DevOps: The Cure To Pharma’s Problem? | Harnham Recruitment post

DevOps quite literally does what it says on the tin, a streamlined partnership of development and operations which gives companies the tools to deliver much faster services. Removing the usual barriered siloes between the two divisions, not only is DevOps more efficient than its traditional counterparts, but the increased coordination and collaboration provided within DevOps undoubtedly produces much stronger, more reliable products. As mentioned in one of our previous articles, the DevOps market is one that has seen unprecedented growth and is forecasted to continue doing so for the foreseeable future. Its benefits are second-to-none, from ensuring the smooth-running of processes to increasing levels of productivity, DevOps’ autonomous nature reduces, and in some cases eradicates, many of the pain points businesses face.However, not all industries have been quick to adopt this transformative specialism. Pharmaceuticals is one key example, with many companies citing security as their main concern for choosing not to adopt the technology. In the US alone, data breaches in the healthcare industry cost $5.6 billion every year, and the infamous attack on the UK’s NHS by hacker group, The WannaCry, cost £92m alone. Nevertheless, as the industry begins to understand the key areas where it is most at risk of breaches, such as its complex supply chain and current use of outdated devices due to the longevity of many companies, changes and updates are being made to make DevOps adoption more secure. But why is it so important that the industry adopts DevOps? Here are three key reasons:Improved efficiency of clinical trialsIt can take up to 10 years for a new drug to come to market, and the longest part of the process is, more often than not, the clinical trials which can take anywhere between six to seven years to complete.However, certain elements of DevOps, such as the use of the cloud for data collection, can improve the efficiency of this process ten-fold. When used alongside technology such as wearable devices and electronic diaries, the collection and analysis of crucial data, such as a trial participants vitals, can be done in real-time from anywhere and everywhere. Cheaper product creationThe pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated to ensure that the drugs created do not cause harm, and this includes monitoring its software and hardware components as much as anything else.Using Computer System Validation (CSV) is the most common way of companies being regulated by the FDA, but there’s no denying that this system is time-consuming and expensive. Using DevOps for this process allows businesses to autonomously reduce the risk of bugs, avoid bottlenecking all without damaging productivity and reliability. Not only do all these elements within DevOps mean the regulation process becomes far more streamlined, but regulations are more likely to be adhered to and products are able to be taken to market much faster, improving ROI and revenue. Reduce complexity of big-data deploymentAs of 2020, it was reported that there were 2,314 exabytes of healthcare data globally. This huge amount of insight provides a goldmine of information for pharmaceutical companies but the task of sifting through it manually to spot trends, improve upon patient care and explore new avenues for drug creation is impossible. The implementation of DevOps not only accelerates the process of scouring this data but improves our ability to spot threats on the horizon and makes drug development much cheaper. As suggested in Healthcare, “The ability to leverage DevOps in the analysis of big data healthcare sets can help providers reduce treatment costs, predict outbreaks of epidemics, avoid preventable diseases and improve patient quality of care and outcomes.’’Of course, where technology is involved, there is no way to completely eradicate risk. Pharma must look carefully at how a fine line can be struck between implementing DevOps and keeping patient data safe. However, as the ability of security systems greatly improves over time, it is very likely that we will see more and more Life Science and Pharmaceutical businesses adopting and reaping the rewards from DevOps. To learn more about the roles we currently have available in the take a look at our devops jobs or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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