Wednesday, August 12, 2015

3 Ways To Create Smarter, Connected Healthcare

By Heather Fraser, IBM

As the world becomes more connected, organizations will create and capture less and less value in traditional ways.

Emerging technologies have already made a significant impact, creating an economic environment that is far more connected and open, simple and intelligent, fast and scalable.

Consumers want more sophisticated and compelling experiences in all aspects of their lives. Organizations are under intense pressure to catch-up and deliver on a very different set of customer expectations.

These changes are coinciding with the emergence of new ecosystems.

To capitalize on the demand — and not be left behind — in a rapidly transforming environment, organizations must act now to develop ecosystem strategies aligned to their particular environments.

They must challenge and change their traditional organizational approach, make the right connections and drive forward to become the standout success story in this new age of ecosystems.

Executives will be challenged to find new avenues of partnership to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the emergence of new ecosystems.

For healthcare, the ecosystem is the convergence of otherwise separate entities, such as life sciences organizations, providers and payers, as well as social and government agencies. Ecosystems will transform the way the healthcare and life sciences industry operates.

A new report from IBM’s Institute for Business Value, “The New Age of Ecosystems: Healthcare Ecosystem,”provides a roadmap for healthcare organizations to pursue these new types of partnering arrangements.

Partnering in the new age of ecosystems will be critical for those who aspire to be the outperformers of the next decade and beyond. The new economic equation will favor those who embrace collaboration and partnering.

Here are three ways to make the necessary transformation:

1. Change organizational mindsets to create value in entirely different ways. 

Successful organizations will understand how value is created in the ecosystem in which they operate.

With ever increasing pressure on resources, such as funding and skilled professionals, healthcare executives need to identify and exploit pockets of potential value creation, taking advantage of the capabilities and synergies across the ecosystem.

Leading organizations can stay ahead by continuously testing the possibilities for value creation.

2. Build the right connections. 
Explicitly form organizational connections as you promote cultural change, becoming more open and building necessary and relevant connectivity.

No single organization can hope to do everything required in a healthcare ecosystem that stretches across payers, providers, life sciences companies, academia, regulators, public health, social care and, ultimately, to patients and consumers. Successful organizations will understand their capabilities and how to identify and realize synergies with ecosystem partners from both the public and private sector.

3. Make your organization more agile. 
Ecosystems will continue to evolve as ecosystem participants interact with each other, and as ecosystems begin to intersect and intertwine with each other.

The most successful healthcare organizations are likely to be those that evolve with their ecosystems and evolve their roles as opportunities within and between ecosystems evolve.

Cloud and application programming interfaces can make possible dynamic new business models, consumer interactions and organizational flexibility.

The most successful companies will combine technology strategy with business strategy, prototype and test what is possible with new technologies, such as cognitive analytics, and anticipate the unexpected by maintaining technical and operational flexibility.

In the healthcare ecosystem, specialized organizations will be positioned to orchestrate activities to deliver sophisticated and innovative health solutions to benefit patients.

To enable this change, organizations in healthcare and life sciences will need to reinvent their businesses to thrive in the new age of ecosystems.