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Gilead Increases Agility and Data Availability by Migrating Data Center to AWS


Industry Challenge

Global biopharmaceutical company Gilead develops innovative therapies to treat life-threatening diseases. The company needs to support advanced analytics workflows with fast, agile, secure access to critical data to continue to innovate. Meanwhile, the entire pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a digital transformation to overcome new and evolving challenges. Because pharmaceutical companies must be able to bring drugs to market as quickly as possible and with higher efficacy, Gilead needed to continue to evolve its infrastructure to be more agile and accessible while remaining secure.

Gilead Uses AWS to Drive Digital Transformation | Amazon Web Services

We’ve moved about 50 percent of our data center workloads to AWS. Our efforts are democratizing data and analytics across the entirety of that value chain.”

Marc Berson
Chief Information Officer, Gilead

Gilead’s Solution

In 2020, Gilead took a significant step in addressing these challenges by migrating its data center to Amazon Web Services (AWS), reducing the constraints and costs of on-premises data centers. In 2021, the company migrated 50 percent of its data center workloads to AWS. The company accelerated the migration with support from AWS Professional Services, which supplements teams with specialized skills and experience that can help them achieve their desired results. “We chose AWS so our researchers can use the full breadth of AWS services to gain additional insights and enhance security,” says Marc Berson, chief information officer of Gilead. 

Included in the migration are some of the mission-critical systems that Gilead’s business depends on, and the company is prioritizing self-service as part of its continued push for innovation. “Our efforts are democratizing data and analytics across the entirety of that value chain,” says Berson.

Benefits of Using AWS

With much of its data in the cloud, Gilead has unlocked better agility throughout its infrastructure. Now, it can deliver new medicines at enhanced speeds. “We can treat individuals according to their unique needs, not just the disease,” says Berson. The company has also increased its testing and deployment agility in the cloud and improved resiliency, accelerating its disaster recovery protocols. Meanwhile, by using AWS for compute, machine learning, and data storage, Gilead has improved its ability to perform advanced data analysis by working to connect diverse datasets on a single architecture and making them accessible with ease. This availability of data helps make new insights related to diagnosis and treatment possible. Gilead also uses AWS to host all the workloads related to its implementation of SAP S/4HANA, an enterprise resource planning system that helps the company manage evolving business needs and orchestrate the deployment of resources. These systems support supply chain, finance, operations, and commercial sales units across the company. With this foundation in the cloud, Gilead has shortened hardware refresh cycles and gained greater visibility to improve business planning. “The performance, stability, and scale of AWS make it the foundation on which we will complete our enterprise resource planning transformation and become an even more efficient data-driven business,” says Berson. 

Gilead built a trusted, scalable data storage and management infrastructure on AWS, improving the availability of data for researchers and enhancing the agility of its operations. “We don’t want to be in the business of running data centers,” says Berson. “We want to focus on what we do best: researching and developing best-in-class therapies and cures for challenging diseases.”

Check out “Gilead Uses AWS to Drive Digital Transformation” for more information.

About Gilead

Gilead is a global biopharmaceutical company advancing the delivery of medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases. It focuses on therapies in virology and oncology as well as liver and inflammatory diseases.

Benefits of AWS

  • Delivers new medicines at enhanced speed
  • Shortened hardware refresh cycles
  • Reduced the constraints and costs of on-premises data centers
  • Increased testing and deployment agility in the cloud
  • Improved availability of data for researchers
  • Improved resiliency, accelerating its disaster recovery protocols

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