Press Releases

Global Survey Finds Universal Need Among CROs to Move Toward a Unified Clinical Model

CROs using purpose-built clinical applications and data to streamline end-to-end processes

PLEASANTON, CA — Sept. 6, 2017 — According to a global industry survey from Veeva Systems (NYSE: VEEV), contract research organizations (CROs) are leading an industrywide shift to modernize clinical systems and streamline end-to-end trial processes. The Veeva 2017 Unified Clinical Operations Survey: CRO Report reveals that CROs are making progress in moving away from manual processes and legacy systems and increasingly adopting purpose-built clinical applications. However, all CROs surveyed report the need to unify their clinical applications, including their CTMS, EDC, and eTMF, to speed study execution, reduce cost, and improve study quality.

Modernizing Clinical Systems and Processes

Overall, CROs utilize more clinical applications than sponsors to manage their trial processes, with 50% of CROs using five applications or more compared to 38% of sponsors. Among all clinical applications, EDC (86%) is the most commonly used among CROs, followed by eTMF (62%).

However, application and process silos are creating significant difficulties, with nearly three quarters (72%) of CROs reporting integration of multiple applications as the biggest challenge they face with their clinical solutions.

In fact, nearly all (96%) CROs say challenges with their current CTMS application limit their ability to improve clinical operations. Integration with EDC (50%) is one of their most frequently reported issues, and two-thirds of top CROs (64%) say integration with eTMF is also a challenge.

Despite these challenges, CROs are modernizing their clinical environments at an accelerated pace compared to sponsors. More CROs (42%) use a purpose-built eTMF application versus sponsors (31%) and a third (32%) of CROs are adopting study start-up applications faster, compared to only 9% of sponsors.

Leveraging Data to Improve Trial Processes

The use of data and metrics is key to improving trial processes. This is an area where CROs are leading the industry, as the survey found that a third (35%) of CROs extensively use eTMF data compared to a quarter (27%) of sponsors. CROs that extensively use data to improve trial processes reported greater benefits, including better visibility into performance metrics (59%) and automated tracking and reporting of documents (65%).

However, one-third (30%) of CROs still report challenges with clinical data being tracked outside of clinical systems. This is likely due to technology limitations such as system silos and poor integration. Consequently, reporting across multiple applications is one of the biggest challenges CROs face when asked about their use of clinical systems. That is why half (54%) of CROs report the need for better visibility.

“There is an overwhelming need to address the application and process silos that are holding the industry back,” said Jennifer Goldsmith, senior vice president of Veeva Vault. “CROs are taking significant steps to modernize the clinical environment and playing a pivotal role in moving the industry toward a unified operating model.”

The Veeva 2017 Unified Clinical Operations Survey: CRO Report examines CROs’ progress in unifying clinical operations by gathering the experiences and opinions of 50 CRO respondents from around the world. This research examines the drivers, barriers, and benefits of a unified clinical operating model and tracks the move to streamline clinical systems and processes.

To hear more about how both sponsors and CROs are addressing the shift towards a unified clinical landscape, join more than 1,000 life science leaders and industry experts at the 2017 Veeva Global R&D Summit in Philadelphia on October 2 – 4. Learn more about the event and register today.

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About Veeva Systems

Veeva Systems Inc. is a leader in cloud-based software for the global life sciences industry. Committed to innovation, product excellence, and customer success, Veeva has more than 550 customers, ranging from the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to emerging biotechs. Veeva is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. For more information, visit

Forward-looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements, including the market demand for and acceptance of Veeva’s products and services, the results from use of Veeva’s products and services, and general business conditions, particularly in the life sciences industry. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon Veeva’s historical performance and its current plans, estimates, and expectations, and are not a representation that such plans, estimates, or expectations will be achieved. These forward-looking statements represent Veeva’s expectations as of the date of this press announcement. Subsequent events may cause these expectations to change, and Veeva disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements in the future. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. Additional risks and uncertainties that could affect Veeva’s financial results are included under the captions, “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” in the company’s filing on Form 10-Q for the period ended April 30, 2017. This is available on the company’s website at under the Investors section and on the SEC’s website at Further information on potential risks that could affect actual results will be included in other filings Veeva makes with the SEC from time to time.


Roger Villareal
Veeva Systems

Lisa Barbadora
Veeva Systems