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Frank Defesche

Innovation

Why IT Lobbied for Cloud QMS

Removing the burden of managing in-house infrastructure benefits IT and quality

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 11:02

Until recently, most quality departments were unable to select their own quality management system (QMS) software.

Think about it. From hardware sizing to system requirements, database types to installation, only IT had the expertise to procure and maintain on-premise QMS software. At many companies, this resulted in quality simply “receiving” an IT-selected solution that didn’t fully meet its needs.

As quality systems have become more connected to the top line and bottom line, QMS is an increasingly strategic application. But this shift still didn’t give quality departments the keys to making their own decisions. That is, until QMS came to the cloud.

Cloud QMS has upended this arrangement, and quality can now take the driver’s seat. The funny thing is, IT couldn’t be happier.

Why would IT want to play a smaller role in selecting and maintaining QMS software?

To answer this question, we turned to Pat Whyte, vice president for information technology at New Chapter, a dietary supplements company that recently selected a new cloud-based QMS and document control solution.

Q: What was IT’s role during the software procurement process at New Chapter?

A: “During procurement, New Chapter’s IT played a major role in gathering functional and technical requirements, researching suitable QMS and document control vendors, and setting up demonstrations. We evaluated vendor offerings from a technical perspective, and drew up feature and cost comparison documentation.”

Q: What were IT’s top reasons for pushing for a cloud-based solution?

A: “Obtaining, provisioning, and managing infrastructure components for the hosting of systems in-house can be a costly endeavor for small companies, especially considering the extra IT and quality-process requirements surrounding the management of regulated systems. Utilizing a cloud-based solution removes that process burden from IT as well as the extra cost burden associated with in-house infrastructure.”

Q: What does IT perceive as the benefits to IT, and to New Chapter in general, from using a cloud application?

A: “Using a cloud-based application removes much of the IT and quality-process burden associated with managing in-house infrastructure. Costs are generally lower for cloud-based systems due to the economies of scale employed by the vendor vs. a smaller in-house IT data center for small companies like ours.

“These two factors are especially evident in environments where the IT process is required to be more stringent for regulated applications, and infrastructure components may be duplicated in order to separate regulated vs. nonregulated systems.

“In addition, less focus on in-house infrastructure translates to more focus on value-added activities such as business analysis and improving the utilization and scope of key applications.”

Q: How have IT’s role or responsibilities changed because New Chapter selected a cloud application vs. going with an on-premise solution?

A: “IT is able to spend less time on infrastructure support and focus more time and resources on value-added services such as improved customer outreach and business analysis services. IT is at its most valuable and most strategic when working with the business to improve processes, reduce costs, and generate more productivity through digital transformation efforts and fully realizing the benefits of key applications such as Veeva’s.”

Learn more about New Chapter’s experience searching, selecting, and implementing cloud QMS by registering for the Oct. 26, 2017, webinar, “Increase Your Quality Efficiency and Compliance with Cloud QMS.”

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About The Author

Frank Defesche’s picture

Frank Defesche

As senior vice president and general manager of Veeva QualityOne, Frank Defesche is responsible for the strategic direction, growth, and customer success of Veeva’s quality applications for the consumer goods and chemical industries. Since 1999, Defesche has provided strategic guidance and services to customers for cloud-based enterprise applications and platforms. An early cloud pioneer, he has managed hundreds of cloud implementations and brings a wealth of knowledge on how to evaluate, deliver, and execute on digital transformation.