Forces of Change Impacting Biopharma Corporate Libraries

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Leading Pharmaceutical & Medical Device organizations invest millions of dollars a year into their corporate libraries and information center services. While the need for corporate libraries has remained constant, there are many forces of change that are likely to impact libraries in the future. With technological advances and shrinking business resources, corporate libraries and information centers are being challenged with the task of balancing budget, resource and service levels to provide value to their organization.

Benchmark partners in a new Best Practices, LLC report identified multiple forces that are likely to impact their libraries in the next one to three years. The most likely internal or external forces that partners felt were likely to shape their business model or product & service offerings included:

New Technologies:  New technologies are the forces of change that are most likely to shape library and information center business models, services, and product offerings in coming years. The following forces were cited by respondents:

  • The growing importance of social media will likely require development of new monitoring services
  • Mobile apps – Company sponsored full-access mobile devices being rolled out in the next 1-3 years
  • Cloud computing

Corporate Challenges:Challenges facing corporations across the Biopharma industry are likely to impact corporate libraries in the following areas:

  • Mergers/Acquisitions
  • Patent expirations
  • General economic climate, healthcare reform, industry business levels
  • Success or failure of drugs in ongoing clinical trials

Finances/Budget:Resources are an issue for a number of companies. Many participants listed the following as the top financial forces acting on corporate libraries:

  • Fixed or declining budgets
  • Staffing restraints
  • New funding models expected for some leaders in the coming years

The many challenges facing corporations across the Biopharmaceutical industry are likely to have a large impact on corporate libraries. Some companies have even mentioned that they have (or are planning to) shut down their physical library and are now moving towards a “virtual” library. By better understanding the scope of services currently offered in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors’ library and information centers, leaders can fully understand how to effectively provide the value demanded by their organizations. 

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