Unlocking the Power of Your Safety Data With the Cloud

In the first post of this blog series “Why Safety Needs the Cloud,” we explored two fundamental aspects and benefits of cloud for the safety industry: a single application version for all customers that frees software companies from maintaining old releases – enabling innovation; and easier upgrades. Safety organizations can readily stay up-to-date on regulatory changes around the world without the burden and cost of traditional on premise solutions.

We’ll now explore two additional benefits of the cloud and how it can unlock the power of your safety data by simplifying access, collaboration, and integration. With ease of access and integration, cloud applications eliminate silos and manual processes caused by on premise solutions.

Accessing and Controlling Your Data – From Anywhere, On Any Device

Accessing and controlling your data should be easy in today’s modern world. Consumer applications have changed our expectations of how software should work and enterprise solutions have quickly followed. Whether it is, Workday, ServiceNow, Amazon, Google, or Netsuite – all aspects of business applications have shifted to the cloud for CRM, back office operations, technology, HR, etc. The consumer experience is just simply better, in every way. Regardless of device or location, the expectation is that you should be able to perform your day-to-day activities – whenever and wherever you choose. Cloud solutions are enabling companies to provide employees with applications that deliver the same ease of use and access we are accustomed to as consumers.

Managing and maintaining environments is also much simpler with cloud. On premise software requires firewalls and security protocols, complicating the ability to easily grant access to external partners and collaborators as well as internal individuals that are in a different organization or geographical location. Each customer administers their own security – a critical and complex area that is not the pharma industry’s core competency. With barriers to information access, companies never realize the full value of the data.

In the cloud, silos are broken down. Security and data access is maintained as part of the cloud service with simple point and click administration replacing the heavy burden of managing and maintaining the network, infrastructure, and firewall. Companies can provide self-service access to internal individuals, partners, and collaborators – anywhere, anytime, on any device. Data is more easily shared and analyzed across internal and external organizations – increasing information intelligence and impact. And, partner processes that are critical to drug safety are no longer complex but rather enable greater operational efficiency.

Integrations Made Easy

Data is only valuable if you can share it with the appropriate individuals or other systems in a timely manner. When data moves to the cloud, it becomes the responsibility of software providers to make it easy to get the information both “in” and “out” of the application. Integrations must be easy. Fortunately, true cloud solutions provide a combination of tools to simplify how data is inserted / imported and exported from the application, such as robust public APIs, ad hoc and self-service reporting, and data loading/exporting utilities. They also have a user-friendly user interface that allows for ease of navigation for exporting data on demand.

The tools make it simple and easy to manage your data in a highly scalable way. Without them, customers are forced to manually either export data to third party solutions for reporting and integration purposes, or transfer the data between systems through expensive and error-prone user data entry. The lack of APIs and simple integration tools for on premise applications – whether hosted onsite or in a multi-version “cloud” solution, has created significant challenges and inefficiencies for drug safety. When the entire drug development lifecycle is considered, these problems are compounded as drug safety is the hub with many spokes connected to clinical, quality, regulatory, and even into the commercial side of the business with medical affairs.

Dependencies in the connections between drug safety and other functional areas of drug development impact the overall efficiency of the organization. Whether it is adverse events (AEs) from the EDC application or notifying clinical of a safety letter distribution (SLD) – enabling greater data access, simplifying integrations, and automating workflows drives significant process efficiencies and reduces overall compliance risk. Data has been unlocked in a secure and controlled manner.

The shift of data from siloed, on premise applications to the cloud is also key to leveraging the next wave of innovation enabled by big data, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). While incremental steps in these areas can be made in the legacy on premise model, only a true shift to the cloud will allow the full value of these innovations to be realized. We’ll further explore maximizing the value of safety data with new technologies in a future blog.

Stay tuned for our next blog on “Big or Small: A Safety Database for All.”

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