by Divina Paredes

CIO 100: Orion Health

Mar 24, 2016
Technology Industry

ORION HEALTH IS a technology company that provides health information solutions that support healthcare for more than 90 million patients across more than 25 countries.

Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae believes that new generation technology can be used to give everyone healthier, happier and longer lives. He says the company’s long term goal is to help revolutionise global healthcare so that every individual receives the perfect care for them. He wants Orion to become a leading IT vendor globally in this space.

McCrae says he plans to do this through innovation and investment in RD. Orion Health says it invests over 30 per cent of total operating revenue in research and development.

The company has developed an open technology platform to seamlessly integrate all forms of relevant data to enable population and personalised healthcare around the world, to support the future of “precision medicine”.

Working in the headquarters in Auckland, Orion Health’s Johan Vendrig holds a global CIO role. The ICT team has 25 staff, of which seven are based overseas. Orion Health has 1226 staff, of which nearly half are based in New Zealand.

Johan is focussed on Orion’s internal systems, while other teams located in the various geographical regions support the customer facing software-as-a-service and managed service infrastructures.

Vendrig says the biggest challenges for him and his team are twin-fold: Supporting rapid ongoing international growth of the organisation and consolidating fragmented internal systems to improve efficiency throughout the business.

“We have to get the organisation to the next level by providing some standardisation and better integration of enterprise resource planning processes. This drives efficiency and it ensures that process improvements can be scaled out quickly. Investment in improved communication tools is critical to make it easy for staff to collaborate across the globe both internally and with customers.”

“To achieve this we will build on last year’s MS Office 365 investment to enable document collaboration and add the Skype for Business solution to provide a more uniform approach to voice, video and IM communications,” says Vendrig, who joined Orion Health in late 2015, replacing David Kennedy.

Vendrig reports to chief operating officer Graeme Wilson and works closely together with Greg Balla, VP for People and Business Transformation. “The chief information officer is a very close ally to the chief operating officer in any organisation because process and information are linked so close together,” explains Vendrig, who was chief operating officer of HSA Global prior to his current role.

As Orion Health continues to grow its cloud based customer facing software-as-a-service infrastructure, the internal corporate networks also continue to be strengthened to comply with international health information security standards such as HiTrust, ISO 27001 and Hipaa.

Following the renewal of VPN and firewall infrastructures last year, the organisation is expected to rollout single sign-on and two-factor authentication using Azure’s Premium AD solution. Furthermore, the IT team will assist the Orion security and SaaS teams with the rollout of a Security Operations Centre aimed at providing real-time security monitoring of those parts of the network that can access personal health information.

This year, Vendrig says the IT team will have some small increases to budget and staffing to support the significant increase in project activity. “Although it is a relatively small team, it is impressive to see what the team has achieved through a pragmatic approach and close collaboration with the various development, security and IT support teams across Orion Health,” says Vendrig.