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Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at a Healthcare Organization Pt 4: Culture and Financial Impact

Posted by on September 22, 2011

This is the fourth in a series of posts on how a mid size medical association is implementing emergent collaboration strategies and technologies within its organization.  Part 1 on Business Drivers, can be found here.  Part 2 which covers some aspects of change management is here.   Part three which looks at the roll out and technology is here.  Today we  are going to be  looking at the financial and operational impact on the organization as well as culture challenges that had to be overcome.  The contents of this case study are based on a series of conversations and interviews that took place in July and July 2011, and conducted with an IT professional who leads the Enterprise 2.0 project at a mid-size healthcare organization.  This individual wishes to keep their employer and identity anonymous. All communication took place in June and July 2011.  The full case study can be downloaded for free on the Chess Media Group Resources page.  Several other case studies and resources can also be found there.

The company did not go through too much on the change management side.  The important thing to remember is that new processes will be created and communication will change.  For example, employees always asked when to use email and when to use the collaboration platform.  Therefore, they needed to develop some sort of process that helped employees understand this.  It is important to identify all the changes that will happen within your company and how they will impact those involved.  Another simple example of how they changed a process was through a single-sign-on solution, which no longer required that employees access every technology solution independently and enter a difference username and password.

Within the collaboration platform was an employee directory, which was new.  The company used to have an employee payroll system which employees had to access to get information about someone (which usually just consisted of their contact information).  Now they have rich profiles that are integrated into the payroll system.

On the corporate culture side, the biggest change is that people are now opening up.  More information is being shared, communication is improving, and people are interacting with each other on a level that did not exist previously.  Employees are breaking down silos and reaching out to other departments and groups to share and obtain information and insights.

What Was The Financial Impact?

In the first year, salaries for two to three full time employees were between $125,000 to $150,000. Technology and operating were approximately $75,000 year.  The ongoing costs for one full-time employee is between $75,000 and $100,000 and technology operating costs are approximately $50,000 and.  Broken down, the cost in the first year was $200,000 to $225, 000.  Ongoing costs are between $125,000 and $250,000.  The company did not want to spend a year planning and designing the project; instead, began with a basic implementation that could be progressively rolled out and agile enough to be adapted along the way.

Where Did Budget Come From?

The company did not have the social intranet project in last year’s budget.  However, they did have a general bucket for emergent solutions, which funded this.  They did not do an ROI analysis on this because they felt the project was similar to implementing a phone or email system.  Showing the value is easy; showing the ROI is not possible.  Instead, they focused on showing the business outcomes – ROE (Return on Engagement).

As an example, when they began rolling the collaboration solution, mobile was becoming even more prevalent as was the iPad.  One of the company’s employees posted something in a community asking if mobile technologies can be leveraged for other business functions such as conferences and events.  This was subsequently turned into an initiative across the enterprise with six mobile apps being created.  One of those mobile apps has generated new business opportunities, such as mobile advertising which, as of now has brought in around $50,000 in new revenue, an enhanced user experience and provided more business value.

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