Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, What is the Largest LIMS of Them All?

There are many types and sizes of laboratories, as we all well know.  Let’s face it though, not many labs are very large, in fact, most have fewer than 25 people.  So given this fact, does it really matter what the answer is to the question: “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, what is the largest LIMS of them all?”  Well, you decide.

First, what type of lab do you work in: Government, Manufacturing, Clinical, Commercial/Reference, Pharmaceutical, Biotech, Environmental, Agricultural, Mining, the list could go on for hours but we can stop with this list.  The next question is: how many people work in your lab operation who make use of the LIMS and how many external users are there?  My final question is: How mission critical is the LIMS to your operation?  If the system goes down, what is the impact on your lab’s operation.  While I certainly cannot answer that for you, I can answer it for LabLynx’s clients.  For our clients, the LIMS is singularly one of the most important systems the lab operates next to the instruments that perform the tests; so in our case, the LIMS is vital and near 100% uptime is mandatory.

Defining the Largest LIMS of Them All

The largest LIMS of them all is not the one that has the most number of installed copies at client sites but the one that runs most number of concurrent users.  It is clear, given this definition of size, that the SaaS based LIMS is by far the largest LIMS of them all.  In order to accommodate literally over 1000 concurrent users within our SaaS based LIMS environment, LabLynx, Inc. had to design a complete infrastructure and cloud computing environment that guarantees nearly 100% uptime by utilizing multiple SAS 70 Certified Data Centers.  You simply do not get this sort of performance with single installations of systems that are on-premises at the client site.  Because of this fact, we have on-premise clients with our LIMS who are now actively moving over to our Cloud Computing environment in our webLIMS data centers.  Many of these customers have over 100 concurrent users and many have as few as 5 to 10 users while there are some with literally only one user.  Talk about scalability!

When It Comes to Reliability and Uptime, There Is Safety in Numbers.

Not only do large numbers of users increase the overall total quality of the system but they drive down unit costs.  The sheer number of users to support forces the design and use of a cloud computing environment that eliminates single point failures.  The entire LIMS must be of Utility Grade quality much like the power or gas utility companies.  You will not find this in nearly any on-premise installations except in the largest operations like that found in the large clinical reference testing labs.  The reason is simple, it cost a lot of money and on-going IT support which would kill the ROI for any LIMS with less than 500 concurrent users.  Let’s face it, with all the labs out there today, well over 90% of them are small labs with less than 25 people.  They cannot justify this sort of infrastructure for the LIMS or other laboratory informatics applications.  That being said, SaaS based LIMS that are built on a cloud computing architecture and that are hosted in multiple SAS 70 data centers, make this sort of robust application available to any size lab from 1 person to 1000 persons.  In the end, SaaS based LIMS is good for any type or size lab.

Lowering Your Risk and Improving Your ROI

By using the scalability of SaaS based LIMS, your risk is minimized by the fact that you have no capital outlay, no license fees, maintenance is included, no hardware to buy and you have Service Level Agreement (SLA) guarantees that you simply cannot get from the more traditional LIMS purchasing arrangement.  All of this works together to lower or eliminate your risk associated with LIMS selection and in the end it simply increases your ROI.  Renting or leasing an on-premise LIMS is just a creative financing scheme that leaves you with none of the scalability and infrastructure benefits of the SaaS based LIMS and still leaves you with the unreliable IT infrastructure headaches.  Renting or leasing a LIMS locks you into a financial contract with risks built into every contract paragraph.  SaaS is essentially low to no risk with no contract commitments and certainly none of the costs of IT.

The Answer to the Question “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, What is the Largest LIMS of Them All”

It is the SaaS based LIMS.  Where size matters most and provides tangible value without compare.