Brexit vote leads the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam
The shock of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has sent shockwaves through businesses across the world. To counteract any challenges surrounding the vote, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are set to move to Amsterdam in a 16-month relocation project.
Established in London in 1995, the move will see the majority of its 900 employees move to the Netherlands, and see it finalise its operations in London by March 2019.
The decision has been taken by the EU 27 Member States in the margins of the General Affairs Council (Art. 50). The organisation has also decided to relocate the European Banking Authority to Paris, further undermining London’s position within the financial market.
“Amsterdam ticks many of our boxes,” EMA Executive Director Guido Rasi explained. “It offers excellent connectivity and a building that can be shaped according to our needs. I am very grateful that the Member States took into account our requirements for business continuity and gave priority to the protection of public and animal health.”
- Amazon shares could climb 20% if the company joined healthcare industry
- Microsoft Health: The healthcare revolutionaries
- How Allscripts is driving the future of healthcare IT
Beating over 15 states to house the EMA, the relocation will no doubt impact on the current delivery of new drugs to enter the European market. Employees who choose to resign in essential niche areas could also create delays in ongoing operations.
“I think people are under-estimating the scale of the challenge in moving the agency,” commented Steve Bates, CEO of Britain’s BioIndustry Association. “The EMA took several years to move a few hundred metres in London. In fact, that took longer than the time we have left between now and Brexit.”
The agency is also tied into renting its London facility until 2039, costing approximately €400 million, creating further complexities.
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”