One of the first questions that you have to ask yourself when selecting an electronic lab notebook (ELN) for your lab is where will the information be stored — on premises, or in the cloud?
Recent years have seen a rise in cloud-based ELN software, and for a good reason. Cloud ELNs have many benefits: they are available from anywhere, anytime; they are easier to implement and update; they are more secure; and they save money. If you’re debating whether to go for an on-premises or cloud ELN, here are a few important points that may help you decide:
In modern laboratories, collaboration (both internal — between teams and lab members, and external — with commercial partners, fellow laboratories or academic institutes) is a key component of research. When handling information within an on-premises software, collaborations are usually conducted via e-mail or similar outdated sharing methods, which can easily lead to data loss, unorganized records, duplicate files and double work. A cloud ELN allows different people to collaborate on the same experiment or project, no matter where they are or what device they are using (as long as it’s connected to the internet). Users can view, edit and comment on shared experiments, and receive instant updates on their teammates status.
Implementing a cloud electronic lab notebook is faster and simpler than implementing an on-premises software, because it comes with built-in organization systems and workflows that have been tested and validated, and require only minimal customization before being ready for use.
Additionally, compared to on-premises ELNs that require complex and costly update processes, cloud ELN systems update automatically, without additional pay or interruption to laboratory work.
Laboratories that use a trusted, high quality cloud ELN benefit from top-tier security measures that comply with strict security and privacy regulations. The cloud ELN comes with data encryption, firewall, traffic monitoring measures and more, so that you don’t have to worry about protecting your IP from theft. Additionally, cloud ELNs establish data redundancy by keeping several copies of customers’ data within each data center. This ensures that in the case of power failure or disaster, there is always at least one data center remaining that contains customers’ data. Users can also opt for a private cloud instead of a multitenant environment.
If you hesitate to implement a cloud ELN because of the initial investment, know that when it comes to total cost of ownership (TCO), a cloud ELN is considerably more economic than an on-premises ELN. Cloud storage vendors own large amounts of storage space, and provide it at a low per-GB cost that customers benefit from, usually offering several plans to meet customers’ specific needs of storage size, backup frequency etc. But it’s more than that — laboratories that opt for a cloud solution save on the hardware infrastructure necessary for maintaining an on-premises software (hard disks, dedicated enclosures, RAID cards powering data redundancy, electricity costs, hardware warranty services, and more). Additionally, all maintenance and cloud computing issues are addressed by the ELN provider, eliminating the need for internal IT support.
Labguru is a secure, cloud-based ELN, laboratory management software and informatics platform which offers a complete solution for life science research and industry. Labguru features experiment, protocol and file management, inventory and storage management, molecular biology and chemistry notebook modules, automation of data processing, and more.
Labguru functions as a central information hub, improving teamwork and ensuring data integrity by providing all lab members easy access to up-to-date experiment records, files and protocols, inventory information, tasks, etc.
Labguru’s cloud platform is based on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is a validated partner of AWS. Labguru is ISO 27001 certified, and the AWS platform is ISO 27001, SOC reports 1, 2, and 3 certified. Labguru leverages best industry practices and security measures to further secure, monitor, and protect the usage and data on the Labguru platform.