Cloud computing--a data-crunching force multiplier that allows companies to draw on resources across the Internet, either on the fly or as a dedicated service--is potentially disruptive to companies because it changes the dynamic of who owns the capital assets, turning traditional IT infrastructure models on their heads.
Do your homework before selecting a cloud service provider. That's the message from those who know.
"Be cautious, but be open-minded," says Rick Franckowiak, director for systems engineering at the Pharmaceutical Research & Development IT organization of Johnson & Johnson. Likewise: "Be careful," says Brian Boruff, vice president for cloud computing at systems integration consultancy Computer Sciences Corp., a cloud service provider.
Boruff and Franckowiak explained to FierceBiotech IT the need for such caution, as well as characteristics to look for in cloud service offerings: security, agility, cost elements and biopharma suitability. A summary of our interviews with these experts is available here.
The following pages contain descriptions of a representative sampling of cloud service providers and their offerings. Many such services are available now and the list of providers and offerings is growing rapidly. For this report, we've included a mix of generalists and those with pharma-specific offerings. Descriptions are culled from company information.
Representative cloud service providers, in alphabetical order: