Why the cloud matters for lab automation

June 2, 2021  |  Technology

cloud computing concept

For many people, the term “laboratory automation” brings to mind giant robots, liquid handlers, and other heavy-duty lab machinery. But hardware is only half the story. For true automation, software is essential — it issues commands to all of those instruments and devices, ensuring that every process runs smoothly.

Of course, wherever there is software, there is data. And in lab automation, software that runs and tracks experiments and other processes generates a lot of data. This can lead to a conundrum: people who automate their labs usually do so to reduce the amount of human intervention required, but all of that data has to be captured, analyzed, stored, and deployed as needed. That can require a lot of IT infrastructure, maintenance, and training — the kind of investment that automation is largely meant to avoid.

That’s why the Biosero team built cloud connectivity right into our software tools. Users who choose to implement a cloud platform to handle their data get all the benefits of massive data centers and scalable compute power without any of the local IT headaches. Reputable cloud vendors offer industry-leading security and other best practices, giving users a level of protection that they probably could never achieve on their own.

There are some other great benefits on top of scalability and low maintenance. Accessibility is an important one: cloud access makes it possible for users to engage securely with the lab’s software and hardware from anywhere in the world, enabling geographically diverse teams to work together in a standardized way and share information with ease. Our Green Button Go Dashboard tool, for instance, lets people visualize what’s going on in the lab through a simple web connection.

In addition, the cloud connection dramatically reduces the time to deploy or update lab automation solutions. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, the Biosero team was able to walk customers through the roll-out of new software tools and lab automation systems with virtual visits and remote support. And even before the pandemic, we used cloud connectivity to let our customers quickly and easily download new drivers or deploy updates to their systems. We love empowering our customers to be self-sufficient, able to add new hardware to the mix without having to wait for someone on our support team to show up in person and deliver a new software driver.

We also understand that cloud-based data services aren’t right for all of our customers, which is why we always offer both cloud and local deployment (sometimes even on a private cloud) with our software. That way, each customer gets to choose the solution that works best for their lab.

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