It should come as no surprise that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) keeps pretty busy—after all, they are responsible for protecting the health of the American public by safeguarding human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, cosmetics, all products that emit radiation, and the nation’s food supply. 

The FDA even plays a big role in counterterrorism.  How?  By aiding the development of medical products designed to respond to emerging public health threats—both deliberate ones, and those that may naturally occur.

Now, imagine being the person in charge of the information flow for the entire FDA.  That’s nearly 15,000 employees, plus the vendors and contractors interacting with the organization.

Big job?  You bet.  And there person tasked with doing it is Todd Simpson, CIO of the FDA.

Todd Simpson, Chief Information Officer, Food & Drug Administration

todd-simpsonHe joined the FDA in May, 2015, and before that had more than 24 years of Air Force service, IT leadership, and management experience in both private sector and government enterprises.  Mr. Simpson has not one, but two Masters degrees:  Science in Information Systems (from Drexel University) and Public Administration (from Ohio State).

Taking over the IT for the FDA is a big task for any executive.  A lesson can be learned from the Harvard Business Review, who states the top two things an effective executive must do are asking, “What needs to be done?” and “What is right for the enterprise?”


For Todd Simpson and the FDA, the answer to those questions can be found in one big project happening right now– a cloud-based Document Management pilot.


There are some well-known advantages to a Document Management system:

  • Space-saving electronic document file/repository
  • Sharing across an organization
  • Content security features
  • Better organization, with tags, categories, and metadata to mark files and documents
  • Anytime access
  • Better efficiency—not only because of the organization, but due to instant retrieval with keyword search.


Of course, every business, organization, or enterprise will have their own unique needs, and not surprisingly, the FDA requirements went above the obvious.  Mr. Simpson submitted to—  an online resource highlighting IT vendors and buyers– the current uses against which the pilot will be managed:

  • 5i-solutions-cloud-document-managementCollaboration
    • Both internal and external users able to collaborate with the correct version of any given file. Tracking changes, preserving previous versions, providing alerts, notifications, and feedback capture for collaborators
  • File Sharing
    • Multiple-level features to allow application of access and administration rights by user profile. Monitoring usage of access and content for added security
  • Integration
    • REST architecture for the Application Programming Interface (API) due to its lighter ‘weight’ (as compared to SOAP style) to integrate externally, and a system that will easily integrate with existing systems like Microsoft Office Suite and SharePoint.
  • Mobility
    • Mobile applications supported so that documents can be accessed from any mobile device approved by the FDA.


Cloud-based Document Management systems allow business to enjoy all the benefits of a resident Document Management—instant scan/save, document search, instant retrieval, security features, 24/7 365 access from any device, including mobile— while saving the organization the expensive investment in hardware/server setup and maintenance.  With a cloud-based system data center storage loads can be minimized—while ensuring Continuity of Operations (COOP). 


Your Data, Your Business

Your business or enterprise may not be as big as the FDA, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the same type of organizational advantage.

5i Solutions offers Cloud Document Management Solutions for business, government, and organizations.  5i helps ensure your important data is there for you when you need it, every time, at any time, from anywhere in the world.

Your data is protected and stored in the 5i Cloud Vault, with encryption, network security, access logs, penetration testing, key management—  total access control paired with total security.

And 5i Solutions will tailor the solution to your current system and workflows.

For more about Cloud Document Management Solutions, click here (BUILD LINK TO THE PDF just built).


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