This document written by the BioPhorum Lab of the Future team explains the benefits of progressively more sophisticated lab instrument integration. It explains why better integration is needed, how to think of it in stages, and how to use it to bring about changes that reap benefits for the business.
Many quality control (QC) labs have worked hard to eliminate paper printouts from instruments, and some have transported data to central repositories, beginning the journey to digital maturity. However, the multitude of different instruments, each with its own special solution, has often led to a very complex and fragile IT setup, which is too costly to upgrade, and so cannot take advantage of the latest innovations. It has not been clear what next steps will overcome this block to progress.
Increasing the capabilities of lab instrument integration is like launching a rocket. A single-stage rocket cannot reach orbital speed, and the vehicle must lose weight by shedding the boosters to reach its final speed and height. Similarly, in QC labs, the architecture must become simpler by removing customizations and being more streamlined by standardization to enable the full integration benefits of control and interoperability.
In this document, summary charts are presented to support executives seeking to work out which technology enablers connect best with their business objectives. The technology is not explained in detail, but the business changes and benefits are spelt out in order to resonate with the full range of
stakeholders without requiring detailed IT knowledge. Diagrams chart the compelling logic of how a commitment to raising digital maturity in practical, sequential steps paves the way for transformations to operational costs, speed, quality and flexibility in the QC labs.
The analysis presented here is intended to speak to the perspectives of different roles in biomanufacturers, equipment and software vendors, all of whom support the QC labs. It should be circulated to senior management, QC lab managers, IT/operational technology (OT) managers
and procurement staff.
This paper will challenge everyone – especially vendors – with reasons to support progress toward lab instrument integration. The follow-on challenge will be for QC labs to adopt and mandate new ways of working to achieve the benefits outlined.
To read more about the work of the lab of the future team visit https://www.biophorum.com/resource/lab-of-the-future/