Embracing change as an ally

There’s a reason for the adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Leading enterprise-wide change is a risky business. But in a world where care models have changed and customer expectations have moved on, it’s even more risky to maintain the status quo.

By Michael Brouthers, Chief Innovation Officer, Health Insurers and Payers, CSC

For an industry that’s only a little more than 50 years old (and CSC was there at the start), IT sure has a lot of legacy. That’s as true for health insurers and payers as it is for any other industry, and it’s no surprise. In a drive to become overall cost leaders, companies moved rapidly to embrace technology, and those technology-led processes have become culturally embedded. The legacy is “the way we do things round here.”

Those embedded technology-led processes are very difficult to move away from. That’s not just because they’ve become the foundation of business success, it’s also because any change to them might upset all your stakeholders – internal and external. No wonder business leaders view enterprise-wide IT change with a degree of fear, irrespective of what the innovative CIO has to say about return on investment.

It’s worth analyzing what the business is fearful of. My experience of working with many health payers and insurers is that two concerns are at play. First of all, no one wants to be responsible for the change that negatively affects the business. Being the department responsible for a dip in revenue or income isn’t something that any of us would want to Tweet about. Secondly, there’s the fear of leading a change that negatively impacts the working lives of hundreds or thousands of your colleagues.

In today’s market context, with big shifts in what healthcare has to offer patients and what they expect from it, I believe you need to turn both of those round. When you do, you get a very different picture. Perhaps what should really be keeping you awake at night is what new systems can do to improve your business metrics, or to provide ways to delight customers. Looking at it from this angle, the only safe path is innovation.

The role and purpose of organizations across the healthcare ecosystem is changing. Increasingly, your ultimate customers know what treatments are available and have a good idea which ones they want. They want to take an active role in their wellbeing, and they want to engage on their own terms using all of the social, mobile and digital tools that characterize the rest of their lives.

In today’s healthcare business world, the status quo is your enemy. Remaining the same is a surefire way of letting all of your stakeholders down. Change is your ally. Only by driving change are you going to deliver all the things that are asked of you.

See related posts:

The Modernization Paradox

COTS or Custom: The Choice Isn’t Yours



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