How to Know It’s Time to Replace Your Lab Information Management Software

“Do we need a new laboratory information management system (LIMS) or can we make do with our current system?” This is a question we often hear from labs struggling to make their existing software do what they need.

“Replace the LIMS” is generally not the answer labs want to hear. That’s because a new implementation can be costly and time-consuming. But if the LIMS is no longer fit for purpose or if the LIMS vendor is not supportive, replacing the software (what we call replatforming) might be the only option.

What’s the lifespan of a LIMS?

How many years of use you can get from a LIMS varies greatly, depending on which LIMS you have and how it’s supported. Over the time we’ve worked in the industry, we’ve seen an average lifespan of between five and ten years for fourth-generation (post-1995) systems.

Many growing labs find that they outgrow their current software or have requirements that exceed the capabilities of their vendor or services partner sooner than they expect. That means they’re faced with replatforming.

In some cases, a lab might be able to make do with its current system. However, if it’s a constant struggle to use the software to achieve the desired goals or a lab is looking to grow, it might be time to consider the options.