Mitigating Risks in Testing New Technology

Best Practices When Adopting a New Technology​

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Some of the most important advances in science have been made possible by advances in scientific technology and tools. At some point, adopting a new tool or technology becomes necessary to continue innovating and making new discoveries. All change comes with some risk, identifying those risks and creating a plan to mitigate them can make the transition to a new tool or technology smoother. In this article, we’ll discuss the most important considerations to make when thinking about switching to a new tool or technology, and how you can make confident upgrades that will bring your research to the next level.

Deciding to evaluate a new technology

Making a change isn’t simple, a first step is to reach out to peers and suppliers to learn of potential options and then to align these options with your research goals and/or company objectives before starting any evaluation. Just because something is new, it may not benefit your program or provide a competitive advantage. Even when a new technology shows a great deal of promise, implementation can be difficult, particularly in a controlled/regulated environment that may require an onerous amount of documentation to prove equivalency or even superiority of the new technology compared to the current methods. It can be tempting to not change at all, but eventually, push may come to shove, and you’ll know it’s time to switch when there really isn’t any other option.

In an ideal world, the need for a new tool or technology would be recognized and implemented before your back is up against the wall. Getting your team and your organization on board are critical at this stage. If people have a better understanding of risk and reward up front, then they’ll be much more willing to go through the learning curve required. That’s why the exercise of risk assessment can lead to multiple returns on the time invested in doing it.

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