IT in Manufacturing

Software as a service

March 2009 IT in Manufacturing

New delivery models will drive LIMS growth.

Leveraging the success of the model, laboratory information management systems (LIMS) software-as-a-service (SaaS) will emerge and reshape the LIMS marketplace. 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 market is projected to reach approximately $395 million in 2008 and is forecasted to be over $454 million in 2013, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study.

Historically, LIMS have been delivered using the outright purchase model. The success of has end users and suppliers re-evaluating software acquisition methods. “Small and medium laboratories currently utilising 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 ‘Laboratory information management systems worldwide outlook’.

Regulatory requirements continuously evolving

Enhancing compliance with regulatory guidelines is a major impetus for acquiring and implementing a LIMS. For multinational companies, keeping pace with global regulations can keep a multiperson staff busy full time. This can be problematic for manufacturers seeking to streamline their compliance efforts while decreasing 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 realtime. One of the crucial functions of LIMS is the ability to trace each event in the lifecycle of a sample, which is essential in protecting laboratory results and for regulatory compliance.

Proliferation of Web 2.0 Technology

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 decentralised decision making. Web 2.0 is the backbone of LIMS on demand as it enables syndication of both content and services.

Growth in emerging regional markets

LIMS implementations by multinational and domestic manufacturers and research organisations in emerging markets will contribute to growth in LIMS revenues. As countries in Eastern Europe and Asia develop manufacturing bases that seek to compete in the global market, enterprises of all sizes will need systems capable of: tracking samples and creating audit trails; providing broad reporting, monitoring and analysis capabilities and 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.

For more information contact Amie Nolan, ARC Advisory Group, +1 781 471 1138,, or visit

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