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A Cloud-Based Enterprise Application & Data Transformation for a Prestigious National Medical Body


RCG’s client is a prestigious national medical board responsible for the voluntary process of certifying physicians that meet its standards for education, professional expertise, examinations, and knowledge on an ongoing basis—keeping physicians up-to-date with continuing certification activities, learning components, and continuing medical education (CME) opportunities. Considered the gold standard of physician credentials, the public and healthcare industry rely on this incredibly important process to provide assurances that a specialty physician is ready to deliver the highest standard of specialty care when people need it most. With the important mission of improving the quality of medical care in its specialty area across the country, RCG’s client focuses on providing certification and assessment programs, offering professional volunteer opportunities, and serving the public and the medical community.

Ultimately, RCG’s client is committed to the continued advancement of the standards and certifications of the medical specialty and sub-specialties that help assure qualified physicians deliver the best care and treatment to ill and injured patients.

The Problem: Modernizing Core Application Architecture for Resilient and Efficient Operations

Recognizing its need for more resilient, reliable, and efficient operations, RCG’s client decided to modernize the core application architecture behind its customized and proprietary enterprise resource planning software. The vision centered around the goal of modernizing and migrating these applications to the cloud and establishing a new services layer, which would allow RCG’s client to leverage the core system with updated technology. This move would also help to reduce the overall cost of maintenance of a 15+ year old proprietary aging and brittle technology that had been evolved and patched over the years. The current state presented many potential technology, security and business risks and also made business operations difficult, inefficient and costly. Further, the system was difficult to manage and could not support the dynamic strategic goals and development needed to continue to progress physician specialty certification into the new, dynamic, digital era. The client additionally needed to update systems and processes to maintain National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accreditation.

Other goals for the project included: 

  • Establishing a trusted data foundation (TDF) to create a core set of data and analytics reporting needs.
  • Improving system reliability and disaster recovery.
  • Improving the delivery and management of data used throughout the systems.
  • Introducing additional self-service capabilities to improve the end-user experience.
  • Retiring other legacy reporting and analytics applications such as Microsoft Access.
  • Improving overall data management, quality, and access.
  • Improving overall ease of reporting and custom query capabilities.
  • Improving documentation and standardization of the system.
  • Creating flexibility for future requirements and growth as the organization evolves.
  • Enabling strategic agility to choose its service and sustainment support without vendor lock-on and full ownership of its assets.

Finally, RCG’s client realized that it would need to evaluate and update other core enterprise systems, replace them (as per RCG’s strategic recommendations) and assure long term potential for best-in-class SaaS-based solutions that can be integrated with the future system and other enterprise applications—such as financial and accounting, marketing and communications functionality—and identify opportunities.

The Solution: Designing and Delivering a Cloud-Native Solution with a Multi-phase Approach

Working with RCG, the client agreed to approach the modernization effort by shaping the work into six stages:

  • IT Governance Maturity Assessment
  • Technology Strategy and Roadmap
  • Initial Blueprint and Design
  • Detailed Future-State Design
  • Implementation & Transition
  • Ongoing support

IT Governance Maturity Assessment

Recognizing the need for more structure in how its technology is managed and resourced, RCG’s client first began with an IT governance maturity assessment. Using the recommendations from the assessment, the client then implemented specific organization processes and structures to support a transformational journey and support continuous improvement.

Technology Strategy & Roadmap

During the roadmap, the client established a set of enterprise architecture principles to guide the effort. This included the completion of an organization-wide comprehensive digital roadmap that provided key priorities, recommendations, and priorities for moving forward. During this time, strategic and technical directions were set including the client’s first set of Enterprise Architecture principles.

Initial Blueprint & Design

Next, RCG and the client worked to create a detailed blueprint to provide for the modernization of applications and data foundation. Because this transformation would also have to account for the hundreds of different reports, each had to be rationalized and prepared for migration to the new cloud-based solution. 

Detailed Future-State Design

Following the initial phases of IT governance, digital roadmap and blueprint, and detailed design, RCG crafted a solution that involved designing, developing, and delivering a brand-new, cloud-native minimum viable product (MVP) for the client's enterprise resource planning (ERP). This work included establishing the client's Azure Cloud platform and services based on the provided architectural design and blueprint and implementing the first phase of modernization and migration of the client's legacy enterprise applications.

Change in Direction to full Greenfield ERP Development: 

As with all strategies and best-laid plans, change happens. During the initial and early phase of the Detailed Future State Design, due to pressing and emergent business issues, the client faced, a decision was made to pivot from modernization of the existing legacy application to a full greenfield development of an entirely new ERP application. This was a significant change in scope and direction under time and cost pressure.

RCG worked closely with the client to change direction—still in line with the overall strategy—to move to re-platform the organization with all new software, data models, and reporting environments.

Throughout each phase of the project, RCG’s team ensured that their design and development adhered to the requirements outlined in the business requirement documents and technical design documents provided by the client.

The Results: Strong Momentum for a Cloud-Native Implementation

RCG’s overall six phases of work with the client have set up the project for the initiation of a detailed two-part implementation plan. This two-part plan includes:

  • An outline of the steps, detailed design, and timeline for Greenfield, custom application development and migration plan.
  • Implementation of a long-term release strategy and plan, ensuring a comprehensive and scalable approach to the project.

Using this implementation approach, RCG and the client will be able to successfully facilitate the implementation program to deliver a cloud-native solution for the client’s ERP application, reporting needs, and data management requirements—all leveraging the capabilities of the Azure Cloud platform and related native services. The client decided to assess and replace its payment application with best-of-breed third-party software-as-a-service (SaaS) as well as include new development of a volunteer management capability. The client also decided to accelerate RCG’s recommendation to update its financial and accounting system to a new, cloud-based system. 

As a result, RCG’s client will be able to enjoy more streamlined operations and improved end-user experiences with an updated, optimized, and scalable system that enables the client to meet the increasing demands of its certification processes. Furthermore, RCG’s cutting-edge UI/UX design expertise will provide the client with a simplified design that has driven excitement about the project and major changes in operating systems. This new design and experience will create better interaction with participating certified physicians and residents to help increase engagement in the specialty medicine community—and even extend to new stakeholders in new ventures with broader communities.

RCG's brand promise played a crucial role in successfully implementing the client’s project by embodying its commitment to listening, bringing a creative perspective to challenging IT engagements, fostering collaboration from end to end, and accountability. RCG’s strategic digital roadmap process was key to enabling the organization to rally around one vision. It accelerated stakeholder adoption and engagement for a once-siloed organization without IT governance principles and  strategic alignment. RCG has become an important trusted advisor and “part of the family.”  Together, these themes helped to drive innovation throughout the process and ensure a high degree of collaboration and transparency—delivering a new environment without any unexpected surprises.

The Conclusion: Client-Centric Collaboration and Expertise: Ensuring Alignment and Exceeding Expectations

Throughout the project, RCG's senior business and technology strategists, domain-specific experts, cloud architects, and data management experts worked closely with the client to shape and guide the planned implementation to ensure that it aligned with its business drivers, technical requirements, and end-user expectations for the applications.

RCG's client-first approach, enterprise architecture, strategy, deep cloud migration experience, data and analytics expertise, knowledge of Microsoft Azure technologies, well-architected frameworks, and UI/UX excellence enabled an impressive transformation to digitally re-platform the organization by successfully executing the client's strategy and blueprint. The planned solution meets the client’s strategic, organizational, and project goals, digitally enabling it to support the advancement of medical specialty certification for the public good for years to come.

Want to experience the same results as this client with the support of RCG’s deep bench of industry and technical expertise? Then take a moment to set up a personalized meeting now!

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