Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are happening more routinely and quicker than ever in healthcare. These events are extremely complex and challenging for people, process and technology. With the right foundation and operational models in place IT can greatly reduce the risk, cost and complexity of these changes. Executing on a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) are the foundational platforms that enable this.
In 2015 alone there are huge mergers in the payer space with the Aetna purchasing Humana and Anthem announcing they will be buying Cigna. Healthcare systems are heavily involved in M&A as well. This year Barnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Health System in New Jersey combined systems, forming New Jersey’s largest health system. Community Health Systems is spinning off 38 smaller facilities and forming Quorum Health Corporation with the goal of creating a company that can acquire hospitals in small markets. Hundreds of smaller acquisitions never make the news, but they are just as disruptive to those practices and healthcare systems.
These mergers and spins are very challenging for organizations. Supply chains, HR, financial reporting, payer relationships, governmental reporting and all other processes are impacted. What is one key area that underpins each and every one of these operations in a modern healthcare system? You guessed it, IT. Add the complexities of merging disparate systems along with the stress and emotions that can accompany these deals, and you have a recipe for a very complex and risky program. If not executed well the IT mergers can be a source of patient care issues, large scale security risks, large financial impacts and lead to long term challenges in the merging of cultures.
From an IT perspective no matter how large or complex the transaction there are four basic questions that have to be answered for every merger:
- How quickly can I get the newly acquired leadership onto e-mail?
- How quickly can we connect the network to enable the sharing of business critical applications and data?
- How much will the IT integration cost?
- How do I comply with local, state, federal and accrediting organization’s data retention standards?
vCloud for Healthcare – Enabling M&A
VMware is uniquely positioned in technology and healthcare to enable quicker, smoother and more secure transitions for organizations going through M&A activities. The vCloud for Healthcare architecture with its Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) architecture can eliminate physical moves and wrap those efforts into software based activities. These activities are supported by
- Private Cloud
- Hybrid Cloud
- Public Cloud
- Underpinned by Network, Compute and Storage virtualization technologies
M&A activities are disruptive to even the most efficient operationally sound organization. Decoupling IT operations from the physical world, moving the infrastructure management into software allows for flexibility, agility, security, and reporting like we have never had before in the industry.
Over the next several blog posts I will expand on how each of these technologies build a platform that allows for the flexibility and agility needed to take IT infrastructure worries out of M&A.