I was recently sitting down with a number of hospital CIOs and they were talking about the expenses they have associated with Microsoft Office and the move to Office 365. It was fascinating to hear them talk about the costs associated with all of these Microsoft products which still dominate the enterprise healthcare market. In fact, they didn’t once mention any sort of alternative.
I then asked them why they thought we didn’t see more Google for Work in healthcare. It’s been reported that Google for Work now has 2 million paid business customers. My guess is that healthcare makes a very very small portion of those 2 million customers. In fact, I don’t think most organizations really even take the time to consider Google for Work as an option.
The response from the CIOs I was talking with confirmed this suspicion. Each of them had used Google for Work outside of their day job, but they hadn’t ever seriously considered it for their hospital email, document management, calendar, etc. Although, they universally expressed their hate for having to manage their hospital’s messaging system. It’s a no win situation where everyone has the expectation that it will work perfectly 100% of the time and we know that messaging has plenty of opportunities for problems and unexpected downtime.
I’d think that many hospital CIOs would love to offload this headache to Google which likely has a much superior track record for uptime and consistency than most hospital IT departments that are working with limited budget and staff.
As one hospital CIO recently told me, “I’m glad that Cerner won the DoD contract. It doesn’t matter whether I like Epic or Cerner more. I’m just glad to have competition in the EHR market and Cerner winning the DoD project means it’s still a 2 horse race.” I think the same is true in messaging. Microsoft had been the only dog in the messaging race forever. Having Google for Work a legitimate competitor would be a good thing.