As discussed in Part 1, selecting the appropriate Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for your organization should be carefully considered. Part 2 will discuss four more factors: Platform Flexibility Requirements, Architecture of IT, IT Resources, and Budget.
Platform Flexibility Requirements
Although most LIMS have similar features, their functions and abilities are configured differently. A number of LIMS provide OOB (out of the box) capabilities that are standard which can be implemented after installation. On the other hand, some LIMS need to be configured to make the same features available.
The majority of companies will determine LIMS with OOB features to be their best choice because they will have easier implementation and a lower TCO (total cost of ownership). However, some other labs with individual requirements, a skilled IT staff, and a business undergoing rapid change may decide a LIMS that can be customized and programmed is a superior option.
Architecture of IT
Your company’s standards for its existing IT architecture should play a great part in your decision. Various architectures can be supported by LIMS providers nowadays, and there will be advantages and disadvantages inherent with each infrastructure. Ultimately, a laboratory’s informatics architecture should support its organization’s business objectives.
Existing LIMS resources for the implementation of the new system should play an important role in your selection. For thick client LIMS, the IT resources required will be substantial. Laboratories that do not have experienced IT staff may opt for cloud-based LIMS, which minimize the resources needed for installation and maintenance. They can also select a COTS (commercial off the shelf) type LIMS that already has many preconfigured functions. Another choice is a specialty LIMS customized for a company’s industry and type of laboratory, which will minimize configuration.
The LIMS’ TCO will also be a key factor. An evaluation of a LIMS and the costs of its items such as standard functions, licenses, additional expenses of modules, customization, and maintenance should all be performed.
Alpha Engineering LIMS Implementation
Alpha Engineering Associates, Inc. has been involved with the implementation of over 50 LIMS systems ranging in size from small, “off-the-shelf” software systems to very large, highly customized, multi-functional systems, including STARLIMS, for both governmental agencies and private enterprises. For affordable client-focused network consulting services and solutions, please call Alpha Engineering Associates today at (410) 295-9500.