Leveraging the success of the Salesforce.com model, Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) software-as-a-service (SaaS) will emerge and reshape the LIMS marketplace, says a new study from ARC Advisory Group. The worldwide market for LIMS is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.9% over the next five years. The forecast says the market will reach approximately $395 million in 2008 and grow to over $454 million in 2013, according to the study.
Historically, LIMS have been delivered using the outright purchase model. The success of Salesforce.com has end users and suppliers reevaluating software acquisition methods. “Small and medium laboratories currently using home-grown systems may find the Internet hosted model a more affordable option for LIMS,” according to Senior Analyst Paula Hollywood, the principal author of ARC’s market report, “Laboratory Information Management Systems Worldwide Outlook.”
The LIMS market is expected to grow to more than $400 million by 2013, according to a recent ARC Advisory Group report.
Enhancing compliance with regulatory guidelines is a major impetus for acquiring and implementing a LIMS, according to the report. For multinational companies, keeping pace with global regulations can keep a multi-person staff busy full time. This can be a problematic situation for manufacturers that need to streamline their compliance efforts while decreasing their risk of non-compliance. Evolving regulations require improved documentation of laboratory tests and an enhanced ability to share test results with other departments and third parties in real time. One of the crucial functions of LIMS is the ability to trace each event in the life cycle of a sample, which is essential in protecting laboratory results, tracking and for regulatory compliance.
Web 2.0 refers to trends in how World Wide Web technology is used to enhance web functionality and the user experience. The characteristics of Web 2.0 include rich user experience, user participation, dynamic content, metadata, web standards and scalability. It is the platform for web-based versions of LIMS which the majority of LIMS suppliers now provide for decentralized decision making. Web 2.0 is the backbone of LIMS on demand, as it enables syndication of both content and services.
LIMS implementations by multinational and domestic manufacturers and research organizations in emerging markets will contribute to growth in LIMS revenues. As countries in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia develop manufacturing bases that seek to compete in the global marketplace, enterprises of all sizes will need systems capable of tracking samples and creating audit trails; of providing broad reporting, monitoring and analysis capabilities; and capable of supporting regulatory compliance both domestically and internationally.
China, of course, has had some bad press in terms of toy and food recalls in the past year. Manufacturers here will need LIMS in order to prove to foreign partners they have sophisticated quality control procedures in place, as well as the ability to trace contaminated product once it has been identified.