March, 2015
In order to improve services, keep costs in check, and report effectively, constituent and patient-oriented organizations are
often forced to rely on disconnected, outdated technology. When top performers choose to replace or upgrade their
solutions, what aspects of cloud solutions do they use as selection criteria?
 Nick Castellina, Research Director,
Business Planning and Execution

Time for a Change

This report examines constituent or
patient-centered organizations. These
include the 31 healthcare, government,
and education organizations that
participated in Aberdeen's 2014
Business Management and ERP
Benchmark Survey.

Constituent or patient-oriented industries, such as government
and education institutions or healthcare providers, are faced
with a unique set of challenges that are often exponentially
increased due to inadequate technology infrastructures. These
organizations must optimize their labor costs, improve the flow
of service, maintain compliance, and increase their ability to
utilize assets while keeping costs low. Oftentimes, these tasks
are managed in completely different business systems to
manage an organization's finances, supply chain, purchasing
and workforce that may not be integrated effectively.
Unfortunately, Aberdeen's 2014 Business Management and ERP
Benchmark Survey found that only 38% of constituent or
patient-centered organizations have integrated business
systems that serve as a complete and auditable system of
record. This can cause major problems such as poor service, high
costs, and inaccurate, fragmented data that is difficult to use
and support. On the other hand, Best-in-Class organizations are
49% more likely than All Others to have these integrated

Therefore. budgeting. In fact. webbased systems that support self-service processes for staff.aberdeen. many of these same problems can persist. For this reason. 65% of ERP implementations in constituent or patient-centered organizations are over eight years old. Managing this type of landscape can be expensive. The best way that this can be accomplished is through the implementation of an end-to-end. some administrative systems may become obsolete. this could mean consumer-like. For example. AP/AR. another 38% of constituent or patient organizations plan to implement this capability in the near future. Regardless of the exiting technology unsecure. www. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution to integrate core back office functions across accounting. unsupported. Implementing a new solution or upgrading an existing one is a way to ensure that technology is up-to-date and effective. supplier relations. On the other hand. But even with outdated ERP. it becomes difficult for IT staff to ensure that all technology is up-to-date. and unable to mesh with other new technologies. constituents and suppliers. inflexible. both options would provide the organization with an end-to-end solution. or upgrade existing technology. As a result. This leaves organizations with a choice: replace the technology they . those that are not the Best-in-Class are more likely to be two or more releases behind. When managing multiple systems. old systems can cause problems. the Best-in-Class organizations are more likely than All Others to take advantage of available upgrades to their business systems (Figure 1). personnel and benefits administration. purchasing. Ideally. Stay On Top of Things Best-in-Class organizations understand the pitfalls of obsolete technology. and payroll.

etc. n = 31 Source: Aberdeen Group. the number one reason that these organizations cited for upgrading their solutions is the need to take advantage of new functionality (Figure 2). This could mean emerging technologies such as social or mobile.aberdeen. Figure 2: Why Upgrade? Want to take advantage of new functionality 64% Vendor no longer supports old version 36% Old version is incompatible with emerging technologies (i. mobile.e. August 2014 So why would a constituent or patient-centered organization choose to upgrade their existing solutions? When polled. or simply new best practice workflows and processes supported in the most current release.Figure 1: The Best-in-Class Stay Updated 50% Implemented on latest release 31% 35% One release behind 27% 6% Two releases behind 12% Best-in-Class All Others 3% 7% Three or more releases behind 0% 20% 40% 60% Percentage of Respondents. social.) 36% New version is more flexible 29% Performance of old version is inadequate 29% 0% 20% 40% Constituent or Patient Oriented 60% 80% Percentage of Respondents. August 2014 www.. n = 201 Source: Aberdeen Group. features related to maintaining compliance to new regulatory .

This is important for both commercial and federal healthcare organizations that are tasked with sharing data with outside healthcare systems. Unsurprisingly. managing flexible labor.But it's about more than just providing new functionality. the reasons chosen are similar to the reasons that organizations upgrade (Figure 3). upgrading is essential when the existing technology versions can no longer support the organization or agency. enhanced views into executing workflows across the entire business process. For constituent or patient-centered organizations. upgrading brings more flexibility. Again. Disconnected systems that were created before these requirements became essential are inadequate and lack the transparency afforded with upgraded technology. On the other end of the spectrum.aberdeen. This includes better tracking of costs. avoiding readmissions penalties. and changing reimbursement initiatives. and replace their ERP because it lacks features. and more robust reporting. August 2014 www. Ultimately. Constituent and patient-centered organizations upgrade their ERP because their existing solution is inadequate. or in order to provide mission relevant information to program managers. This includes the ability to alter processes to maintain compliance as well as the ability to connect with other organizations in order to provide clinically relevant information to care providers. improving patient outcomes. n = 31 Source: Aberdeen Group. some constituent or patientcentered organizations may choose to replace their existing technology environment. Upgrading solutions can ensure that these new processes are supported and that the organization can focus on patient care. among other reasons. and it is very likely that they are inflexible to . it's all about a lack of technology that can support the needs of a constituent or patient-centered organization in the current environment. Figure 3: Why Replace? Obsolete technology foundation or infrastructure of ERP system 35% Lack of features 29% Constituent or Patient 24% Oriented Cost of maintenance and support 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Percentage of Respondents.

Why is that? Figure 4: Shifting Focus to the Cloud Leaders Percentage of Respondents. an organization is going to end up with a solution that can change the way the organization works. In fact.Either Way: Consider the Cloud Whether replacing. For constituent or patient-centered organizations. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of solutions in constituent or patient-centered organizations are hosted by the software vendor. Leading organizations with over 1. solutions delivered in the cloud can be an attractive option. This is a perfect opportunity to reassess how the technology is delivered and supported. or implementing a new ERP solution. While this is still an emerging trend. When faced with cost constraints and limited IT www. upgrading. Unsurprisingly. the top reason is the lower total cost of ownership. cloud technology is an emerging trend for organizations of all types.000 employees are more likely than All Others to deploy their ERP solutions in the cloud (Figure 4). constituentcentered organizations are actually more likely to have implemented their solutions in the . n = 74 60% 50% 40% 44% Followers 54% 48% 39% 30% 20% 10% 0% On Demand / Software as a Service (SaaS) / Cloud Traditional licensed on premise Source: Aberdeen Group. August 2014 There are many reasons that constituent or patient-centered organizations cite for implementing their solutions in the cloud (Figure 5).

as well as the and reference the following information: #6572 and "Web Security in the Cloud: More Secure! Compliant! Less Expensive!" www. n = 31 Source: Aberdeen Group. Cloud solutions can continually provide the latest functionality and user experience trends. This leads to one of the biggest benefits of cloud solutions for constituent or patient-centered organizations.¹ 59% Ease of use 48% Ease of implementation 38% Ability to scale solution 34% Lower risk 34% Reduces the cost and effort of upgrades 31% 0% 20% 40% Constituent or Patient Oriented 60% 80% Percentage of Respondents. If you would like a copy. which are actually more secure. Figure 5: Why Cloud? Lower total cost of ownership on average.staffs. Cloud solutions. Aberdeen’s Web Security in the Cloud: More Secure! Compliant! Less Expensive! found that. August 2014 But selecting a business solution should never rely simply on ¹ This report is no longer available on Aberdeen. the ability to be constantly updated with little disruption to the organization. The organization can simply focus on serving its constituents or patients. and can help to improve service quality and cost controls. they want easy to use solutions that can support new and changing business models and . This is accomplished through more robust solutions that can improve visibility into financials and spending as well as staffing and supply needs and costs. can integrate with other organizations. please email member. provide an attractive option. constituent or patient-centered organizations want to look to solutions that require lower capital investments and allow them to rely on the resources of the software vendor to manage the IT infrastructure and No longer will the organization have to rely on a technology environment with varying components or disparate ages. on-premise solutions had 11 incidents of data loss or data exposure in the previous 12 months. compared to 6 incidents for those that are cloudbased. For constituent or patient centered organizations.aberdeen. Security is extremely important for protecting information in government organizations. and letting the software vendor handle the hard parts of supporting the technology. .But ultimately. August 2014 For example. the benefits of any technology come from the ways in which organizations can be improved and transformed through the capabilities contained within that software. frequently updated.6 times as likely to have real-time visibility into the status of all processes. due to having one complete system of record that can be accessed from anywhere. end-to-end. Note that 83% of organizations with cloud ERP enable decisionmakers to drill down to individual transactions from summary data. Therefore. Figure 6: Improved Service and Administration with the Cloud Cloud On-premise Percentage of Respondents. n = 74 120% 100% 80% 100% 83% 80% 56% 60% 40% 29% 20% 67% 50% 50% 35% 35% 40% 20% 0% Real-time visibility Decision-makers A fully integrated view of all can drill down into status of all constituent or from summary processes patient data to information transactions Unified view of labor costs and workforce data Automatic Workforce scheduled based notification based on defined on patient or conditions constituent demands Source: Aberdeen Group. including spending for contract labor  Identify supply costs. In the case of cloud ERP. including non-PAR purchases  Track receivables  Monitor claims and service requests  Maintain and utilize assets more effectively www. the organization can:  Identify labor costs. This visibility can impact a constituent or patient-centered organization in many ways. useable software brings capabilities that can help to improve constituent or patient-centered organizations (Figure 6). organizations with cloud solutions are 2.

This technology can provide the foundation for a successful constituent or patient-centered organization. For example. But really. For example. public sector and healthcare institutions with cloud ERP saw a 38% improvement in time to decisions over the past year as a result of their solution. nonemergency (311) or tax-related services in real-time. the workforce can also be scheduled based on patient census and acuity. can patients or constituents be serviced more effectively and efficiently. Aberdeen has uncovered improvements in a variety of metrics (Table 1) . and is decision-making more effective? In the case of constituent and patient-centered organizations with cloud ERP. these capabilities enable an organization to work in a more holistic manner. For example. supply and financial data.Additionally. can costs be contained. www. Lastly. With a unified workforce. immediate notifications can ensure that the organization as a whole is managed in an agile manner. The Benefits The success of an ERP implementation really comes down to whether or not the organization is able to use the emerging technology to induce improvements to the organization. And since this information is integrated with other operational data. or improve constituent engagement in government or education. from workforce to finance through managing patient care needs. real time visibility can help to provide insight into patient or constituent information. Another example would be to track citizen requests for first responder. smarter decisions can be made in relation to staffing. this could help organizations to improve Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores in healthcare. Service can become more effective.

As a result. www. The goal is to provide a single solution that enables improved processes while providing security and reliability at a lower . this will require organizations to either upgrade or replace their existing business solutions. A modern ERP system that is updated with the latest advances in best practices and supports constantly changing regulatory mandates is the solution. ERP delivered in the cloud is an attractive option for constituent or patient-centered organizations.aberdeen. technology is outdated and disconnected. not disruptive. Ultimately. and will enable constituent or patient-centered organizations to focus on servicing their constituents' and patients' needs. These solutions are cost effective. where costs are constrained. August 2014 In constituent or patient-centered organizations. there is a need for a change in the technology that supports the organization. and there is high pressure to maintain care or service levels while providing high visibility into essential data.Table I: The Results Average Performance Improvement in operational costs as a result of ERP Cloud On-premise 25% 7% Improvement in complete and on-time service delivery as a result of ERP 26% 9% Improvement in internal schedule compliance as a result of ERP Improvement in profitability/balancing budgets over the past two years 19% 11% 19% 6% Improvement in time to decisions over the past year 38% 12% Improvement in the cycle time of key business processes over the past year 31% 14% Source: Aberdeen Group.

Aberdeen Group has published research that helps businesses worldwide improve performance. This document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. and may not be reproduced. We identify Best-in-Class organizations by conducting primary research with industry practitioners. The resulting research content is used by hundreds of thousands of business professionals to drive smarter decision making and improve business strategy. vendor-agnostic insights from a proprietary analytical framework independent of outside influence. the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group. Our team of analysts derives factbased. Located in Boston.aberdeen.About Aberdeen Group For 27 years. Aberdeen's content marketing solutions help B2B organizations take control of the Hidden Sales Cycle through content licensing. MA. or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Group is a Harte Hanks Company. speaking engagements. www. custom research. Inc. Inc. archived. Aberdeen Group's methodologies provide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. . and content creation services. Unless otherwise noted.

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