LIMS migration doesn’t have to be challenging

BY Kyrstin Lulow
January 6, 2022
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Migrating to a new laboratory information management system (LIMS) is one of the most challenging tasks IT professionals and LIMS administrators undertake. But it doesn’t have to be.

Transitioning to a new LIMS and making “simple” system upgrades are typical events for biopharma companies as they grow. However, the task is commonly seen as a complex and time-consuming process that threatens productivity, project deadlines, and budgets.

We are here to let you know that you can achieve a smooth and painless transition when migrating to a new LIMS—and the best way to do this is by partnering with a seasoned LIMS migration expert. Here, we discuss the reasons why you should consider choosing a LIMS vendor with migration expertise, such as Benchling, and what to expect when you do.

LIMS migration partners will come with a plan to make the transition efficient

LIMS migrations are challenging when teams are misaligned, risks are underestimated, and needs and success metrics are ill-defined. Without a solid plan, chaos can quickly ensue—pushing the LIMS launch date back and causing confusion for teams and stakeholders. Migration experts will come with a plan of action that is proven to produce a successful, efficient, and sustainable LIMS deployment where everyone is on the same page and eager to use the new system. And with their experience, they will help you foresee, overcome, and mitigate technical and logistical challenges.

A LIMS migration expert will develop a thoughtful plan of action that establishes a dedicated project team with clear roles and responsibilities, defines the different stages of the LIMS migration, and enables flexibility to quickly respond to the needs and feedback of your scientific teams. As you refine the plan of action with your migration expert, they’ll aim to secure business and IT executive sponsorship and bring everyone to an agreement on a governance structure and success metrics. This will help keep people aligned on a structure and common goal and also bring a high level of transparency and organization for project tracking and coordination.

What’s more, a migration expert will work with you to identify which teams and use cases have the highest-priority needs for your LIMS, and they will structure a detailed roll-out plan with clearly defined phases, deliverables, and checkpoints. Because every migration is different, this may require detailed discovery sessions with your R&D teams to fully understand their end-to-end processes, analytics needs, and any other specific requirements. It is equally important to involve IT teams early in the planning phase because it will allow the experts to scope out a thorough data migration plan with APIs for any systems that your LIMS is replacing or integrating with.

When evaluating your LIMS vendor, ask them about their adoption rates, look for success stories in organizations similar to yours, and review the vendor’s implementation methodology if they have one.

Save millions of dollars, accelerate development time by months, and boost compliance and adoption by 90%.

With 10+ years of data migration experience, Benchling’s approach to workflow discovery and agile prototyping delivers an initial solution in months, overcomes change management challenges, and sets your team up for long-term success. 

Review Benchling’s Implementation Methodology

LIMS migration partners will fit the tools to your workflow and your needs

Modern life science research involves many teams using many instruments and software. This creates a complex ecosystem that a LIMS (ideally) can fully integrate with to help you manage samples, complex molecules, and diverse projects. However, this connectivity can end up requiring tricky configurations with legacy LIMS that take time to get right. And oftentimes, it is never exactly right or takes terribly long to get there.

Partnering with an expert that has successfully integrated LIMS into an environment similar to yours offers many resource-saving benefits. First and foremost, the migration expert will help you choose the right LIMS for your workflow and ecosystem, so you can have confidence that you won’t need to replace the system in a few years. Second, they’ll support you through integrations, configurations, and migrations to get you the functionality you need quickly. Third, they’ll help you assess user acceptance and adjust the functionality prior to launching it in the production environment. This last point is important because it bolsters the adoption of the new system (i.e. your teams will want to use it), and the configurations will be optimized in a testing environment to avoid productivity disruptions.

Because every migration is unique, you can expect your partner to thoroughly review your scientific processes, work closely with your team to understand your specific integration requirements, and deliver your R&D organization’s need-to-have and nice-to-have functions.

Support your R&D teams with a single platform that tracks all characterization data for a given sample from concept to clinic.

Learn how we helped Jounce Therapeutics import 1000s of unique biologics and 100,000s of containers from legacy systems into Benchling and achieve a 100% adoption rate among users.

Read the case study

LIMS migration partners will make sure all your data is migrated and secure

Realizing your most valuable resource—your data—has been lost or riddled with errors is a nightmare that can set your project back and make you wonder if anything has been lost. This is all too common of a concern for life science companies migrating to a new LIMS system. Partnering with a migration expert will help you avoid this risk and ensure your data will be intact, safe, and efficiently migrated.

During a LIMS migration, data must be extracted, translated, and transferred into a new location. You can choose to archive the data, transfer it to a new repository where you can easily revisit it, or fully migrate it into the new system so your organization can actively mine, analyze, and run reports on it.

Typically, data migration involves a combination of manual processes and automated programmable migration tools. Ideally, your new LIMS platform will support a wide variety of integration and ETL use cases, such as automatically syncing with other informatics tools and databases and ingesting data from instruments like liquid handlers and freezers.

Your LIMS migration partner will help you worry less and transfer confidently. They’ll work with you to determine where and how the data will be transferred, prepare the data for migration (e.g., convert data to JSON), and validate that the data is accurate and has been transferred properly, not to mention is secure within the new system.

Securely store and process critical data for discovering, designing and developing advanced life science products. 

At Benchling, data security is in our DNA, and our commitment to protecting customer data is central to our mission. By employing the most advanced product, operational, and organizational security and privacy measures for data protection, Benchling enables ground-breaking research, development, and manufacturing advances, built on an unshakeable foundation of trust and security.

Read the Security and Privacy White Paper

LIMS migration partners will help your IT team become well-versed in the new system

It’s one thing to get your LIMS properly set up, but what happens when you need to make a system update or when you adopt a new instrument and need to reconfigure your software? Ideally, your team will be able to quickly make the adjustments themselves—without needing to take the time to reach out to the vendor’s technical support team and waiting for a response. To empower your IT team to manage the new system, the LIMS needs to be inherently straightforward to change and update; and the IT team needs to have the confidence and skills to do it.

While integrating and optimizing your LIMS, your migration partner should also train designated IT stakeholders on how to adjust configurations in the future so that they can swiftly and independently make the changes that your evolving workflows require.

Configure and adjust workflows, permissions, and data types—without a single line of code.

Benchling’s workflows, permissions, and data types can be configured and re-configured by designated administrators, without any code or vendor involvement. With codeless configuration, Benchling adapts to your R&D processes, no matter how quickly they evolve.

Learn more about codeless configuration

LIMS migration partners will accelerate user adoption

There isn’t much benefit to integrating a savvy new system if your team doesn’t end up using it. Too often organizations devote an abundance of time and resources to LIMS migration, only to face the new challenge of getting their scientists to efficiently and excitedly use it. To produce a successful launch and long-term deployment, your LIMS migration strategy needs to go beyond the technical challenges and incorporate effective change management tactics. Top-tier LIMS migration experts embed these tactics into their plan of action, leading to user adoption rates exceeding 90%.

One change management tactic involves thorough and engaging training. Ideally, training programs will involve tutorials and tailored guides unique to each team’s use case, so everyone from early discovery through bioprocessing and QA testing can leverage the full power of the system.

Achieve 100% user adoption of a platform that centralizes complex life science data.

After turning to Benchling, Pairwise achieved 100% user adoption and gained countless benefits and capabilities with our flexible, cloud-based platform that tracks and streamlines both the agricultural and biotechnological aspects of their R&D.

Read the case study

Your LIMS of choice matters

It is critical to take the time to evaluate your organization’s data management needs and select a tool that will seamlessly integrate with your environment, swiftly deploy across use cases, and readily achieve high user adoption. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you spend years and millions of dollars on a LIMS migration only to find that your customized solution doesn’t deliver on business goals, requires time-consuming updates, or that your team avoids using it.

To help you select the ideal LIMS for a modern life science R&D workflow, we’ve compiled a list LIMS features and what to look for when choosing a LIMS. And if you still have questions, reach out to our team of experts.

Remain productive, compliant, and future-ready with tools that go beyond the capabilities of a traditional LIMS.

With Benchling, R&D organizations can manage complex biological materials and workflows and integrate with your existing and future instrumentation and software. Our platform delivers top LIMS features and more to keep life science R&D labs productive, compliant, and adaptable.

Read the ebook: “Has Life Science R&D Moved Beyond Traditional LIMS”

Benchling is your partner in data management through migrations and beyond

Ultimately, partnering with a LIMS migration expert will make the transition to a new system smooth, efficient, and secure. And with the right partner, you’ll maximize the utility of your LIMS and keep productivity high. The Benchling team has spent years working with hundreds of companies doing cutting-edge life science R&D where we’ve successfully led the implementation of Benchling—a cloud-based platform with top-tier LIMS capabilities and more.

It’s our philosophy to treat all implementations as the start of an ongoing partnership, where your evolving needs are our evolving needs, and your success is our success. We developed and optimized our implementation methodology to make the transition to a new system efficient and long-lasting, where your data will be intact and your scientists will be excited.

From the initial planning phase through effective training to post-launch monitoring and check-ins, our approach to implementation is painless and rewarding.


Learn more about Benchling’s tried-and-true Enterprise Implementation Methodology and how it makes LIMS migration swift and successful.

Explore the Methodology

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