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TECHNOLOGY & SOFTWARE


MAKE PROCUREMENT PEOPLE-CENTRIC AND


PRAGMATIC With cloud-based technology comes a different approach to procurement. You’re buying a partnership, not just a digital solution, so your requests for information should centre around a vendor’s ability to be an effective partner. Are their values aligned with yours? How will they manage the relationship over the long term? How responsive are they when you need quick fixes?


Because digital transformation is about making life better for your people, it’s important to understand how a vendor considers your end users in their approach. The hospice provider mentioned above was able to invite care staff to early demos and ensure that their feedback was incorporated into the apps they were going to use.


Finally, and this is the pragmatic point, focus on total cost of ownership, not price. There may be hidden extras and additional costs when what you want is a fixed cost that you can control and model into the future.


PLAN FOR A REALISTIC IMPLEMENTATION


Don’t expect everything to be delivered on day one. Instead, take a ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach, where you start from the strategic goal and work back from it to set realistic and achievable milestones. Your vendor needs to be clear about what you want to achieve and ideally, the relationship with them should feel like a joint venture, with joint commitments. Along the way, build in feedback loops so everyone learns from both successes and challenges, and can incorporate the outcome into your solution.


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Being realistic also means remembering that most of your people who work on this project will be doing it alongside their day jobs. So, make sure you have the internal expertise you need where and when you need it.


And for transformations to succeed, strong governance is essential. Projects are oſten held up by decision-making within an organisation. Setting a governance framework that defines who has decision rights will help overcome blockages so the project can move forward.


REMEMBER THAT THE ‘GO LIVE’ DATE IS JUST


THE BEGINNING For sure, celebrate the day when the first piece of a digital transformation slots into place. People’s efforts and patience need to be celebrated and recognised. But remember that the go-live date is just the start – and that when you reach ‘steady state’ with new digital apps and tools, it’s a potential point of failure. To avoid this, make sure you have set out how and when you will start moving the needle towards strategic objectives of cost and time saving and ultimately, better outcomes for residents and patients.


TRANSFORMATION FOR EVERYONE


Residential care providers are not IT specialists, nor do they need to be. But their managers are likely to be skilled at people and process transformation: finding and putting in place better ways of working. With the right partner, today’s cloud technology means that these skills are all you need to achieve a successful digital transformation that ultimately results in better outcomes for your staff and residents.


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