In the past, smaller laboratories had to choose between a manual system with spreadsheets or a low cost LIMS solution with limited functionality. Now LIMS vendors are providing full featured LIMS as a software as a service solution to meet the needs of small to medium sized laboratories. However, during the cost analysis process it is still important for the laboratory to develop their requirements and choose the right LIMS solution for their laboratory.

What is LIMS in the Cloud & Why is it SO AWESOME!?lims_in_the_cloud.jpg

Unlike, traditional LIMS, LIMS in the cloud or hosted LIMS is a subscription service with LIMS located on the provider’s server(s). There is typically a small set-up and monthly fee similar to other subscription based software.  
  1. There are no licenses to purchase.

  2. No onsite hardware and software support needed.

  3. And you get feature rich LIMS at a fraction of the cost – no capital cost!

Top 5 Questions in Deciding if LIMS in the Cloud is Right for Your Lab?

  1. What are my Requirements? This is the most important question you can ask and it is one that can be done internally, by the Hosted LIMS Solution provider or by a third-party. The Investigation phase will provide you with a road map of what your Laboratory needs in a LIMS Solution. It should be customized based on your Lab and workflow, your equipment, analyses, sample matrices, reporting needs and regulatory requirements. Requirements should also include demonstration & implementation. The LIMS Solution should be able to demonstrate to you how it will customize its solution to meet your needs and provide a strategy for implementation. The Requirement phase should ultimately culminate in proving the applicability of the solution, integration strategy and cost of the Hosted LIMS Solution based on your Lab's unique needs.
  2. Can you integrate? It is important to ask how your data will pass to the LIMS and if your Hosted LIMS Solution can integrate with your instruments, your Enterprise Inventory Management, Data Historian, and/or Process Software.  
  3. What IT support is provided? A Hosted/Cloud based LIMS Solution should provide a systems infrastructure that includes Hardware & Software support and should be available to you 24/7. Hosted LIMS IT Support should provide business continuity for your Lab providing offsite backup and data recovery. Lastly, the Hosted LIMS solution should provide proactive system security including firewalls, virus security, and data encryption.
  4. Speaking of security... What data integrity assurance is provided?  Your Hosted LIMS provider should provide a dedicated server for hosting your Laboratory's LIMS. This will prevent data leakage issues and ensure your data is secure. It is also important that your Hosted LIMS Solution provides an audited data center and is dedicated to SSAE-16/SAS 70 and third party auditing assurance.
  5. Is access based on Named or Concurrent users?  This can greatly impact the cost of your monthly subscription fee. Typically, not every single person in the Lab needs access to LIMS all at the same time. A good rule of thumb, is approximately 30% of your personnel will need to be on the system at any given time. Therefore, if you have 10 employees, 3 concurrent users should be plenty to fulfill your access needs. As you can see, a Hosted LIMS Solution that provides access based on Concurrent users rather than Named users can be much more cost effective.

Overall Reasons for Choosing a LIMS in the Cloud Solution

  1. Faster deployment – no server/database set-up

  2. Efficiency – no reliance on internal IT support

  3. Minimal Capital Cost

  4. Lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)

Still not sure if a LIMS in the Cloud Solution is right for you?

Let Labtopia help you choose the LIMS solutinon that is right for your LAB... Our experienced LIMS professionals have the business knowledge to help translate your needs into clear requirements. Our technical experts have decades of experience turning those requirements into a system configuration that will meet your needs and keep your overall cost of ownership low. Our data migration and database specialists ensure that your new system starts out on day one as an integral, useful part of your efficient lab operations. Best of all we understand your business...that's because we're not just IT people, we're Laboratory people too! Our experts have over 20 years experience in the Lab, we have walked in your shoes and know the challenges you face... we are here for you!