HMT: CIOs readiness, EMR providers merge, healthcare.gov update, and more
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                                            Management Technology News
January 22, 2014
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In this issue:

Gartner executive programs survey of more than 2,300 CIOs reveals many are unprepared for digitalization: the third era of enterprise IT

Michigan's two biggest providers of electronic medical records plan to merge

Verizon swings to profit

No, hackers didn’t steal 70,000 records from HealthCare.gov


Gartner executive programs survey of more than 2,300 CIOs reveals many are unprepared for digitalization: the third era of enterprise IT

Survey highlights need for CIOs to respond to dual goals of effectiveness and digitalization

Digitalization, the third era of enterprise IT, is beginning, but most CIOs do not feel prepared for this next era, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, Inc.'s Executive Programs. The survey showed that many CIOs feel overwhelmed by the prospect of building digital leadership while renovating the core of IT infrastructure and capability for the digital future. The survey found that 51 percent of CIOs are concerned that the digital torrent is coming faster than they can cope and 42 percent don't feel that they have the talent needed to face this future.

"2014 must be a year of significant change if CIOs are to help their businesses and public sector agencies remain relevant in an increasingly digital world," said Dave Aron, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

The worldwide survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013 and included 2,339 CIOs, representing more than $300 billion in CIO IT budgets in 77 countries. The Gartner Executive Programs report "Taming the Digital Dragon: The 2014 CIO Agenda," represents the most comprehensive examination of business priorities and CIO strategies.

During the first era of enterprise IT, the focus was on how IT could help do new and seemingly magical things — automating operations to create massive improvements in speed and scale, and providing business leaders with management information they never had before. The last decade has represented the second era of enterprise IT, an era of industrialization of enterprise IT, making it more reliable, predictable, open and transparent. However, while this second era has been necessary and powerful, tight budgets and little appetite for risk left scant room for innovation.

Entering the third era of enterprise IT technological and societal trends, such as the Nexus of Forces and the Internet of Things, are changing everything; not only improving what businesses do with technology to make themselves faster, cheaper and more scalable, but fundamentally changing businesses with information and technology, changing the basis of competition and in some cases, creating new industries.

"2014 will be a year of dual goals: responding to ongoing needs for efficiency and growth, but also shifting to exploit a fundamentally different digital paradigm. Ignoring either of these is not an option," said Mr. Aron.

"The behaviors mastered in the second era of enterprise IT, like treating colleagues as customers, are potential hindrances to exploiting digitalization," said Graham Waller vice president and executive partner for Gartner Executive Programs. "In 2014, CIOs must face the challenge of bridging the second and third eras. They have to build digital leadership and bimodal capability, while renovating the core of IT infrastructure and capability for the digital future."

"CIOs are facing all the challenges they have for many years, plus a flood of digital opportunities and threats. Digitalization raises questions about strategy, leadership, structure, talent, financing and almost everything else," said Mr. Aron. "All industries in all geographies are undergoing digital disruption. This is both a CIO's dream come true and a career-changing leadership challenge."

Most businesses have established IT leadership, strategy and governance but have a vacuum in digital leadership. To exploit new digital opportunities and ensure that the core of IT services is ready, there must be clear digital leadership, strategy and governance, and all business executives must become digitally savvy. Indeed, the 2014 CIO Survey shows that the CEO's digital savvy is one of the best indicators of IT and business performance.

Read the full Gartner article here

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Michigan's two biggest providers of electronic medical records plan to merge

The two largest information exchanges in Michigan for electronic health records announced today that they intend to merge operations later this year.

The planned merger is between Grand Rapids-based Michigan Health Connect and East Lansing-based Great Lakes Health Information Exchange. Both are nonprofit organizations that provide services to help hospitals and doctors’ offices share patient information, such as lab results and medical history, via computer instead of paper.

They represent two of the seven health information exchanges in Michigan.

Michigan Health Connect is the larger of the two organizations with 83 associated hospitals — including Beaumont Health System —and hundreds of doctors’ offices. Great Lakes Health Information Exchange has 14 affiliated hospitals in addition to doctors’ offices. Each organization has about 15 employees.

The organizations’ directorship boards signed a letter of intent last week to back the merger.

Doug Dietzman, executive director of Michigan Health Connect, said the merger is expected to close sometime this year.

Read the full Detroit Free Press article here

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Verizon swings to profit

Competition between cell phone companies is heating up once again, but Verizon has so far managed to stay above the fray.

The telecommunications giant announced strong earnings after adding nearly 1.6 million new wireless customers under contract in the last quarter of 2013 -- down from 2.1 million a year ago, but up 70% from the third quarter.

Verizon swung to a profit of $5.1 billion, following a steep $4.2 billion loss a year ago when Hurricane Sandy caused significant issues for the company.

Shares in Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) were down slightly in midday trading and ended the day down less than 1%.

Jonathan Schildkraut, a managing director at Evercore Partners, was impressed that 70% of Verizon Wireless' customers now have a smart phone -- generally a more expensive monthly plan. That was up from 58% a year ago.

As a result, Verizon is making more money from its customers. The average customer account pays Verizon more than $157 per month, up 7% from the same time a year ago.

Read the full CNN article here

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No, hackers didn’t steal 70,000 records from HealthCare.gov

The White House's repeated claim that the Obamacare Web site is secure seemed to fall flat Tuesday with the surfacing of various reports suggesting that security researcher David Kennedy broke into the health insurance hub and uncovered tens of thousands of user records within four minutes. It was a staggering claim that appeared to show gaping holes in the implementation of Obama's signature legislative achievement.

But it turned out the reports were nothing more than simple confusion. So far as we know, HealthCare.gov still has not been hacked by a malicious actor — despite the fact that Kennedy still considers the Web site vulnerable.

"We never accessed 70,000 records nor is it directly on the Healthcare.gov website," wrote Kennedy in an update to an earlier blog post. "No dumping of data, malicious intent, hacking, or even viewing of the information was done."

In short, Kennedy explained that he used basic Google tools to search the Web site, but he didn't hack it.

Some media reports, however, latched onto this line in his original post: "The 70,000 mark of information disclosure being reported was through using a basic Google search terms and browsing through a web browser" and assumed Kennedy had been able to access 70,000 records. That was not the case, Kennedy said, but he did not elaborate much on the 70,000 figure:

"The number 70,000 was a number that was tested for as an example through utilizing Google’s advanced search functionality as well as normally browsing the website," he wrote in an update to his post. Kennedy did not immediately respond to a question from The Washington Post.

Regardless, Kennedy still gave HealthCare.gov bad grades on security.

Read the full Washington Post article here

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January 2014
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