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MANAGEMENT4 tips for seeing real returns on mobile health investments

As more and more hospitals embark on mHealth initiatives, a new study shows that most mobile projects fall short and offers healthcare and other executives tips for making them work.

The IBM Institute’s research, in fact, found that 60 percent of organizations do not look for strategic alignment in prioritizing mobile initiatives. It also found that almost 40 percent of executives surveyed said they used an ad-hoc approach, with only “some” coordination between mobile projects and the organization’s business divisions. Nearly two-thirds of executives indicates they would spend at least $5 million on mobile initiatives over the next year. Mobile activity is expected to triple by 2018.

Here are four tips from IBM’s Institute for Business Value for achieving better returns on investments:


Prioritize strategically rather than only tactically:

Aligning mobile initiatives with organization-wide business goals results in better outcomes instead of emphasizing quick, inexpensive efforts with limited impact.

Secure C-suite support:

It’s not enough to listen to employees and departments when planning mobile initiatives. Employ longer-term strategic vision from the C-suite to guide mobile initiatives.

Manage the mobile portfolio actively:

Companies that take a strategic approach by building and scaling internal resources across their organizations are more likely to take advantage of the transformational aspects of mobile. Instead of limiting mobile projects to the IT team, mobile should be integrated throughout the entire organization and become embedded into the organization’s culture.

Balance off-the-shelf and customized approaches:

Recognizing when to invest in custom solutions and when to opt for existing mobile app technology solutions will help an organization operate strategically and focus on business transformation.

“Even the most successful mobile projects fall short of established business goals more than half the time,” Pete Teigen, IBM Institute for Business Value Mobile Leader, said in a statement.

Big Blue based its claims on surveys of more than 1,000 C-suite and mobile executives around the world. Sixty-two percent of executives surveyed said their most successful mobile projects pay for themselves in less than 12 months. By contrast, most mobile projects take two-to-three years to reap a return on investment.