Yet, the town folk keep insisting "we need LIMS, please give...". LIMS are probably the only thing that potentially fits the bill for experimental data management, so that's what benchers ask for, when most likely a digital asset management application would suffice. Heck, even all those bit torrent sites can potentially do the job that researchers need.
If you are a coder that is continually asked to provide a LIMS to researchers, or if you are a bencher that is interested in LIMS for data management, here are a set of questions you can ask before going any further down the rough and tumbly road that is LIMS adoption:
- Are you in a regulated environment?
- Are you willing to mandate use of the LIMS?
- Do you have adequate personnel to support the LIMS locally (e.g. do you have a dedicated person that will actively promote the use of the LIMS, train folks, configure the system, do extensive follow-up, etc. Vendor support will only be of help at the start of the adoption process.)
- Do you have a lot of spare cash? (Think 6 figures to buy an initial bank of licenses)
- Will you have a lot of spare cash for the next 3-5 years? (Think 5 figures to keep annual support and maintenance up to date.)