Every dollar of your angel investment is important. With these limited funds, you have to set up a lab, prove a concept and produce the data necessary to secure more funding. No matter what the initial investment is, these funds disappear fast. That is why planning and budgeting are so important in the early days of a biotech startup.
It is crucial for you to have an effective IT infrastructure in place from day one. But that does not mean that you should pay any price or settle for a generic setup. Every aspect of your business depends on IT—from your lab to your executive offices—and if your infrastructure is weak, your company is vulnerable. If you prepare for your IT needs carefully, you can spend less and get more from your investment. Plan on having an infrastructure with the following four features.
Reliability is the most important quality for any IT setup. Your technology needs to be there for you every day, regardless of the circumstances. A system that is constantly going offline or malfunctioning costs you time, money and energy you would rather spend elsewhere.
A system that is properly installed and maintained will run at peak performance no matter what your biotech startup demands of it. The key is to get expert help supporting your IT infrastructure. Ensuring that you have compatible equipment and a carefully calibrated network helps you to avoid common IT disasters.
When you need to access data at a different lab or make an important presentation across the country, you will need to access parts of your IT system remotely.
Make sure that any system you have installed includes comprehensive and flexible options for remote access. You shouldn’t have to wait until you get back to the office to reference reams of research or access a crucial program. Cloud storage solutions make it easy for you to access your IT from anywhere at any time.
Every biotech startup faces security threats. Do not take this threat lightly, even if your biotech startup company is brand new and little known. When you are planning your IT investment, resist the urge to skimp on data security. One breach has the potential to cost you exponentially more than any security investment you make.
Protect your company from both internal and external threats. Your IT infrastructure needs to have comprehensive anti-virus protection, strong firewalls and administrative controls in trusted hands. Your IT service provider can help you set up an effective safety net, and respond to new threats when they inevitably appear.
When you have IT problems, who will you turn to? Having a responsive support network in place is one of the most important things to plan for. When systems break down, need updates or expansions, you will want to have a team of experts that can complete the job quickly and effectively.
As you evaluate IT service providers, find out about the levels of support they provide. Biotech startups always need help with IT at some point, and you will want to work with a support staff that runs on your schedule, not their own.
This is just an outline of IT planning for a biotech startup company. Get more detailed information about smart IT investing by reading our most recent white paper “After the Seed: Planning IT Investment for a Biotech Startup.”