“Productization” is permeating the technology world, and HIT firms are taking notice. In short, it’s the process that a company undergoes to turn customized services, which meet the unique needs of an individual client, into programmed products, which meet the need of an entire market. The best technology providers across several industries are already productizing their offerings, and it’s quickly becoming a norm in HIT as hospitals and health systems look to upgrade their operations with more comprehensive and functional analytics solutions.
When analytics offerings are properly productized, both HIT firms and healthcare organizations benefit. The HIT firm can develop a standard offering that no longer requires starting from scratch to provide a unique solution for its clients, while providers can rest assured that the software and services they’re using have been market-tested to meet their operational needs.
Here’s a look at the process behind productization and how HIT firms can leverage it:
- Begin by understanding a market need.
A productized solution should address the needs of an entire market segment, not just a single person or organization. HIT firms looking to productize their analytics solutions should start by evaluating their client rosters and identifying common problems. These issues can be high-level, such as needing an analytics platform that’s interoperable with other systems and infrastructures or, more specificly, needing a way to accelerate bill processing. Whatever that common need is, it should be prioritized as the main goal that the solution is designed to meet.
- Envision a solution that addresses the market need.
Once the market need has been identified, developers should envision what a solution to that problem would look like. An essential thing to remember at this juncture is that a solution is more than a physical product, such as the actual software and hardware behind an analytics platform. A solution can also include service components such as user training or consultations to assist with implementation. Mapping out what the full solution would include, from the look of reporting interfaces to the level of post-implementation support, ensures the final result will effectively meet the market need.
- Verify the solution’s product-market fit.
Developers also need to verify that the analytics platform they’re creating resonates with hospitals. A simple way to measure product-market fit is boiling down an offering’s capabilities to its single most valuable feature. Doing so facilitates more streamlined presentation of the product to potential users, who in turn can indicate their thoughts on the technology and their likelihood of purchasing it. When validating the product-market fit of an analytics platform, developers should focus on the most valuable insight that it provides. For example, a valuable analytics solution may go beyond simply presenting informational metrics. Instead, it delivers actionable insights that proactively alert users to potential issues, and more importantly it provides recommendations for addressing them. Honing in on a platform’s most valuable capability allows for easier presentation of the solution to potential users and more effective gathering of their feedback.
- Create a minimum viable product.
A trap that many software developers fall into is trying to produce a one-size-fits-all solution that does everything. This mistake often results in analysis paralysis; users get so overwhelmed with information that they’re unable to pull out any meaningful metrics or insights on which they can act. To prevent this from happening, HIT firms should start by creating a minimum viable product (MVP) for use cases that drive the most value to their market segments. MVPs are equipped solely with the core features that make them viable for deploying to customers. This approach allows developers to focus on the core features that will sell potential customers on using the solution.
- Conduct post-launch user behavior studies.
Once the MVP has launched, HIT firms should conduct thorough studies to understand how users are interacting with their solutions. This provides developers the opportunity to better understand whether there are specific features such as push notifications or reporting options that should be added or removed from the solution. By regularly revisiting user feedback, HIT firms can refine platform interfaces, infrastructures and services to drive higher adoption rates in the future.
As quality analytics solutions become more essential to hospital operations, it’s critical to dedicate ample time and resources to productizing offerings so the industry can better meet operational demands. By focusing on properly productizing their offerings, both start-up software developers and established HIT firms will be able to develop the stand-out solutions hospitals need to excel in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.