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Cloud Computing in Biotechnology

It’s a marriage that’s been long in the making. After many years of co-existing parallel to each other, they have finally to cross path and make it official. This is the tale of when biotech met cloud computing. In their own rights, the two are no strangers and have an extensive resume of beneficial contributions to society but it is only in the last few years that steps have been made to finds ways to converge the two to create one spectacular product.

While the spectacular part is still work in progress, pharma companies are slowly but surely adopting cloud computing into their research process. David Powers of Eli Lilly, spoke on how cloud computing reduced deployment in an on-premise environment from 8 weeks to 3 minutes. That roughly translates to a ridiculously huge amount of time saved and higher profits earned. And for a multi-million company, that’s pretty close to spectacular.

Pfizer, not to be left behind, hails cloud computing as the much needed change on the way we do our science. Through cloud, time spent pingpong-ing results between different parties is drastically cut down and creates an interactive environment that keeps the research momentum going.

Of course, it’s not all roses and daffodils, and there are some rather obvious disadvantages to adopting cloud. The biggest sinner would be the inability to control the privacy and/or who has access to the files stored online. Even with encryption and a security system tighter than Fort Knox, someone somewhere can and will find ways to access the information if the motivation is strong enough. Long term sustainability for some cloud companies is not easily achieved and may one day just ‘disappear’.

Though, as security surround cloud gets better and demand gets higher, it’ll just be a matter of time before other big players jump aboard the band wagon.

MDV feels that this is an exciting progress given that this will fall neatly into our three mandated areas of ICT, Biotech and GreenTech. We hope to see some progress soon!


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