E Rules

Harnessing technology’s efficiencies

We think of technology as the backbone for creating efficiencies, for doing our jobs better and for making information sharing near-immediate . To this day, it amazes me that I can snap a photo of my daughter and instantly share it with friends and family spread out across the country. That’s just one minor (but life-altering) example of the power of technology.

Yet, for all its benefits, technology is not a panacea. It’s actually a little surprising more computers aren’t hurled out office windows when systems crash, programs lock up or you can’t remember one of the 27 different username/password combinations you have for 85 different programs and websites.

This month, we feature a lineup of articles geared toward improving efficiency and understanding the impact—and limitations—of technology in your organization.

Emails fall into the 80% of what’s considered "unstructured" company data, explains the author of this month’s cover story, "Email Matters." Citing its unwieldiness—and the fact it exposes companies to risk—the author goes on to describe a tool one company used to get email systems under control.

Managers spend up to two hours per day searching for information, he writes, citing a study from Accenture; that’s pure waste! The author describes how Arup, a consulting firm, designed an email management software plug-in to address compliance, improve productivity, eliminate costly project errors and reduce IT storage costs. The lesson? Take a quality assurance approach when it comes to technology.

Technological advancements in the form of software as a service applications (SaaS) are growing in popularity for many obvious reasons, yet this technology poses a particular set of challenges to FDA-regulated industries. In the article "A Tangled Web" the authors detail how important it is to have a handle on these vendors to ensure security, proper backup and communication, among other reasons.

"Pre-selection and ongoing audits are of greater significance to SaaS suppliers than conventional software vendors because greater reliance is placed on a SaaS supplier’s quality systems," the authors write.

And don’t miss this month’s "Innovation Imperative" column, in which Peter Merrill discusses the capricious relationship between technology and innovation. He gives his opinions on which is the cart between the two, and which is the horse.

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

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