NextDocs- SharePoint, life sciences, eim, information management
The life sciences industry is shifting from legacy content management systems to Microsoft SharePoint. That’s the key takeaway in a new report from NextDocs.

The report, “The State of SharePoint in Life Sciences,” [registration required] found that 37 percent of companies in this industry are reducing or replacing such legacy systems as EMC Documentum, and nearly 65 percent say they are moving or planning to move to SharePoint. NextDocs is a provider of regulated content management and quality management solutions for life sciences organizations, and is a Microsoft partner.

Why SharePoint?

One of SharePoint’s key uses within life sciences is for the management of regulated content in a validated system, a requirement in clinical trials and other activities in this industry. Forty-three percent are using the Microsoft Platform for that purpose --  and 21 percent more are considering that move. In the past year alone, 12 percent more companies started using SharePoint for managing regulated content in validated systems, according to NextDocs.

Why the interest in SharePoint, either by itself or in conjunction with other solutions? The report notes that companies in the life sciences industry are “turning to regulated content management solutions” to accommodate compliance, the smooth interworking of processes, and online collaboration.

The top use for SharePoint is as the company intranet, followed in popularity by its use as a team site for project teams or as a general document storage/management site. Other top uses include knowledge management, standard operating procedures management and training, and records management.

Cloud Computing and SharePoint

Forty-two percent use the platform for quality management, such as for CAPA (corrective action and preventive action), deviations or change control, and 37 percent use it for managing clinical trial documents, such as eTMF. Thirty-two percent employ the software for document management related to submissions to the Food and Drug Administration.

When asked about reasons for moving to SharePoint, 63 percent cited document management functionality, simplicity and better collaboration, with total cost of ownership also being cited as a key factor. Potential hurdles to implementation included a lack of internal staff resources, concerns about validation, and internal opposition from users of other systems.

The report said that the migration to SharePoint was accompanied by the trend toward using cloud computing, with 21 percent of respondents having deployed SharePoint to the cloud while 55 percent use it on premises. That number of cloud deployments has doubled in a bit more than a year, and another 7 percent are considering the move. Eighteen percent of respondents have a mixed environment.