Mobile // Mobile Applications
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9/11/2008
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20 Great Ideas For You To Steal

Go ahead and follow the lead of these innovative companies, which came up with ideas involving green technology, voice over IP, security, and more.

Business-IT Alignment


T. Rowe Price Framework Links Goals And Technology
T. Rowe Price's new Enterprise City Planning approach to IT creates a framework that links business goals and technology. Several organizational activities either inform or are informed by some aspect of the ECP, including finance and control, portfolio management, project teams, governance, strategy life cycle, and annual planning. The business value lies in the ability to capture future states of the business and consistently manage current activity against them. These projections help IT understand how well their designs integrate with the vision of where the business is heading and what emerging technologies will be most useful in supporting that vision. The ECP also increases awareness of existing systems, which increases opportunities for reuse and expedites decisions on new development. This resulted in approving 35% of projects ahead of schedule.

By providing a reference against which new projects can be evaluated, the ECP has become a key decision-making tool for guiding project design. T. Rowe Price's institutional business unit has allocated the majority of this year's tech budget based on ECP.

Information Management


Ogilvy Gets More Efficient At Moving Huge Files
Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide is highly dependent on its ability to quickly move large digital files around the world, so the advertising and marketing company's IT group introduced Web Transporter 1.0, a desktop digital asset transfer and distribution system. People drag and drop assets onto the Transporter, which delivers the assets in the background, up to a file size of 20 GB. Web Transporter automatically reads off a centralized rules engine and follows full business continuity rules, with meta information from these assets residing in more than one location on the Transporter grid.

Web Transporter ensures that each asset is given a digital fingerprint; if the system recognizes an exact match on the grid database, the file won't upload, thus saving valuable computing resources and bandwidth. The system instead generates a URL based on the existence of the file already online.

Data Protection


Raytheon Takes Three-Way Tack To Prevent Breaches
Raytheon took an approach to protecting its employee, customer, and partner data from would-be hackers and other security breaches that focused on three choices. The company identified all applications containing personal data and either retired the application, removed the data, or encrypted the data fields.

Working with its HR, legal, and security departments, Raytheon drafted a policy establishing the requirements for protecting personal data across all electronic and hard-copy media and provided tools and enablers such as encryption software, search tools, process checklists, and training to more than 70,000 employees and contractors.

In all, it retired 21% of applications, removed personal data in 47%, and encrypted the rest. The company extended the effort beyond its own walls, requiring its suppliers to implement comparable protection.

Within six months, all required employees and contractors had completed training. The content was then incorporated into Raytheon's annual IT security and privacy exam that users must pass to maintain network access. This initiative elevated personal data protection at Raytheon to an industry best practice where electronic data is encrypted both when stored and in transit. All laptops and desktops have whole-disk encryption that protects information even if PCs are lost or stolen. The lessons learned from this initiative are now accelerating Raytheon's new business pursuit of information assurance.

Customer Intimacy


Medication Made Easy With Cigna's Web Tools
Cigna's pharmacy management Web tools help keep its members well-informed about the medications they take. The tools provide personalized pop-up alerts and customized messages relating to medications its members have run searches on, and offer targeted health messages and links that highlight clinical information. A pharmacy Web site features an "Ask a Pharmacist" link where members may submit e-mail inquires.

Cigna's tools help members take their medications more appropriately so they can avoid deteriorating health, more costly hospitalizations, and emergency room visits. For example, members who have asthma may be encouraged to add controller therapy, a nationally recognized treatment for the disease. Cigna demonstrated that people receiving this treatment had 50% fewer asthma-related hospitalizations and ER visits and decreased their need for asthma rescue therapy by 36%. Online clinical outreach, coupled with personalized information, means healthier Cigna members.

Virtualization


UPMC Improves Its Bottom Line--And The Environment
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's most significant gains in IT this year have been made through aggressive virtualization and data center consolidation initiatives. As part of its Environmental Sustainability Initiative, UPMC has realized a 50% productivity increase and cost savings exceeding $22 million through optimization of CPUs, memory, network and disk input and output, and storage across all server platforms. Server consolidation alone is expected to return more than 1,600 feet of space in the main UPMC data center, which eliminates the need for further expansion and significantly reduces power consumption. This streamlined management has allowed the IT organization to manage 150% of the previous capacity with the same staffing and less power use and maintenance, and savings and optimization of resources are expected to continue to improve.

UPMC also plans to optimize and centralize printing, copying, and scanning services, resulting in a reduction in physical printers from 13,000 to about 4,000, and bringing savings of about 30% over seven years.

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