Big data analytics and business intelligence tools are a top priority for CIOs in the healthcare industry, says data from a Harvey Nash and KPMG survey, as organizations seek to improve efficiencies and generate actionable insights for decision-making in an increasingly IT-driven environment.
More than half of CIOs are planning to increase their spending on health IT over the next twelve months, and a further 35 percent are likely to maintain their current operational budgets, found the poll of healthcare executives from more than 190 global organizations.
Healthcare CIOs are significantly more interested in expanding data analytics infrastructure than their counterparts in other industries, where an average of just 45 percent of executives are likely to devote more money to IT tools.
In the United States, healthcare providers are likely opening their wallets in anticipation of value-based care initiatives, which demand a heavier reliance on data analytics to manage the health of populations and trim unnecessary costs from business processes to cushion the impact of the pay-for-performance shift.
“There is little doubt that our industry is changing rapidly,” said Dr. Jonathan Mitchell Non-Executive Chair, Global CIO Practice, Harvey Nash. “In the last two years, IT leaders have become newly invigorated. The days of budget cuts and staff losses are well behind us.”
“CIOs are experimenting with innovative apps and some are even changing long-established core business models. Everyone it seems is now focused on finding ways to give their organization an edge in an increasingly challenging business world.”
Around two-thirds of respondents said that increasing operational efficiencies and improving business processes are critical priorities for their organizations, while 60 percent are aiming to improve the way they deliver business intelligence and analytics reporting to members of the team.
CIOs are using a number of strategies to accomplish these goals and use their limited resources wisely. More than half are adopting agile methodologies to develop new initiatives, and just over 40 percent are forming strategic partnerships to supplement their activities.
Forty-one percent of healthcare CIOs prefer to buy health IT and big data analytics tools rather than build them in-house, a trend likely fueled by a growing desire to implement standards-based technologies that promote interoperability and health information exchange.
Cloud-based offerings, especially software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools, are particularly popular with CIOs as they attempt to leverage their big data assets for business intelligence. Twenty-eight percent have already invested in SaaS products, and 43 percent are likely to sign up with an SaaS cloud vendor within the next three years.
Infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service offerings may also start to gain traction by the end of the decade, with just under 30 percent of CIOs indicating that these strategies may soon find a home in healthcare.
Cloud technologies offer several advantages over server-based tools, respondents said. Improved availability and resiliency (45 percent), improved agility (34 percent), and simplified management (29) were among the top five reasons to shift to the cloud.
Thirty-five percent of participants believed that a cloud-based offering was the best solution available on the market, while 28 percent think cloud solutions allow for quicker development and more innovation.