How Managed Infrastructure Can Provide a Secure, Sustainable Foundation for Your Research Technology

Ryan Monte
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Forte
April 11th, 2019

Managing the technical side of clinical research technologies is a topic that excites very few research professionals. However, issues related to managing and supporting software solutions are a common struggle for large research sites. Many IT teams are responsible for a wide array of systems, often across an entire healthcare and research enterprise. With patient care a top priority across that enterprise, research professionals can feel like operations technology is low on the list of IT priorities.

Forte Customers Share Their Experiences

At our recent Spring Onsemble Conference, Forte staff and representatives from customer sites shared their experience and expertise with Forte Managed Infrastructure. The service, which provides a hands-off foundation for the OnCore Enterprise Research System, offers hosting, hardware and database licensing and management, disaster recovery, support and more. All new Forte customers began utilizing Forte Managed Infrastructure in 2017, and many customers were eager to share their success stories at the Onsemble Conference.

Rob Schuetz, CTMS Product Manager at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, led a session where he described the University’s experience moving to Forte Managed Infrastructure. Schuetz detailed previous processes where he often served in a systems support role for the CTMS. While his prior experience equipped him to deal with these extra responsibilities, they were an added burden that pulled him away from his high-value, more specialized tasks.

Schuetz also highlighted struggles dealing with third-party hardware and software vendors who often provided lackluster support and had no background on the challenges faced by the cancer center. This fragmented support approach increased the administrative burden even further. Combined with additional vendors needed for data backup and disaster recovery (which proved to be incredibly costly), it was clear Schuetz’s team needed to find a solution.

After implementing Forte Managed Infrastructure, Schuetz noted the immediate improvements in several key areas. For research operations staff, more time is spent within the Oncore system, with less time focused on support. Likewise, IT staff can now focus on higher-priority initiatives within the cancer center. New upgrades to database software are now seamless, with minimal or no interruptions to daily operations. And last (but certainly not least), Forte has provided a seamless support experience that encompasses both the product itself and the infrastructure supporting it. “We can focus all of our resources on using OnCore to its fullest potential, without having to worry about supporting the infrastructure around it,” said Schuetz.

The Importance of Managed Infrastructure

Schuetz’s experience at the University of Hawaii echoes a theme running across not just the Onsemble community, but the clinical research industry in general: institutions need to focus on finding cost-effective, sustainable ways to maximize their efficiency and their impact. A vendor-managed infrastructure like Forte’s fits into this philosophy by removing many of the barriers to maximizing clinical research technology and, ultimately, maximizing institutional resources as a whole.  

If your center is considering a new system it’s important to avoid tunnel vision, focusing just on functionality while minimizing the impact the new technology will have on internal workflows and resources. Choosing a system with a managed infrastructure can help ease that impact, allowing you to realize the benefits of the system without sacrificing the time, money and effort of maintaining it.

At Forte, our entire suite of software solutions is built on Forte Managed Infrastructure. If your site is looking for a clinical trial management system, the OnCore Enterprise Research System can streamline your research operations and provide visibility into all aspects of your protocols. If you’re an OnCore customer who would like to learn more about Forte Managed Infrastructure, reach out to our Customer Relationships team to start the conversation.