Verizon/HBR tech report: Too many hospitals are still in watch and wait mode

Robert Frost said, “Freedom lies in being bold.” For hospitals, being bold may be the key to survival as well, according to a new report from Verizon and Harvard Business Review. “The Digital Dividend: First Mover Advantage” surveyed 672 business and technology leaders from around the world. There were 74 healthcare respondents in that group. […]

Robert Frost said, “Freedom lies in being bold.” For hospitals, being bold may be the key to survival as well, according to a new report from Verizon and Harvard Business Review.

“The Digital Dividend: First Mover Advantage” surveyed 672 business and technology leaders from around the world. There were 74 healthcare respondents in that group. Based on their attitude toward technology, companies were put into one of three groups: pioneers, followers and cautious companies.

During a conference call Monday, Angelia Herrin, a research director at Harvard Business Review, said that the pioneers are launching more products and expanding more than companies in the followers and cautious groups.

“Twenty percent of pioneers had experienced 30 percent growth, which is really significant,” Herrin said.

IT Pioneers — companies that believe strongly in the benefits of adopting new technologies and that pursue first-mover advantage — are more likely to lead in both revenue growth and market position. They adapt more easily to new ways of doing business and are transforming all aspects of their businesses faster than other companies.

Many executives interviewed for this research described the need for constant innovation and a culture of change in order to stay one step ahead. The main reason given for not adopting new technologies was cultural resistance to change within the respondent’s organization. While legacy technology is an inhibitor for many established companies, entrenched ideas about how the organization works — legacy culture — can be just as limiting. Business leaders must address both.

Abbie Lundberg, a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, listed three factors that will help followers and conservative companies use new technology more consistently and effectively:

  • Be flexible and adapt to new ways of doing business.
  • Form Strong collaboration between IT and lines of business.
  • Develop the ability to envision new ways of doing things.

Lundberg said that pioneers encourage participation from employees on all levels by using intranets, voting on ideas, and moving quickly to test new ideas at low investment levels.

Herrin pointed out that the pioneers are not using tech to do the same old things faster and better but instead are finding new ways of doing business altogether.

“The pioneers are changing everything about the way they operate, both in terms of what a company is and how it operates,” she said.

These 9 charts are from HBR’s “The Digital Dividend: First Mover Advantage” report and Verizon’s analysis of Healthcare Sector responses of this report. The five blue charts are from the digital Dividend report and the others are from the healthcare analysis.