Monthly Archives: April 2015

Engaged and Informed: How Increasing Patient Interaction Will Revolutionize Healthcare

Engaged and Informed: How Increasing Patient Interaction Will Revolutionize Healthcare

When hospitals update their procedures, they focus first on securing state-of-the-art medical technology and the latest treatments that provide the best outlook for their patients. While the quality of healthcare achieved with these measures is important, another essential part of hospital care is patient engagement.

New technology allows hospitals to interact with patients in a multitude of ways. Today, from before they even set foot inside the hospital to after they’ve gone, patient to staff engagement increases every step of the way.

The days of moving people in and out of the hospital at a brisk pace are gone in favor of creating a comprehensive experience that involves providing educational materials, confirming appointments across multiple platforms and allowing patients to participate in their care in new ways. This makes it easy for patients to stay connected with the hospital staff for as long as they need, and helps them stay informed throughout the whole process.

Mobile Updates

Multi-platform communications that include mobile technology are a growing trend, particularly for younger patients and the parents of children. This provides the ability to deliver information in a streamlined way to patients via methods convenient for them (along with saving a few trees in the process).

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Incorporating mobile updates also has the benefit of providing new ways to return to old information, such as recorded discharge instructions that patients can return to and hear exactly what the medical professionals recommended word for word.

Enhanced Care through Applications

Enhanced patient care also applies to the procedures performed within the hospitals. New applications allow for constantly updated online medical records that can offer more thorough views of the needs of the patient. Patient-specific information and requirements were previously prone to getting lost in the shuffle when care was transferred from one person to another, but modern applications help prevent these losses by creating documents that can be updated by all staff members.

This can work wonders for medication adherence. By combining these services with applications tied to pharmacies and medication tracking software, hospitals can get a complete view of which prescriptions were filled and how often the patient is taking their medicine. This is a game-changer for hospitals, as poor medication adherence is a common occurrence and one that causes significant redundancy within hospital operations.

While these new technologies offer big advantages in hospital administration, they aren’t without their drawbacks. Adding new procedures can complicate an already complex system by promoting multiple means of communication with patients and within the practice. Hospitals may wish to move toward electronic means of servicing patients, but remain firmly rooted in the traditional processes of paper charts and educational handouts. Medical practices are notoriously slow to change, which creates confusion for patients told to utilize both old and new forms of communication.

Despite the burden that new procedures place on hospital infrastructure, the importance of utilizing the technological advantage to boost patient interaction shouldn’t be overlooked. By using applications that can provide a complete view of the patient experience, hospitals can manage the care of their clients more effectively than ever before. The patients will appreciate this, as they’ll be able to be kept in the loop throughout the whole process and have more confidence that their care is being managed effectively.

Dean Van Dyke

Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsourcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

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Is Mobile Technology a Benefit to the Medical Field?

Is Mobile Technology a Benefit to the Medical Field?

In theory, mobile devices can offer numerous advantages for care coordination by increasing the efficiency of communication between staff and better organization of patient data. However, reliance on mobile technology for communication can have drawbacks, meaning that clinics that consider utilizing mobile devices in their practice should carefully weigh the risks against the rewards.

Streamlining Communication

Interconnectedness is an essential factor in patient care coordination, and mobile devices excel in this department. With a centralized online medical record, all staff members can access and update patient information from any location in the hospital.

This can do wonders for efficiency when you consider the typical transit time of information by traditional methods. A typical prescription may need to travel from the physician to the nursing staff, then to the pharmacy, ending up at the billing department. While this flow on information has been limited in the past by how quickly staff could deliver it, with mobile technology, all departments can access the information instantly via handheld devices.REVDUWPH4K

Documentation

Monitoring and tracking of patient information is greatly enhanced with mobile devices. It’s difficult to monitor the flow of patient care when traditional documents and resources are handed from person to person, but mobile devices provide a platform for all communications to be logged electronically.

This offers many advantages to the practice, not all of which involve mere boosts to the organization. In a business where reliability is a top concern, digital documentation can ensure that there are records of all communications that occur for each patient. This is a big benefit to hospitals that have had information get lost in the shuffle. With easily-tracked, auditable records, clinics can ensure that all communication will be available for review if the need arises.

Using mobile devices can also provide safeguards for HIPAA and patient confidentiality, as communications will be more restricted to devices that only certified staff can access. Traditional methods of documentation can fall into the wrong hands or be viewed by unauthorized personnel, but handheld devices with built in security features guarantee that information is kept confidential.

Mobile Concerns

While there are arguments for including mobile devices in the medical field, the practice of having all staff members utilize handhelds can offer drawbacks.

Due to the private nature of mobile communication, it becomes harder to manage employee efficiency. There have been documented cases in the past of clinics that have had to sanction staff members for inappropriate communications via mobile devices, and while this problem also exists in workplaces without mobile technology, requiring all staff members to use mobile devices constantly will likely increase the frequency.

Reliance on mobile devices also creates the need for a reliable IT network, with software that is compatible across multiple platforms and employees with the knowledge to use it. While some clinics may provide devices for employees, cross-platform functionality can become an issue when staff members bring their own devices from home. Employees unfamiliar with technology may be slow to adapt to the practice, creating a steeper learning curve and more administrative errors.

Mobile technology in the medical field can provide new methods of communication and patient care coordination, though the practice may not be right for every clinic. Hospitals should assess their practices and decide whether the benefits offered by handheld device use outweigh the complication costs.

Dean Van Dyke

Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsourcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

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Software Innovations and the Rise of eDiscovery

Software Innovations and the Rise of eDiscovery

Two issues that remain a big concern for legal firms are data management and workflow. Digital data appearing in online archives is growing fast, requiring a bigger commitment of time to sift through during eDiscovery.

Outdated technologies slow down the discovery process further and cause an unnecessary burden on employee manpower and efficiency. This is one of the essential problems faced by legal firms trying to stay on top of their game, as technological innovation in the past has had little value in the traditional infrastructure.

The Need for Technology

While available data is increasing faster than firms can keep up, this is not the only limiting factor for legal teams that must optimize their discovery. The abundance of information is necessary for firms that require a wide spectrum of data to find literature. While too much information overwhelms firms with inefficient means of searching or those that are understaffed, reducing available information is not the answer.

Instead, firms should focus on new methods to locate the data that they need. In the age of information where anything you need to know is only a mouse click away, it is not about what you know, but how well you can find it.hands-typing-2

Shifting Priorities

Tech corporations like Altep work to change the trend of low-priority technology by creating software that automates eDiscovery to make it streamlined and more affordable. This comes at a critical time in the legal world, as traditional means of data discovery give way to newer, more efficient methods. Using new technology provides firms with options to diversify their discovery and compliance techniques, benefitting both the client and the firm.

Budget Reduction

The increasing need for technology has forced legal teams to update their eDiscovery practices and improve their technology to allow for streamlined searching of information. Many firms find these tech advances cut their costs by optimizing the data discovery process and making it easier to avoid cluttered search results.

In the past, cost has been a limiting factor for firms when implementing new technology, but this drawback diminishes as eDiscovery software developers try to bring down their complexity and cost.

New software can make gathering analytics, evidence synthesis and reviewing of data easier than ever for legal teams burdened with an abundance of work they are ill-equipped to handle.

For these law firms, new discovery technology may be the answer. With simplified, cost-efficient systems that streamline the data searching process, firms can reduce their overhead and save on employee time for faster, more complete service that sets them apart from the rest.

Desh

Written by Desh Urs

Desh Urs brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial, start-up and Global 500 corporate experience in sales, marketing and general management to the customers of iBridge. He has led sales organizations as SVP at Qsent, Inc. and VP at Acxiom Corporation, and has focused on the usage of data in data distribution, direct marketing, fraud prevention, and law enforcement.

As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decision Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.

Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.

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Automation and the Decline of the Semi-Skilled Workforce

Automation and the Decline of the Semi-Skilled Workforce

An idea often repeated when automation of the workforce is proposed is that machines will replace the need for actual people in the workforce. This has been almost universally seen as a bad thing, and while there’s some truth to the notion, other are factors at work that make the outcome less black and white. The premise that artificial intelligence can replace a significant part of the workforce is a hotly debated issue that involves more factors than “machines in, people out.”

Efficiency vs. Adaptability

A cornerstone issue of the argument for automation involves the premise that the increased productivity provided by machines will free up the human workforce to focus on other tasks. This newly accessible manpower will substantially increase the network that can be completed. This contrasts with the typical mindset that appears when “automation” is mentioned, namely that more a more mechanized workforce can only be a bad thing for an economy dependent on an industrious workforce.

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But automation isn’t enough on its own. Machines may be more efficient and work for less than any person would, but assembly line robots can’t synthesize new information and react to new situations.

Adaptability is essential for modern production, which is something beyond the ability of modern assembly line machines. Automation of basic tasks may eliminate jobs, but also creates new jobs from the increased need for technicians able to properly design and create infrastructure for the machines to work with. This is a much more complex process than redistributing a human workforce to different assignments.

Depending on the task, humans can utilize the strengths of mechanized labor to substantially increase their productivity. Combining the innovation of humans and the efficiency of technology can create an experience that is innovate and drives customer demand.

The Employment Outlook

Money is the bottom line for many people when they think about the quality of their jobs, which is unfortunate when you consider that the overall inflation-adjusted earnings of the American workforce have decreased since the year 2000. This doesn’t hold true for holders of PhDs and other advanced degrees, meaning that the income gap between advanced degree holders and the much larger majority of lesser educated individuals is increasing.

The automation of the workforce is partly to blame for this trend. Creating machines to perform basic labor creates jobs for those highly skilled individuals capable of programming and manipulating the technology, but removes the lower skilled positions from the hands of human workers.

The trend developing with mechanized labor is the shift from trained, highly skilled workers performing a service to unskilled, underpaid workers performing the same service alongside a machine that can work for free. This allows for the same basic service to be offered to the customer at a reduced cost. While this sounds like a cost saving measure on paper, the customer experience can often be reduced by the reliance on computerized systems that must follow simple logical strings without the ability to adapt.

The middle class positions of semi-skilled labor are falling out of favor for machines that can work more productively and efficiently. As jobs are taken away by machines, the income from those jobs is moved elsewhere.

While we don’t yet know where that income is going, others are utilizing the income and new jobs will be the end result. This is an important factor to consider when measuring the impact of automation, as the mere removal of jobs doesn’t indicate a weaker workforce.

Sofia

Written by Sofia Johnson, Manager, Software Development

Ms. Johnson, an expert in Project and Resource Management, is the Software Development Manager at iBridge. She brings 11 plus years of IT work experience and business intelligence to provide successful customer engagement of software development. Prior to working at iBridge, Johnson worked as a Senior Engineer for Hewlett Packard and Oracle, and a Hyperion Consultant for IBM and Google.

She is a product expert in enterprise contract management software solutions – diCarta/IBM Emptoris. As part of her previous engagements as a Hyperion Consultant, she made significant contributions to optimize and enhance a BI/Analytic solution for a major food, health and home retailer, LoBlaw, in Canada. She introduced performance tuning and optimization principles to the existing solution by leveraging Essbase cube partitioning techniques and re-writing some of the calculation logic to bring in significant performance improvements. Another significant engagement included automation and enhancement deliveries of a Hyperion analytical solution for a South African multinational brewing and beverage company (SABMiller) headquartered in London, England.

Ms. Johnson is a certified Essbase developer with a Master’s degree Computer Applications from Bangalore University. She has immense passion for travel, reading and working for social causes.

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Data Metrics: The Future of Privacy in a Transparent World

Data Metrics: The Future of Privacy in a Transparent World

Data analytics for human resources is a burgeoning field that has both positive and negative implications for the safety of user data. While data mining of personal information is nothing new, how responsibly this information is handled is essential to the future of eDiscovery.

Analytics and clickstream data are being collected on whoever uses the Internet, providing fractional pieces of your digital footprint to corporations able to pay top dollar for the privilege of its use. While it sounds sordid to imagine your every move being tracked by data collection algorithms that know you as well as you know yourself, the implications of this trend are not always negative.

Applications of Analytics

Companies use these analytics to deliver customized content to your screen and offer suggestions based on your location and previous input, which can streamline the user experience and save time for everyone involved.

Analyzing Business Data

Image Courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Beyond the consumer applications, workplaces have used this data mining to offer predictive insight on employee performance. By monitoring email communications, Internet use and screen tracking, employers can gain a broad view of how employees utilize their time and determine where security threats may lie. A new trend called “sentiment analysis” is also being developed, allowing human resource agencies to monitor the mental and physical health of employees via their communications and increase potential detection of medical issues.

These measures should mitigate risks and losses both from inside the workplace and out, but they may come at a cost. The silent hoarding of personal user data by businesses is often viewed as a draconian practice that brings to mind the Orwellian specter of “Big Brother” having eyes on us. This fear stresses the importance of informed consent and fair use of the data collected.

Regulation and Consent

The legal statutes that dictate how electronic personal information is disseminated vary across countries. These regulations are often blanket clauses designed to protect users with the requirement of informed consent, but in the countries such as the United States, this becomes more complex.

U.S. regulations are often pieced together from various federal and state clauses. The Fair Credit Reporting Act offers protection from unmonitored dissemination of data through a clause of “permissible purposes” that must be provided by third-parties. In 1998, the Federal Trade Commission applied The Fair Information Practice Principles as another method to protect the online privacy of users. These regulations involve:

  • Transparency of record keeping systems and access to information gathered
  • Ability of users to guarantee that information gathered for a purpose is not applied for other purposes without consent
  • Records must be able to be amended or corrected by the users
  • Responsibility of organizations to prevent misuse of data and ensure accuracy

However, this clause only applies to data and may not apply to internal information gathered from online corporations or private businesses. Human resource departments are synthesizing analytics from both internal and external sources to give an overall portrait of an employee’s performance and level of risk.

While this can be effective in offering objective data about the implied efficiency of an employee, minimizing monitoring may be more effective in recruiting ideal employees. With so much of our personal data being available for corporate use in employee profiling, it is essential to carefully manage how these risks are disclosed to employees and how consent is given from everyone involved.

Sofia

Written by Sofia Johnson, Manager, Software Development

Ms. Johnson, an expert in Project and Resource Management, is the Software Development Manager at iBridge. She brings 11 plus years of IT work experience and business intelligence to provide successful customer engagement of software development. Prior to working at iBridge, Johnson worked as a Senior Engineer for Hewlett Packard and Oracle, and a Hyperion Consultant for IBM and Google.

She is a product expert in enterprise contract management software solutions – diCarta/IBM Emptoris. As part of her previous engagements as a Hyperion Consultant, she made significant contributions to optimize and enhance a BI/Analytic solution for a major food, health and home retailer, LoBlaw, in Canada. She introduced performance tuning and optimization principles to the existing solution by leveraging Essbase cube partitioning techniques and re-writing some of the calculation logic to bring in significant performance improvements. Another significant engagement included automation and enhancement deliveries of a Hyperion analytical solution for a South African multinational brewing and beverage company (SABMiller) headquartered in London, England.

Ms. Johnson is a certified Essbase developer with a Master’s degree Computer Applications from Bangalore University. She has immense passion for travel, reading and working for social causes.

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The Danger of Cybercrimes and Confidentiality

The Danger of Cybercrimes and Confidentiality

Cybersecurity is becoming a bigger issue for any businesses that utilizes online storage for client records, and legal firms are no exception. Potential losses in private information can come from within your firm and from outside locations, creating a complex problem to prevent cybercrimes.

The regulations surrounding confidentiality of client information are stringent. Rule 1.6(c) of California’s Business and Profession’s Code state: “A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.”

While this regulation once gave clients confidence in the security of their interactions with legal firms, this shield may not protect firms as effectively as it has in the past. The widespread use of online legal records makes maintaining confidentiality a more complicated process than ever before. Online and mobile networks where lawyers organize files and collaborate on client accounts may streamline the legal process, but also create vulnerabilities where information can be compromised.

These breaches in security can create numerous problems for law firms, including a loss of credibility and client confidence. Agencies and banks that have had their confidential information leaked have taken legal action against firms they feel did not take precautions to prevent the loss of their digital data. The cost of security breaches is high, and highlights the diligence required by all members of legal firms to maintain confidentiality within the firm.Coding

Sources of Security Leaks

Using computer viruses and illegally installed software are both common ways that information is illicitly acquired. These create security gaps that provide a constant stream of passwords and client information to be released without the firm’s knowledge. Many security flaws come from holes in the IT infrastructure that allow malware or hackers to access privileged information from remote locations. Proper training and education on computer use, with a secure IT structure, is essential in preventing these types of attacks.

Security breaches do not always involve hacked client information or illicitly installed malware. Gaps in security can come from something as simple as an email sent to the wrong person, or privileged information being disclosed inadvertently in a lawyer-client interaction. Even leaving a piece of private client information in an area where an unauthorized entity could view it can cause a lawsuit costing the firm tremendous amounts of money.

High Risk Interactions

Overseas travelling can present risks for lawyers. International business transactions can be vulnerable to cyberattacks, as foreign negotiations can create exposure risks that lawyers may view as typical business practices. These also include complex litigation arrangements renowned for being targets of cybercrime, as complexity of accounts creates openings that can be hard to detect.

This is true for legal arrangements involving new patents or trade-specific secrets. Innovation in a business puts a target on your back from other parties who stand to lose money. While it may be beneficial for your corporation to create new ideas, doing so creates incentive for opposing parties to come after you.

While legal firms may have once held a privileged status that set them apart from regular vendors, this may no longer be the case. As the incidence of breaches in cybersecurity increase, clients are less frequently giving firms the benefit of the doubt for confidence and competency. Proper education of IT practices and fostering a “privileged-information” culture are easy ways for a firm to begin the fight against cybercrime.

Desh

Written by Desh Urs

Desh Urs brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial, start-up and Global 500 corporate experience in sales, marketing and general management to the customers of iBridge. He has led sales organizations as SVP at Qsent, Inc. and VP at Acxiom Corporation, and has focused on the usage of data in data distribution, direct marketing, fraud prevention, and law enforcement.

As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decision Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.

Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.Newsletter CTAContract Management eBook CTA

The Streamlining of Meaningful Use Measures

The Streamlining of Meaningful Use Measures

Changes do not always come easy in electronic healthcare reporting, but new regulations for the reporting of Stage 2 meaningful use measures may indicate that the voices of healthcare providers nation-wide are being heard.

Electronic Reporting Standards

On Aug. 29, The Department of Health and Human Services published its final mandate regarding the reporting period for online medical records, remaining firm on a 365-day window for allocation of records. Despite the supposed ease of use and flexibility this method promised, physicians, hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country were vocal in their protestations against this regulation that placed an undue amount of burden on an industry already bogged down with details.

The CEO of The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) Russell Branzell noted that if more flexibility could not be brought to the meaningful use program in 2015, the future of the program itself was in jeopardy.

Young Female Doctor Holding A Tablet

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A Welcome Change

Somebody out there was listening, as The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that the reporting window for meaningful use measures in 2015 would be reduced to a 90 day period, ostensibly to reduce the complexity of online reporting and ease the burden on healthcare facilities.

This announcement was met with great applause from a multitude of leaders in the medical IT industry, including CIOs from CHIME, The Mayo Clinic and other prestigious medical colleges across the country. The news not only promised a smaller reporting window to allow greater flexibility for physicians to participate in the meaningful use program, but was also an indicator of an encouraging trend within the industry.

“… I think it reflects that the voices of CIOs and others in the industry are being heard […] It reinforces that we need to never give up. We need to have a voice,” said Sue Schade, CIO of University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers.

Government regulations have been notoriously slow to adapt in the past, so the news that CMS would amend its reporting standards based on the feedback provided by healthcare professionals is a significant change. Knowing that CMS and other government medical organizations are considering their opinions, physicians and other professionals are given confidence to continue participating in the program and to have faith that their issues can be addressed should a new problem arise.

The Future of Electronic Health Records

While still in its infancy, electronic healthcare reporting is a process that must be developed by communication between both the sponsors and the users. While there will be many more bugs that must be worked out of the system, the willingness to adapt and make concessions on both sides is an encouraging step in the right direction. With the new reporting standards in place, managing electronic health records will become simpler and more convenient for all involved.

Dean Van Dyke

Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsurcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

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At Your Own Peril, Leave Your CIO Out of Your M&A Team

At Your Own Peril, Leave Your CIO Out of Your M&A Team

In the information age, it would seem unthinkable that organizations considering mergers would barely consider the expenses that integrate IT systems, yet this is often the case. With technology a critical part of business in today’s market, what stops law firms from making IT integration a priority during a merger?

An Organized Merger

Whether technology is included or not, combining firms can be a logistics nightmare for communication and productivity. While a merger may succeed in the long term, it can cause serious disruptions in the streamlined infrastructure of two organizations.

Fortunately, there are ways around getting bogged down in the mire of conflicting systems and redundant corporate policies.

Communication

An important aspect of any merger, communication between the two firms is essential during the transition period to increase cooperation and reduce stress along with the associated losses in productivity that come with it.

Having a structured organizational system where jobs are delineated will allow employees to know where they stand with their new positions. Redundancy is a major concern when combining two firms, as both will have employees and policies in place bound to conflict. Being vague about operations or employee expectations will do no one any favors, and can be a serious detriment to productivity and morale.6477358187_dbfa1087fb_b

The IT Influence

Information systems are not placed high on the list of merger priorities. Firms will typically focus on homogenizing corporate culture and recognizing potential conflicts, but will fall short in IT integration. Despite the essential nature of IT support for client interactions and inter-office infrastructure, IT is usually considered only as afterthought.

This can be a challenge for administrators that need time to integrate two competing systems, or adapt pre-existing systems to new protocols. This would be a simpler process if IT protocols were consistent across firms, but often one system will be given higher priority over another, usually with the larger firm overshadowing the smaller.

While it makes sense to have the system with the larger resources take the lead, this strategy can cause well-functioning operating systems being stamped out by larger corporate policies. This might not cause problems in the long run after the larger infrastructure is in place, but that is small consolation to the clients whose business is disrupted by a system overhaul.

Whether one system takes over another or the two networks are fused equally, many costs are associated with integrating two separate IT firms that must not be overlooked when discussing a merger.

Critical Costs

There are several important factors to consider when estimating the financial and personal burden of combining tech systems. Budgets of both firms should be considered to know where investments should be made. Ideally, the firms being merged would have a similar infrastructure and tech goals to optimize where funds would be distributed.

It is common for firms on the edge of a merger to have reduced IT staffing; another unfortunate by-product of the lack of IT prioritization. Knowing which personnel are essential to the infrastructure is key in keeping costs down, which is why include IT in the actual merger discussion from the beginning.

With the heavy burden they have to bear, any firm considering a merger must not make the mistake of bringing IT on board too late, which can lead to ineffective allocation of resources and poorly integrated network systems that disrupt the flow of business.

Desh

Written by Desh Urs

Desh Urs brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial, start-up and Global 500 corporate experience in sales, marketing and general management to the customers of iBridge. He has led sales organizations as SVP at Qsent, Inc. and VP at Acxiom Corporation, and has focused on the usage of data in data distribution, direct marketing, fraud prevention, and law enforcement.

As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decisions Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.

Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.

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