“The hardware/software/network in my lab can meet all LIMS requirements without extra cost.”

All software including LIMS will have certain hardware, software, and network requirements.  After all, you can’t run the latest version of Microsoft Office on a Commodore 64! It is important to ask for the vendor’s product release notes at the beginning to properly determine your budget.  The vendor’s release notes will dictate the required servers, databases, and other hardware and software needed to run the software.

There are also other not so obvious hardware, software, and network related items that are many times overlooked and can drive up the total cost of implementing a new LIMS. Here are some questions to ask when determining your overall LIMS budget.

Is your database server or application server shared by other applications?

Insufficient shared resources can impact performance and can cause implementation latency which can lead to added hours on the level of effort… i.e. more money!

Is your company’s IT policy extremely strict and restrictive? 

If your vendor has to be accompanied by an employee every time they are in the system, this can limit the times and days Analysts can implement and configure the system which can cause delays and extended project timelines which ultimately means more money. 

Do you dream of logging in samples with the click of a trigger using a barcode scanner?

If so, you will need to consider the cost of barcode printers and scanners.  Make sure to consider the points of use to ensure you consider the proper number of barcode printers and scanners that will be sufficient.  These items are not typically part of the LIMS package and are extra.    

Do you want to use your LIMS on mobile devices and tablets in the lab or in the field?

Mobile devices are not typically part of the LIMS package. It is important to consider points of use, not only to determine the correct number of mobile devices you will need, but it is also very important to consider wi-fi capabilities in these points of use.  If you are planning to access LIMS on these mobile devices inside the laboratory, inside other buildings, in outdoor areas of the facility, or out in the field are you able to pick up reliable wi-fi?  If not, upgrading or providing additional wi-fi capabilities can be a hefty added expense.  Be sure to also consider the cost to protect these devices.  Not just damage from dropping but also protection from weather if used outdoors or protection against splashes or spills when used in the lab.

To Avoid This LIMS Project Pitfall:

  1. Ask the LIMS vendor up front for the hardware, software, network and other related requirements.
  2. Make sure your application and database servers aren’t overloaded with other applications that drain resources.
  3. Review your organization’s IT policies before the project begins to identify policies that could cause delays.
  4. Consider each of your requirements carefully to determine ancillary devices, equipment, and services needed to meet the requirement and how that will impact the overall budget.


Don’t miss the next installment in our LIMS Project Pitfall series.

LIMS Project Pitfall #9: “If there are changes to project scope, plan, or timeline, our LIMS project is a failure.”

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