Providence crafts direct-to-home device provisioning in pandemic response

In a pivot from its digital transformation, the healthcare system built a just-in-time device-provisioning supply chain to ship ready-to-use laptops to employees’ homes.

Providence crafts direct-to-home device provisioning in pandemic response

As the coronavirus swept through Washington state earlier this year, Providence quickly had to enable thousands of staff to work remotely, a tall task for an organization that traditionally provided access to privileged information from desktops.

The healthcare system, which employs 120,000 caregivers across 51 hospitals and more than 1,000 clinics on the West Coast, built ReadyTech, a bespoke supply chain to ship laptops to employees' homes  within 48 hours and enable them to consume cloud applications in a half hour.

Buy-in to a culture that emphasizes quality outcomes for caregivers and patients, along with crisp execution, helped make ReadyTech a success, says B.J. Moore, who has been guiding Providence through a multi-year digital transformation since joining the company as executive vice president and CIO in 2019.

Providence’s ReadyTech program is one of many examples of organizations accelerating digital innovation to come out stronger on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. Support for remote work spurred by the outbreak "might be the biggest win for CIOs since Y2K," Gartner analyst Andy Rowsell-Jones wrote in the researcher's 2021 CIO Agenda Survey. Such yeoman's work has also generated enormous political capital for IT leaders, many of whom have earned support of their CEO, board of directors and senior business peers to accelerate digital business initiatives, Rowsell-Jones adds.

That's something Moore has taken to heart in the face of tremendous challenges at Providence.

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