Too Far Ahead of the IT Curve Essay
Too Far Ahead of the IT Curve
Peachtree is a successful and well-established healthcare organization with several institutions including hospitals, medical schools and clinics. With their broad market they have reached, they need to work on their IT system as the current system consumed so much maintenance time. They have several different incompatible IT systems in their organization amongst the institutions. Therefore Peachtree is looking or a reliable IT system to achieve their objective which is delivering efficient and effective healthcare services for their stakeholders. Peachtree has considered several criteria for the new IT system such as flexibility within their network to accommodate all the requirements in different institutions.
As the staff is the end users of the new system, Peachtree will need a system that will be enough for the staff to buy into their work. Considering Peachtree management who wants to change the current situations and alternatives they have for the new IT system should make the organization strong enough to be prepared for future growth. There are also some risks associated with the alternate systems that may be measured for short and long-term growth. Strive to provide efficient and reliable healthcare services is Peachtree mission and objective to satisfy their stakeholders.
Peachtree mission statement includes to ensure the highest level of efficacy, economy, respect for patients and staff and to provide consistency and continuity of care across the entire organization. As we know Peachtree’s current information system does not meet their business needs, every hospital has its own IT infrastructure with no standardization as an integrated organization. IT department is spending so much on maintenance to run the IT infrastructures across all hospitals and clinics, and IT systems does not add value to Peachtree because they are not acting as a single institution with unified records. However, Peachtree’s business goals with respect to IT technology are to ensure quality, consistency and continuity of care, deliver the highest level of efficiency, economy and respect for patients and staff.
Peachtree is a well know company in the healthcare industry since it has been in this industry for 12 years and it is a stable company. Peachtree has achieved a significant company growth in healthcare industry through numerous mergers and acquisition, leading to increasing market share in the healthcare industry. Senior management team in Peachtree is business strategy focus. Staffs buy-in they have embraced the new technology.
Senior management team in Peachtree is very supportive for the change of the new system.
Each facility at Peachtree uses its own IT system; therefore there is no standardization for the IT system. IT personnel consumed a lot of time fixing the system, which have cause future technical innovation become luxury or afterthought. Current IS of the Peachtree does not support present needs and would not be suitable with the future goals.
Implementing the new system, Peachtree will increase the competitive advantage because it will function more effectively, efficiently and economically. Peachtree will be able to improve quality of patient care by having the new system and thus increasing the market share in the healthcare industry.
Loss of competitive advantage
Patients will leave the hospital and turn to other hospital with high quality patient care.
The new system needs to allow the doctors flexibility with patient care, and allow standardization across other areas including patient records. Cost
The new system should be cost efficient by being able to reduce future costs as the system grows and/or is developed. Reliability
The new system needs to ensure that the quality and consistence of patient care is maintained. Scalability
The new system needs to be able to grow with the Peachtree healthcare network as more facility and/or clinics are added. User friendliness
The new system should be easy to use as Peachtree has a wide range of employees from new generation to experienced doctors. Maintainability
The new system should be well structured and documented, changes can be made easily, and errors can be corrected with relative ease. Alternatives and Recommendation
Considering the current situation Peachtree has to make a decision on whether to do nothing, direct replace their infrastructure with an expensive homogeneous standardization system or to implement a phase in conversion using an SOA system. 1)Do nothing and continue with the current IT system
Keeping everything in the way it is could be an alternative; however, with the current situations in Peachtree is not an option. As management already approved the change in their IT system and put aside a budget for a new unified system amongst the organization. Also their IT system is consuming so much maintenance time and is close to fall apart. 2)Monolithic System
Monolithic System which is a mature system allows for standardization; although, it has its limitation for flexibility as it has to carry all tasks within the network. Given the several different demands for each institution, this system may or may not work. It is a proven and reliable system; however, with the different requirements from different institutions monolithic system might not be the best choice. 3)Service Oriented Architecture
The best criterion with Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) system is flexibility which is quite critical for Peachtree situation and future growth. Peachtree specifically needs changes and the different requirements from different institutions so the best criterion with SOA will be its modularity and flexibility. However SOA is still an unproven system in the stage of being adapted by several different parties. Considering Peachtree current situation, my recommendation would be to move gradually in the direction of Service-oriented architecture (SOA). As a service oriented system it would allow Peachtree to replace only the most broken parts of its existing technology base and then prioritize at logical break point. SOA modularity provides a range of standardization choices as needed for the nature of practices in Peachtree and its combined benefits provide strong potential for business integration and flexibility that should be considered in IT systems. Also if with SOA there is a force of standardization for services in Peachtree it might be a good time for them to do that.
Risk Management Plan
As I mentioned under recommendation section, choosing SOA as the new system, Peachtree has to evaluate their current system to see which part should be replaced first. SOA gives Peachtree the flexibility of adapting the different needs within their network; however, they still need to work toward service standardization. Peachtree can gradually employ SOA system at the different institutions and test the new system to ensure the new system is effectively and efficiently in place and communicate throughout. So SOA allows Peachtree to account for future growth and also any setback may result. By linking business process together SOA is intended to reuse business applications by adding adapter to them no matter how they are built. To approach to the new system Peachtree can choose the phased conversion as is gradually increment and is easier to manage, keeping the risk fairly low by spreading the conversion out over time.