By Omar Rafik, SolarWinds Senior Manager, Federal Sales Engineering
Here’s an interesting article from my colleague Sascha Giese on strategies for digital transformation in the public sector. Our government customers here in the states have similar challenges and should benefit from the discussion.
For an organization like the NHS, digital transformation can present challenges, but the need for faster service delivery, cost management efficiency, and improvements to patient care make the adoption of technology a strategic priority.
Digital transformation refers to a business restructuring its systems and infrastructure to avoid a potential tipping point caused by older technologies and downward market influences. This transformation can also be disrupting, as it affects nearly every aspect of the organization.
For an organization like the U.K. NHS, this can present more challenges than for private-sector businesses.
Outdated infrastructure often struggles to keep up with the amount and type of data being produced, and with the volume of data the NHS processes now being supplemented by data coming in from private healthcare providers as well, the technology deployed could fall further behind. There are also growing concerns regarding management and security of this data.
Because of this, the NHS is in the perfect position to benefit from implementing a digital transformation strategy. No matter how small, starting now could help keep doctors away from paperwork and closer to their patients, which, at the end of the day, is what really matters.
For the NHS to reap the benefits of digital transformation, it’s important for IT decision makers to consider emerging technologies, such as cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and predictive analytics.
Without the knowledge of how and why digital transformation can benefit the NHS, it is understandable that a recent survey from SolarWinds, conducted by iGov, found that nearly one in five NHS trusts surveyed have no digital transformation strategy, and a further 24% have only just started one.
Being aware is the first hurdle to overcome, and the NHS is already on its way to conquering it.
Getting to grips with new technology is always going to be a challenge, and even more so for those handling some of the U.K.’s most-critical data—that of our health and wellbeing—so acknowledging that legacy technology is holding the NHS back means they’re best placed to start implementing these changes.
Next, IT leaders should consider implementing a transformation strategy that supports these goals. Enlisting the right people from within the organization with expertise that can guide the process and implementing the best tools can help enable visibility and management throughout the whole process. Some methods to think about executing first include:
Simplifying current IT: Complexity often leads to mistakes, longer processes, and increased costs across the board.
Keeping IT flexible: Hybrid environments are the norm for many agencies. NHS trusts should consider technology that enables the use of private, public, or hybrid cloud, where data, workloads, and applications can be moved from one platform to another with a simple click.
Maintaining IT resilience: Trusts that need to run 24/7 should use systems that ensure both data availability and data protection.
Creating a transformational culture: Changing the culture starts at the top; if trust leaders are unwilling to consider change, it’s likely that their subordinates are also resistant.
With the right preparation and tools in place, the journey to digital transformation can be a positive experience for improving NHS IT solutions and can yield impressive results.
The healthcare industry can benefit greatly from implementing transformation strategies, so the sooner these can be integrated, the quicker we can see improvements across the board.
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