Doug Smith
Doug Smith

Optimizing IT is the first step to freeing up investment for transformation, breaking the logjam of process inefficiency, releasing the anchor of technical debt, eliminating wasted technology spend, and catalyzing an effort of culture change. But where should healthcare IT leaders focus their time and effort on? Here are my top five picks.

Modernizing legacy infrastructure environments

In most cases, the cloud is the most cost-effective and efficient way to modernize infrastructure, and so IT leaders should consider moving as much as they can to the cloud—whether it’s a network or a data center. But more than that, they need to think about modernizing the delivery of services as that is what will matter most to the business. Focus on creating new delivery models that will improve cost transparency and competitiveness with cloud providers.

Rationalizing your portfolio of apps

Applications drive infrastructure, so rationalizing your portfolio goes hand-in-hand with modernization. The more apps are modernized, the more infrastructure can be modernized as well. But first, IT leaders will need to implement effective governance to help bring the right stakeholders together to make hard decisions and execute them.

Improving team effectiveness

Work is always going to change, people are going to grow, and new technologies will present new challenges and opportunities. But shaping how the team operates will be the single most important thing can you do as a leader. Consider establishing an agile academy to help the team combine agile and lean practices in your organization. Strive to become a service-based organization and live the principles and practices of IT service management.

Recruiting new thinkers while developing internal leaders

Consider bringing in experienced IT transformation professionals to lead an academy to develop your internal leaders and contributors. These professionals should have been down the IT transformation road, seen the changes that need to occur, and have a roadmap in their hands. Strive to train your people and give them the tools to be masters of their craft.

Vendor management

Vendor management is a big part of running IT so improving the organization’s ability to manage strategic partners will have a significant effect. Focus on getting or developing the skills the team needs to manage vendors, manage relationships, structure contracts. The team should also focus on adopting best practices from other industries that healthcare has been slow to adopt such as outsourcing and cloud. For example, cloud will require organizations to develop cloud brokering skills and capabilities so that they can move their workloads to and from the cloud. And IT could act as a cloud broker for the organization. 

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Doug Smith
Managing Director

Doug has more than 20 years of experience as an IT leader and strategist. Before joining Wavestone US, Doug built and led the Enterprise Architecture function for McKesson, a Fortune 15 healthcare company. In his role as VP of Architecture and Solution Management, he led a team to develop technology strategies and roadmaps for McKesson’s businesses worldwide. At McKesson, he also served as VP of Data Center Transformation and led a multiyear, multimillion-dollar program to modernize and transform IT infrastructure and support teams. Doug has also served as an interim CIO for several of McKesson’s smaller businesses. Before McKesson, Doug worked for Novant Health as Director of Corporate Applications; and as a consultant for IBM Global Services, where he built an intranet to streamline delivery of content to physicians and nurses.

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