Pharmaceutical companies have been operating in the cloud for over a decade. For clinical trials, EDC (Electronic Data Capture) was the first of the eClinical systems to move into the cloud. Cloud-based CTMS (Clinical Trial Management Systems) have had a slower cloud adoption, but in the last several years, pharmaceutical companies have been pushing for cloud-based CTMS. Whether a company is “Big pharma” or a biotech, the lower costs, lower maintenance, and increased reliability of a cloud CTMS are the primary drivers for companies to make the switch.
Unlike traditional Clinical Trial Management Systems, cloud-based CTMSs do not require companies to purchase servers, install the application, validate, document, and maintain everything in-house. This means there is no need to wait months and months for IT to implement a CTMS. Now you can just sign-up online for your dedicated instance of a cloud CTMS and users can start using it in a matter of days. Also, cloud CTMS do not require large upfront investments. Rather, payments are typically lower over a five year period and spread out monthly or quarterly, which provides greater flexibility and reduces risk.
Data security has always been pharma’s biggest concern with the cloud; however, advances in cloud-based technologies have reduced this risk significantly and in many cases, they are more robust than most companies can afford to build and maintain themselves. When you consider that EDC, which contains patient data and is a “higher risk” than CTMS, has successfully operated as a cloud solution for many years already, cloud-based CTMS should be a no-brainer. Of course, when it comes to data security, zero tolerance for error should be the norm, and hosting providers, like Amazon and Microsoft, have data centers that are more secure than any pharmaceutical company and they have been qualified for use by the US Government.
At Intrinsic, we leverage Microsoft Azure with multifactor authentication. What does this mean for an end user? You are secure! Not only are Microsoft’s data centers some of the most advanced in the world but users accessing the CTMS from outside your company’s firewall must go through this authentication process, making sure your data is as safe as can be. Multifactor authentication is an additional layer of security that requires users to provide more than one method of authentication to verify the user’s identity in order to log into the system. For example, users may have to enter a security code that is emailed or texted, in addition to their username and password.
Other considerations (or in this case, advantages) of hosting your CTMS in the cloud is reliability. In techy terms, failover and disaster recovery. Microsoft Azure provides built-in failover and geographically dispersed services , so if a cloud-based CTMS server fails, another server will automatically provide the services your cloud CTMS needs and no one will ever notice. In addition, our CTMS servers are geographically dispersed all around the world, so if a disaster occurs in one country, not only will another server in another country automatically provide service, but your data will always be safe!
These are just some of the benefits of a cloud-based CTMS over an on-premise CTMS that you should consider but if you have any questions, please contact Intrinsic for more information.