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LIMS: In-House Development Vs. Off-the-Shelf – Factors to consider

LIMS – In house development Vs off the shelf enterprise class


Laboratories are rapidly adapting to latest technologies for a variety of reasons like

  • High quality standards,
  • Stringent regulatory norms set by industry governing bodies,
  • Standard operating procedures,
  • Need for better control over workflow and processes,
  • High standards to maintain data security and data integrity,
  • Need for higher productivity due to increasing cost and workload.
    Research and testing labs from across different industries like pharmaceutical, medical, food & beverage,
    chemical, clinical research, clinical pathology, genetic, bio bank, petroleum , petrochemical, agrochemical and
    environmental etc. are in the process of modernizing their facilities. Companies are under constant pressure to
    outperform their competition by launching new and better products. This drives the need for highly accurate
    data that is secure, well organized, easily accessible and user friendly. Software systems designed specifically
    for laboratories meet most of these requirements and are popularly known as LIMS – Laboratory Information
    Management Systems. Some call these LIS – Laboratory Information Systems or LMS – Laboratory
    Management Systems.
    While some organizations are well informed about such systems, others face the dilemma whether to build a
    customized system in-house or to opt for a ready to deploy system.
  • Quality of design: An Enterprise edition is designed by a team of functional and technical experts with
    inputs from different laboratories. Issues from real time scenarios are discussed thoroughbred and
    addressed. This makes the system robust and fool proof. On the other hand, an in-house developed system
    is limited by the functional knowledge and technical expertise of the individual(s) who design and develop
    the system.
  • Compliance with regulatory norms: An in depth knowledge of norms defined by regulatory governing
    bodies like USFDA and MHRA, like for example, compliance with ‘21 CFR Part 11’ is vital, especially when
    the system is designed for use in a regulated environment.
  • Definite timeline: Implementing a market tested and matured enterprise edition by a team of
    professionals saves a lot of time. The duration of the project can be estimated in definite terms and the
    final Go Live dates can be precisely planned.

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