NNIT, together with Benchling, organized a series of group exchanges that took place in Denmark at the NNIT HQ. The exchange group aims to provide a forum for peers across the life sciences ecosystem in Denmark. The forum is organized to share challenges and experiences in the digitalization journey that many organizations are driving and/or being part of.
The 2nd event took place on June 13th, 2023 with separate discussion groups that focused on two different topics:
- Organizational change management as part of the implementation project of a lab digital solution.
- Building a manageable IT landscape: Integrating new solutions with instruments and other existing IT Solutions.
The key points summarizing the lively discussions between the event participants are summarized below.
Organizational change management as part of the implementation project of a lab digital solution
Discussion Key Points
There is a broad recognition that technology is getting even stronger and changing ways of working. Therefore, it is important to take a holistic approach. New technology is not simply a tech project implementation. It also represents changed ways of working, doing, and maybe even thinking and doing. We must look at change holistically and plan for change accordingly.
Communication is vital but it can be difficult to cut through all the noise in larger corporations. You must be clever and adaptable to get the message through efficiently. Communication is different in each company, so what works in one may not work in another. Any message must fit into the communication landscape.
Effort must be put into creating the right type of environment for change to happen successfully. This includes good training, support on the ground, and post Go-Live support for people and leaders to play the part of coach.
It is important to spread the load and ensure that people on the ground feel that they are part of the change. Give them the possibility to play a part in enacting the change and the responsibility to drive it on the ground. One successful approach is to establish a clear role of superusers, as change agents, trainers, and first support. Building a manageable IT landscape: Integrating new solutions with instruments and other existing IT Solutions
Discussion Key Points
There are several barriers to establishing an integrated landscape that is manageable:
- R&D labs are diverse and constantly changing and therefore implementing and enforcing standards is a challenge. Nonetheless, some degree of standardization is essential to succeed in creating an integrated IT landscape.
- Legacy equipment and software that is loved by its users in R&D labs and it is costly to replace.
- There are downsides to selecting any architecture which must be recognized and mitigated. There are no perfect solutions, despite what may be promised.
- Hub architectures create single points of failure and are therefore fragile, and potentially vulnerable. Point-to-point integrations are prone to bugs and require a higher maintenance effort.
- There is a mental fatigue associated with building and maintaining a complex integration model vs. the need to interrogate and understand connections.
Standardization was highlighted as the first crucial step to succeed in building an integrated IT landscape that enables the R&D Labs. Standardization is, however, challenging and therefore will only succeed with enforcement and incentives from management via KPIs, for example.
The group also discussed the importance of focusing first on the integrations that bring the most value to the organization – identifying and solving the right problem.
Since we all agreed that the conversations must continue, a third face-to-face networking event is planned for the Autumn (November 21st) at the NNIT headquarters in Søborg.
If you find the topic and related discussions interesting but are not in the Copenhagen area, please let us know as we are discussing the best formats to engage with a wider life sciences community across Europe and globally.