The “build or buy” dilemma

Why labs are choosing to purchase bioinformatics tools rather than develop their own

Build or Buy Informatics Tools?

For labs with the luxury of having in-house bioinformatics expertise, the question of whether to build or buy is an age-old dilemma. Homegrown systems, built by experts, are not always designed for a smooth user experience and can be challenging for lab staff to use. Additionally, informatics tools built for a specific purpose may not have the flexibility to scale as the lab’s needs evolve.

The rapid timescales and expanded workflows required in genomics, particularly next-generation sequencing (NGS), call for tools that can be configured to accommodate a lab’s specific needs. Today, many commercial laboratory information management systems (LIMS) are designed specifically for NGS, and labs are choosing to buy rather than build their own bioinformatics tools.

Labs often weigh considerations for purchasing bioinformatics tools from a reputable vendor against the advantages of in-house customization. The cost of developing a do-it-yourself system often exceeds the cost of purchasing a LIMS, and commercial software developed with the user in mind tends to be easy for staff to use.

Many labs agree that if you can find a LIMS that meets most of your needs, has flexibility for customization, and is well supported, purchasing is a better use of resources. Learn more about the experiences of several labs who recently made this decision.

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Running Your Lab Like a Business

If you’re contemplating whether to build or buy bioinformatics tools, you’re likely focused on how efficiently your lab is running. View the infographic for advice from top lab managers and learn more about how to reduce costs, improve turnaround time, and increase customer satisfaction.

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Building your own analysis apps can be complex, time-consuming, and requires extensive bioinformatics expertise. While developing your own software enables you to design for exact customized specifications, ready-to-use tools provide an easier alternative for non-bioinformatics experts–without up-front development time.

Illumina offers a rich assortment of user-friendly data analysis tools such as BaseSpace Sequence Hub, which offers applications developed by Illumina, or from a growing ecosystem of third-party app providers.

Explore Informatics Products

BaseSpace Clarity LIMS is our laboratory information management system. Designed specifically for genomics labs and optimized for NGS, BaseSpace Clarity LIMS integrates with instruments, helps labs track and manage samples, and streamlines the overall operations in a lab. In contrast to complicated homegrown systems, BaseSpace Clarity LIMS is designed with the end user in mind, encouraging wider adoption by lab staff.

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A LIMS Tailored for Genomics Labs
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