Laboratory Informatics Guide 2020

Managing a laboratory in the cloud

Robert Roe takes a look at the strategies used by laboratory managers to make efficient use of cloud resources

As the market for laboratory automation and sample management soſtware matures there is an increasing propensity for cloud-based solutions. If implemented correctly cloud- based laboratory informatics systems can scale efficiently with business growth and allow lab managers to seamlessly collaborate and share data with organisations or separate lab teams in different geographical areas. Estimates suggest that the global laboratory

These key issues prompted

us to start looking at the cloud about two years ago – people were changing their opinions on cloud-hosted database access by then – and we also realised that there would be major benefits in terms of time and cost when upgrading

informatics market, valued at $2.6 billion in 2019, will witness CAGR of 7.5 per cent over the next five years, reaching $3.8 billion in 2024[1]. And while it’s a market that is still dominated by on-premise models of deployment, cloud-based solutions are expected to witness the highest growth rate. Domainex is a UK-based integrated drug

discovery contract research organisation (CRO) offering services spanning medicinal and computational chemistry, protein expression and crystallography, cell-based and biochemical assay development. Working with clients across the industrial pharmaceutical, biotech and academic sectors, Domainex’ informatics infrastructure sits on Dotmatics’ cloud-hosted database, installed in 2018, and now includes additional biology- and chemistry-specific Dotmatics modules.

‘Ours is a very competitive market, and we

have to be able to find ways of differentiating ourselves with regard to offering services that give our clients an advantage, as well as maximising our efficiency and flexibility,’ commented Mark Stewart, chemistry team leader. ‘Dotmatics’ cloud informatics ELN and focused functionality allows us to have a competitive edge.’

Improving competitiveness Compound database management, accessibility and security are central to Domainex’ day-to-day operations, so the Dotmatics’ solutions fit the company well. As Stewart noted, Domainex has the

philosophy: ‘every compound counts.’ ‘Tat means that when we are designing compounds and working with clients it is critical to have all the data at hand, both internally to make more informed decisions about the next design iterations, and also so that we can speed and maximise information depth and flow to our clients.’ Domainex wasn’t unusual in that it originally

set up the Dotmatics solution on-site, rather than in the cloud. Tat was back in 2013. ‘At that time there was still a reluctance to trust data in a cloud environment,’ Stewart noted. ‘Because we are a client-based organisation, the security of


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