Turning risk mitigation into digital transformation opportunity

According to IDC, 60% of the top 1,000 Asia Pacific organizations will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy by the end of 2017. The transformation journey for Ryman Healthcare, a leading retirement village operator in New Zealand, started two years ago to mitigate risks of documentation errors. The company knew that it was risky to depend on manual and paper-based documentation especially when it comes to patient care. Ryman Healthcare also lost its head office in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake – so the company had good reason to be nervous about how it stored its information.


Its solution was to digitize its business processes so they could be captured and analyzed more easily, cutting down any possible errors in its interactions with older people under its care.

This single digital project provided the fuel for Ryman Healthcare to use data in transforming staff productivity and ultimately, enhancing customer experiences. Ryman Healthcare is working to develop myRyman, a tablet-based nursing app running on Microsoft Surface devices and Azure cloud services.

The app will help handle the staff roster, let staff communicate with one another and check which residents they are expected to see on the day. When it is complete, myRyman will also provide transparency to residents, giving them an opportunity to understand how Ryman Healthcare staff are working around the clock to provide the best patient care.

The drivers for transformation

Data is the new currency for forward-thinking organizations to enable business innovation. While harnessing data through technology has been around, new cloud and data technologies have allowed for new possibilities in data insights. With the right tools, insights can come from anyone, anywhere, at any time. When that happens, organizations develop what Microsoft describe as a “new data culture”.

For a new data culture to happen, organizations need to recognize the new opportunities for harnessing unprecedented insights that can be derived from data collected in this digital world.

Ryman Healthcare could have assumed that seniors under its care were not tech-savvy. What it found, however, was that residents took to tablets quickly and were keen to use them.

Data-driven transformation, made possible by the Microsoft Cloud

At the core of what Ryman Healthcare is driving is to get better insights. As it digitizes processes and its interactions with seniors in the villages, lots of useful insights are being generated and analyzed on Microsoft Azure, forming the foundation for the company’s business transformation.

Although the initial aim was to solve one business problem – mitigating risks – the efforts have since changed the way the company does business as well. In future, as it unearths more insights from its data, there could potentially be more benefits to be reaped.

Three ingredients for success

  1. Change from the top –

It is important to have someone lead the effort, bringing various departments on board from the start. Challies took on that role in Ryman Healthcare, where his job as managing director included pushing everyone – the operations team, clinicians and IT department – in the right direction.

  1. Democratization of data and services –

Empowering users will lead to faster adoption and more meaningful uses of data and digital services. At Ryman Healthcare, nurses can now add their names to a roster instead of waiting to be assigned by a manager.

  1. IT is an enabler, but not necessarily a driver –

One barrier to Ryman Healthcare’s efforts were IT professionals. Changing things was too risky and it often just could not be done. IT consultants can help, but ultimately, the people in the departments and functions have to drive these digital transformation projects.

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