In 1992, I was working as a programmer at Fujitsu, developing a custom ERP system. We were almost finished when the executive management team discovered SAP and what it could offer our business. Custom development was halted and we opted to deploy the ERP module of SAP instead. It just made sense.
SAP, Oracle, Salesforce and other packaged solutions forced companies to look at their core — what their business is about — and to stop doing things that were not core and were not giving them a competitive advantage or padding their bottom line. This includes in-house software development for common business processes that are already covered by existing B2B software options.
These days, few companies even question whether they need to develop their own software for managing business functions such as Sales and Distribution, Procurement and Human Resources. There are a wealth of options in the marketplace and to devote resources to duplicating them would be both wasteful and foolish.
Currently, we’re living in mobile era – people are using their mobile devices not only to communicate with their friends and family, but also to manage their health, purchase products and services, book travel, access their business systems and a host of other functions. Organizations know that if they want to reach their target audience, they better be able to do it on a mobile platform or their competitors will.
Aware of the need for mobile engagement, healthcare organizations are rushing to develop their own mobile applications to engage with patients, to collect data, to provide tools for patients to manage their treatment, etc. They’re spending millions of dollars and many months to create these applications and then just as much to promote and maintain them.
Why? What has changed since the early SAP days? Why aren’t healthcare organizations deploying highly configurable, customizable solutions for mobile as they did for their other business processes? Imagine the time and money saved.
Systems like Open Health Network will enable any organization in the healthcare ecosystem — major healthcare providers, pharma companies, non- profit patient advocacy groups and others — to have their mobile and web solutions up and running within a week, without any coding. With plug and play modules and customizable features, Open Health Network can not only provide organizations with applications for clinical trials, patient engagement, data collection and information sharing in a very short time frame, but will also save significant initial development and long-term maintenance dollars.
What we have done before in the ERP and CRM spaces can and should be done today with mobile applications. Those healthcare organizations that are tempted to travel back in time and consider transforming into software companies would be wise to remember that the wheel doesn’t need reinventing. Stick to your core mandate and leave the SaaS and the PaaS to the pros.