Small and medium-sized biotech companies do not have the financial resources that their larger pharmaceutical counterparts do. This means that they should be even smarter in spending. Large firms tend to have deep pockets for their projects, while biotech startups and mid-sized firms must find investors if they do not have enough in their R&D budget. Thus, due to budget limitations, small to medium sized biotech companies have to find creative ways to utilize their limited resources while growing their business. The most effective way for them to do this is to make sure that the company they are hiring for is a great long-term match. To hire an information technology firm, there are seven key signs biotech companies should look for.
An information technology consulting company that truly understands and embraces the needs of its biotech clients needs to be experienced and knowledgeable in serving the biotech industry. We believe there are seven qualities a successful IT partner should have:
- They must have an understanding of the biotechnology industry and the specific requirements that may come with regulatory requirements, clinical trial requirements, GMP standards, HIPAA (in some cases), FDA compliance, ISO certification, trade secret protection, vendor relations . Proprietary laboratory equipment manufacturers etc.
They should have a leadership background and have several years of experience in the industry (more than 10 is a good number). They should be able to work with C-level executives as well as line workers to know the needs of the front line as well as the needs of the growth business at a higher level.
They should be responsive and agile. In the biotechnology industry, innovation is critical and reaching the market faster means reaching profitability sooner and thus, there is less need to obtain additional rounds of funding. In other words, an agile response equals saving time and money.
They should work closely and strategically with the company. They don’t have to be the only on-call technicians who come and fix things without seeing the big picture. There are two distinct needs within each biotechnology company: administrative and research. Therefore, technicians must be able to keep computers working for admin purposes, but also be technically strategic so that they can leverage their knowledge of technology to profit; Thus allowing its customers to increase productivity, reduce costs and reach the market faster.
An information technology firm that takes into account the best interests of its clients will constantly think of cost savings. Based on their years of experience, a seasoned IT firm will have many ways to reduce or eliminate additional costs related to equipment, labor or time for their clients. Thus, by choosing an IT money saving specialist, the customer will be able to save on expenses.
A skilled IT firm knows how to find creative solutions to an existing network problem a client has and may also be able to predict future related issues and prevent them from happening.
An information technology firm that is familiar with the nuances associated with proprietary laboratory equipment is able to understand that they are manufactured differently and that they are unique in their operations. For example, some are standalone entities, some operate in Active Directory domain environments, some work in semi-domain environments, and some come with very loose security protections that must be fixed. The IT firm will also understand that all of them need careful security review and possibly security changes to integrate it into the company network.
As the owner of an information technology consulting company in San Diego, I have had the opportunity to work with several San Diego-based biotechnology companies. Many times, the pains and needs they share with me are very similar. After all, they’re all racing to get their products to market as quickly as possible, wanting it to be perfect the first time, and cost-effectively. Some people say, with this economy we have to do more with less. I say, you should do more with less – always!
Being well versed in the biotechnology sector, the IT consulting company is not licensed to charge more than its biotech clients. A good Information Technology partner will have a good management of human resources in his team so that the required resource can be appropriately assigned when that expertise is required on a project.
An IT firm that is dedicated to its clients establishes a relationship with them that is more of a partnership. Rather than labeling the client as just another account, an information technology consulting company that really cares about their client’s best interests goes the extra mile for them. Here in San Diego, we once got a call from a client who had a problem with his laptop computer. He couldn’t get it to work and had to make an important presentation at an executive meeting. We took his laptop, fixed it for him and delivered it to his meeting on time. Our client was very happy and so were we.
The right information technology partner for a technology, research and development oriented company is one who can take advantage of IT and help its customers to move faster with the market, bring their products to market sooner And most importantly, do more with less.