Over the last decade, with the advancement of web 2.0, mobile, cloud computing, predictive analytics and much more, organizations gained the ability to reach out to and care for their customers in ways that were not possible before. Fortis Healthcare was keen on leveraging these technologies to give the optimum experience to their patients. In 2012, Fortis’ management concluded that it was time to upgrade their patient care technologies.
The goal was to deliver value to the organization by turning IT into a service provider rather than a service manager. Fortis realized that its highly distributed, fragmented, and localized IT setup could be a potential deterrent to this goal. Each hospital was running its own ERP, on premise. This kept Fortis from providing a seamless and uniform patient experience across its hospitals, like inability in sharing patient records within different Fortis hospitals. Similar issues existed in other areas as well. For example, a newly developed application would take months to be deployed as it had to be done on premise, within each of the hospitals.
Fortis needed an effective, centralized IT infrastructure that was flexible, adaptive, scalable, and secure. Fortis started the search by mapping the needs of various departments within the organization. Then they evaluated the numerous offerings available in the market. Microsoft, with its interest in Fortis’ objectives and understanding of the importance of a strong platform, proved to be the perfect fit. Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service was recommended as it offered managed infrastructure and services, while bringing in the desired agility. Fortis concluded that, owing to the high cost associated with maintaining the desired security, a public cloud would offer better security than what can be maintained on premise. Then the migration to Microsoft Azure began.
“This was a risk and a big commitment from us, especially the cloud only strategy. We knew that Microsoft was as invested in the platform as we were and this was a good enough assurance for us,” says Veneeth Purushotaman, Chief Information Officer Fortis Healthcare Ltd. In a span of 8 months, with support from Microsoft, Fortis moved all their applications, ranging from Hospital Information System (HIS) to Oracle Financials, Oracle Supply Chain, application servers, intranet, and more to Azure. Today, Fortis hospitals are on Microsoft Azure.
Post implementation, IT started playing a leadership role in bringing business initiatives to life. As business managers took ownership of line-of-business applications such as CRM, ERP, and HRIS, Fortis’ management gained a better perspective on the IT investments that deliver business goals. Azure helped reduce the complexity and long lead times in testing and deploying new applications. For example, Fortis launched its Patient Care Portal across its hospitals in a day, as opposed to the three-four months it would have taken previously. Similarly, there was a 50 percent reduction of the total cost of ownership, due to the lower acquisition costs, and significantly lower infrastructure management needs. Every Fortis hospital, now reports better patient care experience, even with the increase in transaction volume.