Sharon Cooper1

British Medical Journal CTO Sharon Cooper says Goolge Apps is saving the British Medical Association subsidiary £135,000 a year in software licensing fees and hardware costs, and 126,500 hours in productivity.

Cooper said: "It wasn't always that way - until our recent effort to make our business more inherently digital, technology used to hold us back.

"Our antiquated email and calendars randomly deleted appointments, which caused us to miss crucial senior sales meetings, delaying projects and even derailing sales opportunities - issues that we estimated cost £30,000 a month of lost revenue."

Because inbox storage was so limited, staff forwarded emails to their personal accounts, she said. "We had no BYOD policy, so we relied on company-provided hardware, and sent UK PCs out to staff in India."

The ongoing investment in cloud-based technologies lead to a BMJ decision last year to invest in Google Apps. "We now work together more seamlessly and share ideas more readily, whether we're brainstorming around a ping pong table in our London office or meeting via Hangout with a colleague working from India," said Cooper, who featured in this year's edition of the CIO 100.

The London developer team uses an always-on video connection through Chromebox and Hangouts to connect with team developers in Cardiff, "so we feel like we're one team in a single office, despite the distance between our desks", Cooper said.

Teams throughout BMJ coordinate meetings using Google Calendar, create agendas in Docs, and host Townhalls for the whole staff using Hangouts On Air. That way, anyone can join in whether they are in Portland, Oregon or Dubai. "Getting all 500 employees involved requires zero cost and minimal planning or technical expertise", said Cooper.