With billions at stake in new product development, acquisitions and alliances, IBM's Strategic IP insight Platform (SIIP) delivers transformative results, helping clients gain strategic insights. Applied to the pharmaceutical industry, SIIP accelerates the discovery of information to more quickly and accurately answer questions such as: which chemical compounds are good for which targets? What's the likelihood this compound will succeed? What diseases could be treated with this target? What are the candidate drugs that can be re-purposed for a given disease? Applied to drug discovery in life sciences, the SIIP platform leverages and integrates a wide range of public and private content, rich set of deep analytics and a massive-scale architecture to improve patient outcomes. SIIP was born prior to the proliferation of the many big data tools available today. We describe what tools and architecture decisions have been helpful in this first phase of solution development, and what tools and architectures we are relying on as we raise our own standard for performance and service delivery. © 2014 IEEE.