Components of Successful Digital Transformation (DX)

Murray Izenwasser
October 30, 2017

Today’s is the third blog in our series gleaning insights from the #HITsm chat hosted by our own Murray Izenwasser on 3/10. So far, we’ve discussed definitions of Digital Transformation in healthcare, and addressed the keys to a successful DX project. Let’s turn our attention to the most important components of a Successful Digital Transformation (DX) effort, & why they matter. We suggested several factors to get the discussion rolling, including interoperability, the IoT, analytics, mobile, and the cloud. But participants cautioned not to be seduced by a method. Here’s where to focus your energy instead.

Identify the Problem

The Healthcare IT professionals on our chat were quick to point out that we sometimes put the cart before the horse when it comes to successful DX. With so many powerful digital technologies out there, it’s easy to create an IoT project, or a mobile project, without ever actually getting to the bottom of what users need. That’s where any good DX project should begin– with a problem that needs to be solved. Starting with the solution is unnecessarily limiting, and may cause us to overlook innovative possibilities. The vehicles we use to solve the problem may not look anything like they would in the case of a “solution-first” project. The rest is just details.

Use Your Analytics

One area where we often neglect the technology we do have, however, is data and analytics. With Big Data at our fingertips, “gut” solutions aren’t necessary. They might even be a liability. Because of this, if you haven’t taken a serious look at consolidating your API ecosystem, now might be a good time. As Murray pointed out, we’ve saved clients millions of dollars a year through consolidation projects, but data consolidation also saves you time, and gives you a 360-degree view of your organization. Obscure patterns will come into focus, surprise you, and redefine the problem you’re trying to solve. So leverage the data available to you to help you truly understand your users and what they want. Analytics should be the underpinning that justifies decision making.

Strategy Over Technology

There’s another reason to avoid over-reliance on specific technology as the foundation of a DX project. It’s too easy to get stuck in a rut where Digital Transformation is an event, rather than a process. DX doesn’t occur in one big push. It’s never over. It’s a cycle of continuous improvement. An organization that builds their strategy through a series of smaller, ongoing efforts will outpace one that thinks of DX as something they’ve “done.” And short term strategies that result in ongoing momentum have another benefit, as well:


In our last blog, we talked about the importance of people to any true Digital Transformation initiative. We also talked about how our organization’s culture can get in change-makers’ ways. A digital strategy, one that yields continuous improvement, is the cure. It generates a cultural shift– one most organizations direly need. Momentum creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Employees and patients are more likely to adopt new workflows and technologies. The more they do, the easier it is for your most innovative talent to drive change.

Focusing on technology over outcome is like examining someone’s fingers when you should be looking at where they’re pointing. True transformation is what occurs when you define what’s possible based on what’s needed.

Murray Izenwasser

ABOUT Murray Izenwasser

Murray has been working on digital, web, and mobile based systems, content, platforms, technologies and marketing since the mid-‘90s, and is a recognized expert in online, integrated, and social marketing techniques. His clients over the years have included some of the world’s largest and most recognized brands. Prior to AAJ he co-founded and ran a successful digital marketing and technology agency for 7 years, and has held senior positions with some of the world’s largest digital agencies, including both Razorfish and Sapient. He is a frequent speaker at both marketing / technology and industry events.

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