Our Work: IDBS

The involvement of Skelton Thatcher Consulting has helped the teams here at IDBS to adopt and sustain some new ways of working and fresh ways of approaching software development. It’s really notable how the Skelton Thatcher consultants get onside with the team members and respond to their needs. In particular, the work on our approach to software releases has helped to streamline the way we test and release our software. We also have a clearer picture of how, where and why to invest time and money for further improvements in the future.

Jonathan White, CIO, IDBS

From pharmaceuticals to energy, healthcare to consumer goods, IDBS helps research and development (R&D) teams make discoveries that have the potential to transform the lives of populations worldwide. Its technology and domain expertise enables users to link data to data, data to people and people to people to drive innovation, achieve faster time to market and improve margins. IDBS software serves over 50,000 researchers in 25 countries – including over 80% of the top twenty pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

Skelton Thatcher consultants first worked with IDBS teams in June/July 2015, covering approaches to build, deployment, testing, and Continuous Delivery practices for a new cloud-based offering. Shortly after, IDBS asked Skelton Thatcher to assist a wider set of teams working on the flagship E-WorkBook platform, an industry-leading R&D informatics platform for enterprise data management.

Over the course of several months, Skelton Thatcher Consulting worked alongside the IDBS product delivery teams to enhance the way in which the software was built, tested, and released. We covered several angles including:

  • clarifying the internal software architecture to enable easier changes
  • adjusting the team responsibility boundaries for increased code ownership within teams
  • mentoring teams to enhance Agile practices
  • introducing effective patterns for software deployment pipelines
  • evaluating approaches to traceability and accountability for GxP as part of the software lifecycle
  • defining ways to address operational aspects such as deployment, monitoring, logging, and metrics

The Skelton Thatcher team also helped to shape a new Build & Release Engineering capability focused on engineering productivity to enable the delivery teams to be as effective as possible.