Become an Agile Environmental Lab: Part II, Cloud Computing
Environmental testing labs are under enormous pressure to reduce the cost and turnaround time for analytical services-and to help, technologies such as cloud computing should be rapidly adopted.
Advances in remote communications technologies have been successfully implemented to facilitate communication with and between personnel and customers, maintain instrument operations, and critical data flow and manage laboratory operations safely and effectively.
Cloud computing makes numerous IT resources available to a user, without the requirement for direct management or hosting by an operator. It also enables data transfer and storage without the need for human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
Much like automation, personnel can face challenges with the introduction and implementation of new systems. However, these systems are designed with user-friendly interfaces and platform design, whilst maintaining similarities with pre-cloud protocols. Other benefits of adopting a centralized cloud-based system include:
- A centralized task force: If the cloud system is run in- house, independent staff in each separate geographical laboratory/data storage location can be merged into one team to reduce IT spending in global companies.
- Better accessibility and traceability of data: Unaltered data is essential to regulatory compliance.
- Access and storage of large data sets: The physical storage of large amounts of data can be expensive. The cloud offers companies a large virtual data repository.
- On-demand and scalable resources: Laboratories can purchase additional resources when needed, this can include end-user licenses, additional storage and features for applications.
- Fast implementation: Installation of the cloud takes less time than on-site applications.
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