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10 Reasons Why Your Pharma Business Should Use Managed IT Services
Technology is becoming increasingly important in the pharmaceutical sector as data, tasks, workflows, and processes are digitised and, often, automated or semi-automated. As a result, the technology that your pharma business relies on today and in the future must be supported and managed. You have two main options: retain IT management in-house with your internal team taking the lead or outsourcing to a managed IT services provider.
All pharmaceutical companies face similar challenges when making this decision, from regulatory considerations to dealing with the growing complexity of IT systems. The challenge of the increasing convergence of IT and OT (operational technology) is a factor too, as is the need to continue modernising operations through smart manufacturing, Quality 4.0, and digital transformation technologies.
With those challenges in mind, here are 10 reasons your pharmaceutical company should use a managed IT services provider.
1. Reduced IT Costs
A managed IT services provider can reduce staffing costs as you won’t need as many in-house technical resources. Managed IT service providers can also deliver efficiencies and optimisations that further reduce costs, such as making sure you are not paying anything more for software and system licenses than you need to.
2. Predictable IT Costs
Managed IT service providers typically operate on a fixed monthly price for a set range of services, making your IT costs predictable.
3. Skills Availability
A vast range of IT skills is needed to support companies in the pharmaceutical sector. Trying to recruit and retain people in-house with those skills is challenging. Your managed IT services provider will have the skills you need, solving this problem.
4. IT Optimisation
A managed IT services provider will be able to optimise your IT infrastructure while also giving advice and support on further improvements that can be made. Your internal IT resources will also have more time to concentrate on value-added tasks that progress your digital transformation and improvement strategies.
5. Improved Cybersecurity
All companies in the pharmaceutical industry are likely targets for cybercriminals, so it is important to maintain defences that are as robust as possible. One of the challenges is the changing nature of cybersecurity threats. A managed IT services provider will bring tools, processes, and expertise that will boost cybersecurity in your organisation.
6. Reduced Downtime
Downtime in your organisation can result in anything from a minor inconvenience to missed deadlines for supplying your products to customers. A managed IT services provider will help to reduce downtime by, for example, implementing preventive maintenance solutions and 24/7 proactive monitoring.
7. Focus on Your Business
Developing, manufacturing, and distributing pharmaceutical products are the main areas of focus for companies in the pharma industry. Managing, supporting, optimising, and improving technology systems and infrastructures are not your core areas of expertise. By outsourcing these elements of your business to a managed IT services provider, you can focus more of your efforts and resources on what you do best.
8. Fast Resolution
A managed IT services provider will be able to prevent many technology-related problems from occurring in the first place, while also dealing swiftly with any that do arise.
9. Compliance Expertise and Validation Support
Ensuring your IT systems are in a compliant and validated state (and keeping them that way) is an added burden for pharma companies that businesses in other sectors don’t have to deal with. Hiring a managed IT services provider with pharmaceutical industry experience will ensure you have compliance and validation support when you need it.
10. Reduced Risk
Technologies bring a range of benefits to pharmaceutical companies, but they also bring risks. Some of those have already been highlighted in the points above, such as the risks associated with system downtime or cybersecurity risks. There are also other risks, including the risk of IT project failure and falling behind in the digital transformation race. By working with a managed IT services provider, you can mitigate these risks.
Experienced, Tailored, and Local
The above 10 reasons highlight the benefits for pharmaceutical companies of using a managed IT services provider, but there are a few final points to highlight.
The first is that the services you sign up for should be tailored to your specific requirements based on factors such as the technical resources you have available, the size of your business, and the applications, systems, and equipment that you use.
Another crucial point to remember is that not all managed IT service providers are the same. Providing managed IT services to a pharmaceutical company is very different from providing the same services to a company in a non-regulated industry or in another regulated industry. In the pharmaceutical industry, all IT systems must continuously remain in a compliant and validated state. Furthermore, technology also helps pharmaceutical companies meet other regulatory and operational requirements.
Pharmaceutical companies don’t just need managed IT services – they need pharma-specific managed IT services. Therefore, it is important to work with a managed IT services provider with pharmaceutical industry experience and a proven track record.
We have that experience at Westbourne IT, plus we have engineers with qualifications in GMP and GAMP5. We are also local, with in-depth knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland. To discuss your managed IT services needs, please get in touch.