We are also experienced with and have the capacity to help your business quickly, efficiently, and securely scale.

We provide onsite services, consulting, managed and co-managed services, and start-up and relocation services. As a trusted partner, we offer a range of pricing options to accommodate your business operations and technology investment.

About Coretelligent

Coretelligent is an industry-leading services provider that offers comprehensive technology solutions, cybersecurity, and cloud solutions for financial and life sciences firms. We are a team of world-class professionals providing advanced solutions to help organizations thrive in the digital economy. We’re honored that we are one of America’s most award-winning IT service providers.

Founded in 2006, Coretelligent has offices in Massachusetts, Maine, New York, Connecticut, Georgia, and California, and offers expanded support in select locations. In addition to the life science and financial services sectors, we have extensive experience working with a range of industries, including law firms, real estate, and professional services.

With the experience we bring to every IT project, our proprietary technology and a full suite of security services ensure superior business performance, data protection, and security. If you’re looking for Managed IT Services in Miami or West Palm Beach, and want to learn more about how Coretelligent can improve your organization’s technology, reach out today.

Ensuring the Security of Operational Technology

Operational TechnologySome of the government’s top agencies tasked with cybersecurity (the NSA and CISA) have recently shared serious warnings about increased cyberattacks on operational technology and critical infrastructure.  The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and the Cape Cod ferry attack are examples of recent high-profile successful attacks on operational technology systems.

“As we’ve said many times, our adversaries are capable, imaginative, and aim to disrupt essential services, so it is important that we make sure we are staying ahead of them,” said Bryan Ware, Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, CISA, earlier this year.

What is Operational Technology (OT)

Most people have a firm grasp on what IT, or information technology, encompasses but have never heard of OT, or operational technology. OT integrates hardware and software that guide the operations of infrastructure and industrial equipment and processes.

Common examples of OT assets include building management systems and physical access and security systems. In addition, ATMs are common operational technology assets that many of us utilize every day.

Why Am I Hearing About OT All of a Sudden?

These systems used to be entirely offline, but technological advances, including Internet of Things (IoT) technology, have brought many industrial processes and operational assets online. This trend is part of Industry 4.0, which is driven by interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. Think of it as the industrial revolution but set in the information era.

However, sometimes innovation bursts to the forefront before the consequences of real-world implementation catch up. For example, many legacy OT assets that are now connected to networks around the world do not have extensive cybersecurity controls—cybersecurity wasn’t necessary before they were accessible via the internet. Additionally, the innovation and use of IoT technology are ripe for exposing security gaps as industries and companies rush to capitalize on efficiencies and growth potential from the technology.

What Sectors Utilize OT?

The obvious industries impacted are ones seen in the news recently—energy pipelines, mass transit, and food production—but many other sectors also have the potential for exposure. For example, biotech and pharmaceutical companies that utilize OT in manufacturing processes, the use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) in industrial construction and real estate development, and in the banking and finance sector with the growth of automation systems like Robotic Process Automation (RPA). While not all sectors are vulnerable to direct OT attacks, most are indirectly vulnerable—primarily from attacks on supply chains, mass transit and transportation systems, energy distribution, or similar all-encompassing infrastructure.

Key OT Cyber Security Takeaways

The solutions for protecting OT are very similar in many ways to protecting IT.  Here are just some of the items to consider when evaluating your operational technology risk.

  • Evaluate – Every connection between OT and IT increases the risk of potential OT exploitations, so experts recommend that only critical OT assets should be connected to networks and not just for convenience’s sake. Instead, thoughtfully consider the potential risks and rewards or making new or supporting existing OT connections to your networks.
  • Harden – Additionally, any OT connections should be hardened to the greatest degree possible and include strict controls on remote access services, strong password management, the use of a VPN and encryption of remote access, among other protections. Patch management should also be a priority in OT security to help protect against known exploits.
  • Monitor – Implement real-time monitoring and log access attempts to detect unauthorized access attempts and other malicious activity.
  • Plan – With increased risk comes the potential for an incident. Therefore, risk management is not just about avoiding an attack but should also include creating an incident response plan that includes OT assets and IT.

About Coretellligent

Led by world-class technology experts, Coretelligent offers best-in-class services covering a full range of technology needs: 360 Support, Unified Cloud Management, CoreBDR, and CoreArmor. Top-tier organizations in the financial services, life sciences, technology, legal, real estate investment, and professional services sectors rely on Coretelligent to maximize their technology return on investment.

Laboratory glassware containing chemical liquid, science background

The past few years have been vibrant ones for life sciences organizations, with nearly 100 IPOs per year fueling significant growth and changes in the sector. The refinement of data-driven technologies, machine learning and AI is creating a perfect environment for growth and revolutionary change that only shows signs of accelerating in the future. While many of these organizations quickly expand beyond expectations, most had humble origins that required a startup mentality before significant advances were made with approved funding. Here are a few of the IT solutions from Coretelligent that will support your life sciences organization at each stage of your expansion from inception to IPO.

Creating Affordable, Scalable Solutions for Life Science Organizations

Few companies have thousands of individuals and multiple locations from inception. It takes time to create a complex ecosystem, but it’s vital that you begin an organization with the correct building blocks or you will quickly find your company hitting technical roadblocks. Having an idea of the potential scale of your organization and sharing that information with your IT managed services provider and technical staff allows them to define the robust and scalable infrastructure that will support smooth growth over time while protecting the important intellectual property that will eventually be stored and utilized within your life sciences entity. With the increased competition in the marketplace and the appealing nature of life sciences organizations for cybercriminals, maintaining high levels of security is an important start to your success.

Establishing Office Setup and Relocation

There’s much more involved with creating a secure and well-structured business environment than simply running cords to connect a network. Structured cabling offers the grid capabilities for upgrade and changes that will help provide a springboard for growth for your organization. During this crucial phase of your early operations, the decisions that you make can have a profound impact on how quickly you are able to scale as well as the costs associated with making changes in the future. When you involve knowledgeable IT professionals early in the process, you’re able to gain the peace of mind knowing that your infrastructure can stand the added pressure and complexity over time. Having secure wired and WiFi connections throughout your space will help boost efficiency over time, particularly when you consider the heavy data demands of a life sciences organization.

Defining Highly Secure, Cloud-based Solutions

Secure and convenient access to information can be a differentiating factor for many organizations, something that is particularly true for life sciences companies where real-time data and immediate analyses are often daily requirements. Human-machine collaboration will grow in importance over time as technology evolves, creating a compelling need for data that is always up-to-date and accurate. Cloud-based solutions for data storage and business applications help ensure that sensitive information is fully protected and accessible, tightening the connections between data and applications while maintaining exceptional levels of protection for individuals and intellectual property.

With a solid background in supporting growing life science organizations, the experts at Coretelligent have the knowledge and experience required to help make your firm a success. Our team of technical and business professionals will support each stage of your journey from inception to IPO, ensuring that you have the solutions and support needed to fuel your growth. Contact the technical and business professionals at Coretelligent at 855-841-5888 or email info@coretelligent.com to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.

Life sciences companies are becoming targets of cybercriminals at an alarming rate, with highly-regulated environments such life sciences seeing an extraordinary increase in the long-tail costs of a data breach over time, according to the 2019 Ponemon Institute study. From legal and regulatory costs to the impact of negative public relations on a business’ valuation, maintaining 360-degree protection around your life sciences organization has never been more important. While some corporations are mainly concerned with the loss of customer data or bumps in their operational readiness, life sciences entities must also be concerned with the highly valuable intellectual property and trade secrets that are maintained as part of your assets. Fortunately, there are technology solutions that can help protect against invasive data breaches and other cybersecurity incursions. Here are three key strategies used by leading cybersecurity managed services professionals at Coretelligent to reduce risk and improve cybersecurity readiness.

Comprehensive Policy Review and Updates

Are your compliance policies and procedures fully up-to-date, or are they lagging behind the times? Reviewing your current compliance policies (if you have them!) provides an audit or overview of the potential risks that are lurking within your organization. Capturing this information by authoring new policies and reviewing current recommendations may bring to light potential areas of risk that need to be quickly addressed to protect the intellectual property within your organization.

Aggressive Data Loss Prevention Strategies

Protecting intellectual property and ensuring compliance often go hand-in-hand, with proactive data loss prevention strategies also helping lay the groundwork for ongoing compliance reporting. Mimecast is a resilient cloud-based solution that handles email archives, while secure storage platform Egnyte works with a comprehensive cybersecurity solution such as Coretelligent’s CoreArmor to create a critical barrier to protect your research data and other sensitive information. Perhaps almost as important as upfront data loss prevention strategies are the advanced AI and machine learning solutions that help monitor network traffic and identify potential risks that are then communicated to technicians who are actively monitoring your activity.

User Awareness Training

With human error causing 24% of breaches and an additional 51% caused by malicious criminal attacks, user training becomes one of the most important components of your cybersecurity strategy. Users need to understand what they are looking for in terms of an attack, and how to properly create passwords, protect account access and generally avoid becoming a victim. Even a simple issue such as ensuring that you are locking your computer when you step away for a few moments can become an important aspect of your security — and this is something that needs to be reinforced with users on a regular basis to ensure that these processes become ingrained behaviors. This is particularly important when you are dealing with high-value information such as that found in the life sciences sector.

While some uncertainty equals opportunities in business, cybersecurity is an area where you need to have complete confidence in the support that you are receiving — particularly for life sciences entities. Maintaining a high degree of security and confidentiality is the foundation of your infrastructure, which is why the professionals at Coretelligent created CoreArmor, our proprietary solution for managing cybersecurity and compliance risk. With holistic, real-time protection and active monitoring, Coretelligent partners with organizations of all sizes to support a robust cybersecurity posture. Contact our team at 855-841-5888 or via email to info@coretelligent.com to schedule your free initial consultation.