By: Benedikt Ernst
The University Medical Center Mainz, one of Germany’s top healthcare institutions, had a problem: its IT infrastructure could no longer keep pace with its growth.
Its on-site data center was overloaded, with neither the room nor power for extra servers or network devices. Even basic IT processes had become siloed and inefficient.
Staff—from doctors and nurses to IT personnel and researchers—had begun to voice their concerns. Basic functions, such as email access, had become daily headaches. New staff members experienced extensive onboarding delays. Meanwhile, the Center’s IT support team was struggling to keep pace with the mounting requests.
Digital transformation in healthcare has been notably slow, particularly in Europe. Healthcare providers in Europe score low on measures of digital maturity, lagging eight points behind the global industry average.1
For the Center, these challenges highlighted an urgent need for an updated IT framework, so that staff could focus on providing the best possible care for more than 350,000 patients annually. From an administrative standpoint, a transformation was also crucial for the Center to maintain its position as a top employer in Germany’s competitive healthcare sector.
This broad-sweeping IT overhaul remains a work in progress, but I believe these three early takeaways can inform other healthcare organizations embarking on similar IT enhancements.
Conduct an IT health check to form the baseline and starting point
The University Medical Center Mainz faced a challenge well known to large organizations: a complex IT landscape riddled with inefficiencies.
The Center’s IT processes had become heavily siloed. During an initial assessment, it emerged that over 100 small- to medium-sized IT projects were running simultaneously. To tackle this complexity, the Center had to rework its approach, starting by restructuring its project management framework before considering any tech upgrades.
Organizational silos are a common enemy of digital transformation efforts across industries. One of the first steps to combat such silos is through a thorough IT health check. This step allows teams to develop a targeted strategy that addresses the complexities of multi-project management, leading to smoother operations and more cost-effective outcomes.
Organizations facing similar challenges must also ensure they are incorporating relevant industry regulations and standards into their planning. At the Center, this meant aligning its digital strategy with German laws related to critical infrastructure, ensuring its transformation effort was not only effective but also compliant.