HIMSS18 Themes to Know: Data Governance, Data Catalogs, Big Vision Strategy and Digital Transformation

Discussions were all about big-vision strategy and data-driven digital transformation.

I’ve just returned from HIMSS18, and as always, it was a fantastic event. It usually takes me a a few weeks to recover and to fully digest all that occurred. For Informatica, I believe it was our eleventh HIMSS as exhibitor. In our years of experience, we have never seen a HIMSS where data and getting value and insights from data was more front-and-center than it was this year. As the leader in Enterprise Cloud Data Management, we were right in the middle of what everyone wanted to talk about so it was a busy, busy week. Here’s a few themes I took away:

First, for those looking for specific products, the most significant change from last year’s HIMSS and 2018 is the rapid maturation of product categories for data governance and data catalogs. Last year, we introduced these concepts and capabilities to people who were largely unfamiliar with them, this year’s audience was markedly more informed and sought Informatica out to learn about the products. Attendees were well-informed, had specific use-cases in mind, and often had budget and plans to acquire these capabilities. The other product area that sparked interest is our Cloud Integration Services, which is our next-generation solution for application integration and data integration. The ease-of-use and no coding required allows “citizen integrators” to create their own integrations. This really got people’s attention, as did the ability to integrate cloud and traditional on-prem sources and systems quickly and easily.

The second theme, were people looking to solve specific problems. The most predominant was enterprise data governance which is really starting to get some momentum. It seems every organization has tried a governance initiative at least once or twice, and even if they have been successful to a degree, the amount of work and effort has not justified the value achieved. For these attendees, it was about understanding the state of the market for data governance, and best practices on how to get started and grow a data governance program. This interest tied in nicely with the presentation Terri Mikol of Knowledgent and I delivered in the Solutions Showcase on managing enterprise data as an asset. We also had a good number of people come to the booth interested in accelerating time-to-value with a data lake architecture, where speed to insight and agility to answer new questions and ingest new data quickly were the driving factors. Our partner Corporate Technologies Inc. was in the booth showcasing a great data lake analytics use case with a demo that brought together our Enterprise Data Governance, Enterprise Data Lake and data quality products, along with showcasing tight integration with Tableau.

Finally, as Informatica’s healthcare strategist, I was personally excited to meet with executives from a good number of large and mid-size organizations where the discussions were all about big-vision strategy and data-driven digital transformation. These organizations see the healthcare market changing so dramatically that they need to respond with an enterprise-wide transformation initiative that embraces many of the consumer-centric digital innovations we’ve seen in retail, manufacturing, finance and other industries. Unlike in the past, where healthcare organizations were at least 10 years behind other industries in adopting new technology solutions, these organizations where really looking to create new paths to market, change revenue models and redefine their patient/member, provider and employee engagement strategies through data-driven digital transformation initiatives. The conversations were both exciting and inspiring as we look to the relative near future and how data transforms how we experience and interact with our healthcare providers.

These topics and conversations bode well for an exciting 2018 in healthcare. Next up, Informatica’s healthcare team will be at the Becker’s Hospital Review 9th Annual Meeting in Chicago, April 11-14. We’ve reviewed the nine different conference tracks, and two common themes emerge – data-driven digital transformation and the easy, timely access to trustworthy data. This aligns with so many of the problem-solving and big vision conversations we had at HIMSS.

Data-driven digital transformation is a topic in every healthcare board room, and having a high-level understanding of what other organizations are doing, what is possible to achieve, where to start and how to get to value quickly and repeatedly are all things the modern healthcare leader needs to be familiar with.

Did I mention I am attending the Becker’s Hospital Review 9th Annual Meeting? Stop by our booth #904. I’d be happy to continue the conversation.

I’ll leave you with this final thought: While the deep technical details aren’t all that relevant, executives can no longer look at analytics and data management initiatives as “something IT does”. The business must engage with the CIO and IT leaders to meet the challenges of the future.