5 Compelling Reasons Why Embracing the Cloud Is a Must for Pharmaceuticals in the Modern Era

Pharma industry is one of the most advanced sectors that has successfully harnessed technology to quickly scale, develop innovative ideas, create new drugs, engage customers, etc. to meet market demands. They manage a significant amount of highly sensitive data, including medical records, formularies, and confidential information about drugs and medicines in the past and in the future. This has led them to realize the benefits of cloud computing and the ease with which you can store, secure, and manage large volumes of sensitive data. Additionally, this industry is subject to complex rules and regulations, making cloud solutions a smart choice to meet the ever-changing compliance needs. Cloud services are one-stop shop for everything from servers to hardware to maintenance and security. You just have to sit back and relax while you let the experts take care of your data and protect it with the highest degree of security and compliance measures. 

Let’s look at the pandemic, for example. There was an urgent need for innovative ideas and tools that could be used in the development, discovery, and production of drugs, vaccines, and other materials to control the virus situation that prevailed worldwide. Much time and effort was spent researching and reviewing historical medical data and formulas. With the help of cloud computing, researchers could quickly start their work, collaborate in the rigorous R&D phase, conduct clinical trials, and share experimental methods, formulas, and other important information, all based on data. The cloud enabled data interoperability, high computing speed, and cross-functional analysis to accelerate healing.

Let’s take a look at the top six benefits that cloud services bring to the pharma sector.

Advanced Security:  Cloud services allow pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to store their data with a service provider that takes full responsibility for its security. This makes it easier for CIOs, CTOs and other decision makers to rely on a trusted data source that deploys some of the best skillset and most advanced security protocals. Data protection in the cloud is generally more secure than in on-premises data centers because cloud providers have made and continue to make significant investments in security. For instance, several cloud services for businesses come with security features, such as role-based authentication for applications. Cloud security is an umbrella term which includes: Access control, Security policy and strategies, Redundancy, Datacenter security, Cloud application security, Threat prevention, detection, and mitigation, User security, Network security, Regulatory compliance, Content security and so on.

Interoperability: Medical professionals need to access and share patient data on a regular basis. This sharing is not limited to national borders, but also occurs globally. Cloud computing has made it easier for organizations to store and access this data from anywhere in the world using any device. Cloud computing relies on application programming interfaces (APIs) to ensure interoperability. These APIs offer several advantages for EHRs. Most importantly, unlike traditional interfaces, cloud APIs today frequently adhere to open standards and are platform-neutral. Data pipelines built on cloud environments allow companies to standardize their data into an industry-standard format like FHIR and make it available securely to anyone who needs it – payers, providers, or even patients themselves. 

Scalability: The pharmaceutical industry goes through challenging times like any other sector, unlike the past two years. Existing cloud computing infrastructure can be used to scale data storage capacity, processing power, and networking. Even better, scaling can be accomplished quickly and easily, with little to no disruption or downtime. Services like Azure Autoscale can scale automatically to match demand to accommodate workload. These services scale out to ensure capacity during workload peaks and return to normal automatically when the peak drops. Third-party cloud providers already have all of the infrastructure in place; whereas scaling with on-premises physical infrastructure could take weeks or months and be extremely expensive. 

Faster drug discovery: Did you know that it costs over $2.6 billion and more than ten years to produce a single drug for the market? It is becoming increasingly expensive to bring a new drug to market, and as patents for blockbuster treatments expire, the pharmaceutical industry is trying to speed up the process. By analyzing vast databases of scientific publications, university research, and control group data, companies can use data analytics to speed up the discovery of new drugs. Predictive algorithms can then be used to examine these massive data sets. It is important to remember that innovation in drug discovery is the only thing that will improve financial performance.

Cost-Effectiveness: The cloud enables a pay-as-you-go model, which allows businesses to only pay for what they use. It allows you to access additional resources as needed, loading them as a cluster. This means you won’t have to spend money on additional hardware or IT maintenance during the desired periods of high volume transactions. Moreover, switching to cloud services, pharmaceutical businesses can significantly reduce their operating costs by avoiding dealing with internal hardware-software protocols, software purchases, and timely updates. The cloud service provider oversees all required maintenance and other crucial operating elements. 

Microsoft Azure for Pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical industry has seen an accelerated transformation since the pandemic outbreak. Keen observers in the industry are a catalyst by recommending ideas to improve the system, such as care access, critical care, the safety of the patients and caregivers, and more. Microsoft Azure is working with pharmaceutical companies and partners like Data Dynamics to set a course for recovery and resilience in an ever-changing environment. Here’s how Microsoft Azure is accelerating healthcare transformation are as follows:

  • Help protect health information – Azure helps protect sensitive data to enhance the security and privacy of the customers. It also helps in managing evolving compliance regulations while improving data governance.
  • Accelerate research and development innovation – Azure helps drive faster advancements by modernizing discovery, development, and quality system process to support rapid modeling, improve clinical trial management, and accelerate drug innovation.
  • Enhance collaboration – Azure accelerates the adoption of digital technologies that drive collaboration among team members for secured coordination and simplified workflow management. 

Microsoft’s Azure File Migration Program has made data migration easier by sponsoring the usage of Data Dynamics’ StorageX, which has made cloud adoption much easier and cost-effective. The Azure File Migration Program allows companies to migrate applications and workloads with large numbers of files, unstructured data, and object storage data into Azure for FREE. 

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