Amid the challenges of 2020, two truths became evident: More healthcare organizations have come to terms with the notion that every business is a digital business. This year also accelerated exponential transformation as technology continuously reshapes industries and the human experience. Now, as we begin reimagining our post-pandemic reality, the healthcare industry must learn to become skillful at change and recognize that there is no leadership without technology leadership. For instance, 66% of healthcare executives say they will be in the cloud within the next year, 96% within three years.
Healthcare has been digitally transforming, but now it’s happening at speed and at scale. Among healthcare executives we surveyed, 81% say the pace of digital transformation for their organization is accelerating. In just a few weeks at the beginning of the pandemic, the UK’s National Health Service rolled Microsoft Teams out to 1.2 million employees to communicate with each other and with patients at a distance.1 Overnight, health organizations no longer had walls and care at a distance became the norm. Companies like Amwell scaled up virtual care offerings—and infrastructure—at unimaginable speed to get help to people where and how they needed it.
Digital achievement lags came to the fore as healthcare organizations began to compress their decade-long transformation agendas into two- to three-year plans. With tech transformation happening so quickly, there was no longer time to wait and see or scale incrementally. Healthcare executives (93%) report that their organization is innovating with an urgency and call to action this year.
The gap between healthcare’s digital leaders and laggards grows by the day and waiting it out will only put some further behind. Today’s leaders will prioritize technology innovation in response to a radically changing world marked by virtual care needs, rapidly changing healthcare consumer expectations and a rise in new ecosystem partnerships. To be successful, the healthcare C-suite must adopt a digital-first, people-centric approach across all areas of the organization. They will architect the future and recognize that business and technology strategies are increasingly indistinguishable. This is a unique moment to rebuild the world better than it was before the pandemic.