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Techniques & Tools Technology

Icebergs Ahead

Google’s self-reported 99.984 percent uptime and the non-existent interruptions claimed by other major providers encourage us to take the availability of laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and other critical software tools for granted. The known risks – upgrades, planned downtime for system maintenance, and the occasional power outage that lasts long enough to test the effectiveness of a fossil fuel-powered generator backup – may be included in a company’s disaster recovery (DR) plan. However, when was the last time you checked it? And perhaps more importantly – have you planned for the unexpected?

With record-retention mandates differing worldwide, organizations cannot be too risk averse in their backup retention policies. The risk of not doing so can have both legal and financial consequences. For example, laboratories that monitor air quality and waste output need to be able to produce records and data readily whenever the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and other regulatory authorities request it. Failure to do so can result in fines, shutdowns, loss of revenue and even legal action.

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About the Author

Tony Lisi

Tony Lisi is an established Laboratory Informatics consultant at CSols, Inc., and has a history of successful projects. He has more than 10 years’ experience of delivering results in laboratory and manufacturing environments. Projects include modernizing laboratory software, automating instrument data collection and analysis, disaster recovery planning execution, customized lab-to-lab interfaces and LIMS integrations for multiple laboratories.

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