Collaboration Transitioned to the Cloud

Cloud computing provides ample possibilities when enabling richer communication, whether inside or outside the firewall. Regardless of the location, area of specialization or the format of information, the Web offers an ideal forum for project stakeholders to share ideas. Collaboration can play a vital role in the discovery process when a browser is all that is required to interact.

There are many technical considerations that need to be addressed when moving collaboration into the cloud. The data involved in modern scientific research is vast and complex, and as such it isn’t possible to take legacy infrastructure that is firmly planted on the ground and move it into the cloud. There are simply too many transactional systems bundled around these data hubs to get to the core.

On balance, too much latency would be introduced if thick-client technologies were installed at every site to transact on one or many data warehouses. Organizations should instead focus on enabling the integration, shared access and reporting of project-centric date via a cloud-based project data mart. This should be done rather than isolating information within disciplinary silos and requires a services-based formation platform. The services-based information platform must be capable of extracting the most relevant scientific intelligence from diverse systems and formats.

Take a fictional pharmaceutical company, for example, that is working on a drug discovery project with a Contact Research Organization (CRO). Many scientific organizations actually install their legacy IT systems at the outsourcer’s site as a way to exchange and analyze data. This is costly and also inefficient because systems need to be maintained within the organization;s internal IT infrastructure and at the CRO site.

The redundancies multiply with each department, location and partner involved. Data mart and reporting are on top of a serviced-based architecture with a cloud-based project and workflows, critical information and transactions, which need to be accessed by collaborators, and can be maintained globally with a lower support burden and seat cost. To learn more about Collaboration in the Cloud, please visit

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