For life sciences companies, digital transformation is the therapy of choice to enhance speed and agility in a fast-changing healthcare landscape.
We’ve been seeing an industry-wide migration from legacy systems to best-of-breed cloud applications as pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device manufacturers pursue IT modernization and digital transformation. Those efforts were underway before the global pandemic cast a spotlight on the life sciences industry.
Now, in the wake of COVID-19, life sciences businesses are facing unprecedented market pressures to accelerate product development, commercialization, and distribution — regardless of whether their solutions are related to COVID. The pandemic has highlighted the value of digitization for agility and resilience.
With modernization in full swing, life sciences companies now run over two-thirds of business-critical applications in the cloud, IDC research has found. IDC projects that total to approach 90% by 2022.
But new cloud apps can’t exist as silos. Integration is crucial for interoperability among new cloud apps, and with remaining legacy systems.
Plus, life sciences firms need to connect with partners for clinical research, contract manufacturing, raw materials, and logistics. Integration with sensor-based Internet of Things (IoT) healthcare devices is another priority.
The caliber of integration in life sciences can make or break success. Speed and agility can’t happen if integrating systems and utilizing data is slow, costly, and requires specialized developers.
The Competitive Advantage of Cloud-Native Integration
At Jade Global, a Boomi Elite Partner, we’re finding that life sciences companies are realizing tremendous success with cloud-native integration platform as a service (iPaaS). They’re integrating more systems faster, meaning less cost and drain on IT resources. And they’re better able to leverage data for analytics that guide informed decisions.
As a result, they’re accelerating time to market and opening competitive advantages over rivals. Top firms are on a fast-track journey to realize goals such as:
- Digital transformation with a unified enterprise ecosystem
- Improved data management, quality, and analytics
- Track and trace for end-to-end supply chain visibility
- Compliance with international GxP “good practice” standards
In this blog post, I’ll break down leading approaches for digital transformation and improved data management, drawing on Jade Global’s domain expertise in life sciences and with the Boomi AtomSphere Platform. Stay tuned for future life sciences posts on track and trace for supply chain visibility, and GxP compliance.
Digital Transformation With a Unified Enterprise Ecosystem
At Jade Global, we see the need for digital transformation and integration as especially acute among life sciences startups, as well as mid-market organizations that range from $250 million to $2 billion in revenue.
Cost-sensitive startups in pre-revenue stages typically rely on entry-level systems like QuickBooks and spreadsheets, or have customized legacy systems. But as startups grow, so does their need for more sophisticated systems for R&D, commercialization, compliance, and IPO readiness.
Mid-market companies often use legacy systems that aren’t geared for rapid time to market. Those organizations need a more agile and integrated infrastructure to support mergers and acquisitions, globalization, and expanding networks of external research, supplier, manufacturing, and logistics partners.
Though their circumstances differ, startup and mid-market life sciences companies seek similar outcomes from their technology stack:
- Faster time to market
- Improved operational efficiency
- Greater agility and scalability
- Seamless workflow and process automation
- Enhanced partner relationships
- Standardization based on industry best practices
- Reduced IT infrastructure cost
Purpose-Built Solutions for Life Sciences
Traditional integration has held some life sciences companies back. Custom coding or legacy middleware like an enterprise service bus (ESB) can’t meet the need to quickly and cost-efficiently connect across complex environments of internal and external applications.
Jade Global takes a different approach. We use the Boomi AtomSphere Platform as a centerpiece of our Digital Operations Platform, a prepackaged solution for small and mid-market life sciences businesses. Boomi provides the data and process orchestration layer across systems that can include Oracle, Oracle NetSuite, or SAP for ERP, Salesforce for CRM, and Snowflake for analytics.
Watch the joint Jade Global/Boomi webinar, “Best Practices for Deploying Boomi Enterprise iPaaS for Life Sciences Companies” to learn more about how the Jade Global Digital Operations Platform works.
Our business, headquartered in Silicon Valley with seven global offices and more than 1,000 staff, chose to partner with Boomi for several reasons. For one, Boomi’s low-code configuration and pre-built connectors enable rapid deployment that is vitally important for fast-track life sciences firms.
In addition, we’ve found that the multiple capabilities in the Boomi platform are ideal for addressing a range of needs with a single platform:
- Integration to connect applications and data with speed and ease
- Master Data Hub to enrich and synchronize trusted data across systems
- B2B/EDI Management to simplify electronic data interchange with trading partners
- API Management to design, secure, and scale APIs across a digital ecosystem
- Flow to build simple or sophisticated workflows that improve collaboration
- Data Catalog and Preparation to enhance data access and decision making
Best-Practice Frameworks Speed Results by 40%
Building on the Boomi foundation, our Jade Global team has configured best-practice frameworks in a reference architecture for life sciences companies that avoid starting from scratch for each project.
Pre-built data mappings and accelerators may cover approximately 60 percent of needs in areas such as sales orders, quality control, and track and trace. That leaves just 40 percent to be tuned to an individual company’s needs. The solution also includes data validation frameworks, project and change management templates, security and access controls, and an exception handling dashboard.
Result: Integrations go live in a week or two, rather than months, with built-in controls and workflows that help ensure data integrity and process automation.
For EDI, Jade Global has devised a purpose-built solution for life sciences with Boomi. Our team has pre-mapped ERP data to EDI standards for outbound or inbound trading partner transactions such as 810 invoices, 820 payments, 856 advance shipment notifications, and 940 warehouse shipping orders.
That reduces development time by roughly 40%, enables faster partner onboarding, and supports end-to-end supply chain visibility essential to track and trace materials and products for regulatory compliance.
Improved Data Management, Quality, and Analytics
For small to midsize life sciences companies, growth in products, customers, partners, and geographic regions means growth in data volume and variety. Effectively managing, sharing, and analyzing that information becomes critical for informed decision making and compliance with data privacy regulations.
The need is broad, from clinical R&D data involving patient trials and IoT healthcare devices to revenue forecasts for a pipeline product. Ad hoc approaches to data management with point-to-point integrations will inevitably fall short in extracting business value from information.
The Jade Global/Boomi partnership offers powerful solutions, including built-in HIPAA compliance, for life sciences organizations to take full advantage of enterprise information for business and operational insights.
Boomi Master Data Hub lets life sciences companies ensure data timeliness and consistency across various applications, eliminating contradictions inherent in data silos. “Golden records” of reconciled data from disparate systems build the data quality and confidence that life sciences organizations require.
Boomi also delivers pre-built connectors in partnership with analytics platforms such as Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, and Google BigQuery frequently used for data lakes or warehouses. Organizations gain a unified ecosystem to generate insights in procurement, production clinical, human resources, and other functional areas.
We’ve also found Boomi ideal to connect with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) systems increasingly used in life sciences, along with IoT sensors important in clinical trials.
At Jade Global, we’re gratified to partner with Boomi in delivering prepackaged offerings for life sciences. We’ve grown our team of Boomi-certified IT professionals to more than 125, and continue scaling up as organizations embrace the combination of the market-leading iPaaS and world-class services to fulfill their digital transformation objectives.
To learn more, visit Jade Global and view our webinar with Boomi, “Best Practices for Deploying Boomi Enterprise iPaaS for Life Sciences Companies.” And stay tuned for future Jade Global blog posts on track and trace for life sciences supply chain visibility, and compliance with GxP “good practice” validation requirements.
About the Author
BK Srinivas, Vice President, Enterprise CloudApps
BK Srinivas is senior vice president, enterprise cloudapps, at Boomi Elite Partner Jade Global. BK has over 30 years of experience in the IT services industry, with expertise in areas including life sciences, global ERP, process automation, enterprise integration, and supply chain management.