Health Care as the New Enterprise — Sort Of

September 14, 2010 / CloudPrime, Healthcare / 0 Comments

uss_enterprise-resized-600When most people talk about “The Enterprise”, they are referring to large corporate establishments. We all know it is a fictional craft sailing through the far reaches of space to “boldly go where no person has gone before”.

[You either hate me or love me at this point]

All kidding aside, I recently engaged in a discussion with a friend where they asked if Cloak Labs works for “The Enterprise”. I am assuming that he meant corporations in the traditional sense, and when I responded that our customers in the Health Care space are enterprise customers, he looked at me with dismay.

When most people hear “The Enterprise”, they think of supply chain management, financial transactions and CRM tools to name a few. Rarely do I hear people mention Health Care (Health Care Networks, hospitals, physician groups, clinics, state agencies, etc.) when describing who their enterprise customers are.

In large part, I think this is due to the Health Care industry historically being late adopters of technology, and thus viewed as an outsider to The Enterprise discussion. With the recent stimulus funding, passing of the HITECH Act and stricter HIPAA compliance regulations, the Health Care industry is consuming enterprise grade applications and systems on a unparalleled scale and quickly is gaining a lot of attention by business and solution providers who wish to pander their goods to anyone and everyone in Health Care.

Where there can be a parallel drawn is to the late 80s (through today), when businesses began leveraging the Internet to connect to other systems within their trading community or across their organization (think EDI, Lease Lines, VANs, MFT, etc.). The Health Care industry is being challenged by a similar problem in that they are required to connect all systems to the health information exchange to allow for secure digital transmission and ubiquitous access to electronic health records.

While many still do not think of the Health Care industry as an enterprise-class market, it is hard to ignore how much focus companies like GE, IBM, and Intuit are putting into this space, signaling that the major players of enterprise grade solutions have a different perspective on what is and is not “enterprise”.