Elevating Experiences with Modern Data & Systems (Part Two)

Elevating Experiences with Modern Data & Systems (Part Two)

Mitigating Workforce Challenges and Enhancing Community Experiences Through Data and Systems Modernization

State Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies are continuing to navigate chronic workforce shortages and evolving legislation, regulations, and funding mandates. All the while, they are seeking to find new ways to prioritize the patient experience to meet their goals of improving public health, providing high-quality care, and building trust with the communities they serve. Managing this myriad of challenges requires unprecedented levels of data-sharing and cross-agency coordination, as well as modernized data and digital systems. But legacy siloes and boundaries have created blind spots, and the teams that are working diligently to create the experiences HHS constituents and employees expect are only as empowered as the data and technology available to them. In the blog series below, we detail why data and systems modernization is the key to delivering consistently positive experiences. We explore the role of operational preparedness in data and systems modernization and provide insight into how North Highland helps organizations consistently deliver scalable, repeatable, and predictable experiences for constituents and employees.

Modernizing Data and Systems to Deliver Safe and Reliable Experiences 

The growing rate, scale, and cost of natural and manmade crises has generated a challenging environment for emergency management organizations. On top of this, the industry is facing a chronic shortage of skilled workers. Up against these challenges, emergency management leaders must identify ways to strengthen their operations so they may provide impacted communities with critical needs and ensure they are delivering safe and reliable experiences. Plus, they must focus on extending those positive experiences to their workforce, with the aim of reducing turnover. A proven way to achieve these goals and navigate the current turbulent environment is with modern data and systems. Our blog series examines how undergoing modernization can help leaders harness insights and foster future-ready organizations. Applying these concepts can help emergency management organizations respond to emerging crises with agility, while effectively and reliably supporting the communities they serve and the individuals they employ. 

Building the Future of Finance for Premium Employee and Customer Experiences

Amid escalating business expenses and heightened regulatory scrutiny, financial services firms have doubled down on stable, low-risk operations. This commitment has, at times, resulted in companies being burdened by legacy systems and technical debt, hindering their ability to keep pace with the rapid transformations seen in other industries. However, leaders in financial services are acutely aware of the imperative for modernized data and systems in delivering the kinds of experiences that today’s customers and workforce demand – experiences that are predictable, repeatable, and seamless. Most financial services firms have been on the journey toward digital transformation for over a decade now. Yet, their endeavors have underscored the challenges involved in retiring manual processes, connecting an enterprise, and completing foundational tasks crucial for successful data and systems transformation. That's why, in this three-part blog series, we return to the fundamentals and demystify the steps for evaluating and addressing the challenges and common barriers to achieving data and systems modernization. The ultimate goal? To arm you with proven tools and strategies to deliver experiences that will help ensure your sustained relevance and success.

Harnessing Better Data for Continued Breakthroughs

Life sciences organizations are just catching their breath after years of rapid-fire breakthroughs in vaccines, treatments, ways of working, and more. With organizations rapidly moving toward greater patient engagement and embracing AI to advance R&D, data is the bedrock for the future of breakthroughs. But disparate tech stacks, data silos, and a long-standing cultural resistance to sharing data could put the brakes on progress. Maintaining the breakneck pace of change of recent years will require organizations to modernize their data and systems capabilities. In this blog series, we detail the importance of operational preparedness to data and systems modernization and highlight the four common problem areas that can be resolved through modernization. We also provide insight into how North Highland helps organizations assess and establish common structures and systems that optimize for simplicity, integration, and a growing flywheel of data.

Steering Toward Tomorrow with Modernized Data and Systems 

In a favorable funding and policy environment, transportation leaders are in the driver’s seat. Many have embarked on a new journey to transform from serving as people and product movers to orchestrators of a mobility ecosystem. And they’ve been handed an incredibly ambitious mandate—transform to be safer, cleaner, and more equitable for their customers. Despite an influx of funding to deliver a future-ready infrastructure, there are road bumps ahead. Public transportation ridership is shifting and the pressure to decarbonize, autonomize, and electrify amid a workforce crisis can feel stifling. On top of these challenges, many legacy transportation organizations lack the modernized data and systems needed to overcome these challenges and deliver the experiences today’s consumer demands. In our new blog series below, we detail three concepts to help transportation leaders in this environment: 

  • Value of scalable, predictable, and repeatable experiences 
  • The role operational preparedness plays in effective modernization 
  • The importance and process of assessing current state, and  
  • The common obstacles of modernization. 

Unlocking Innovation and Creating a Cohesive Energy Experience

The energy and utilities industries are on the cusp of massive transformation, as innovative leaders pursue new strategies for increasing production and supplying new geographies. And they’re attempting to do so with fewer human resources, greater cost efficiencies, and a generational shift in their workforce. All the while, customers expect a more cohesive energy experience than ever before. But legacy data and technology infrastructures make harnessing the wealth of data available to industry leaders difficult, if not impossible. Overcoming these hurdles requires strong, modernized data and systems. The blog series below details how modernizing data and digital systems can help these industries overcome hurdles and confidently undergo transformation while still delivering quality experiences to their customers and workforce.  

Building Modernized Data and Digital Systems with Managed Services or Teams-as-a-Service 

Amid constant change and competitive pressures, businesses in every industry are growing increasingly aware of how critical the customer experience is to bottom-line growth. Yet, many organizations still lack the accurate and reliable data and technology they need to consistently deliver elevated customer experiences. More importantly, they lack the internal know-how to do so at the rapid pace at which customer preferences are evolving. When attempting to cover these gaps, conventional sourcing methods will likely fail to deliver. A dedicated, adaptive co-sourcing partner, however, can respond to the constraints and forces in and outside your business. They can help you champion modernization by ensuring that you have the right operations in place. In this blog series, we detail the role of operational preparedness in data and systems modernization. By strategically filling gaps in your talent strategy, co-sourcing with a Managed Service (or Teams-as-a-Service) can help your business traverse the modernization roadmap and drive your business strategy forward quickly and confidently. 

How do I advance my data and technology to enable my organization – including delivering stronger customer and workforce experiences? Discover below.

No company can exist without engaged employees and satisfied customers. In fact, companies choosing to focus on customer experiences are 60 percent more profitable, and for the companies that shift to this strategy, revenue increases by up to 80 percent.    

That’s why, in part one of this series, we outlined the critical traits of premium employee and customer experiences: scalability, predictability, and repeatability. We also uncovered two frequently overlooked steps in the journey to delivering these experiences: 1) Modernizing data and systems and 2) Strengthening your operations for said modernization. North Highland Boosts Operational Preparedness 

As for part two, we’ll be diving into the second phase of readying for modernization, so you can deliver scalable, predictable, and repeatable experiences: Fortifying your foundation. In this phase, you’ll find: 

  • A recap of the common problem areas found in part one, 
  • Four principles of modernization and how to use them, and 
  • Questions to help you apply these concepts to your own organization. 

Let’s dive in. 


Reviewing the common problem areas

Problem Area #1: A Disconnected Enterprise 

A disconnected enterprise is characterized by fragmented operations, unidentifiable or inconsistent processes, lack of governance, and no shared operating model. This lack of cohesion and alignment is one of the greatest obstacles to readying operations for modernization. 

Problem Area #2: Manual Processes 

Often a result of outdated tools or systems, manual processes cause organizations to spend excessive time performing tasks that could have been automated. Aside from time-waste, manual processes also lead to a lack of transparency and inefficient procedures. 

Problem Area #3: The “Lowest Common Denominator” 

Directly or indirectly, organizations often fail to upgrade and update their entire enterprise. This generates pockets within the business whose systems and operations are left behind – rendering the upgrades they do make ineffective. 

Problem Area #4: Lackluster or Unreliable Data 

This one is simple: Poor data quality. Whether it’s unreliable, inaccurate, out-of-date, or inconsistent, lackluster data is a major blockade to successful modernization – even more so for creating premium experiences. Refresh with these questions from part one to start assessing your data quality.  


Modernizing Phase Two: Fortifying Your Foundation

Phase One was about evaluating your challenges and current barriers to achieving data and systems modernization, and in turn delivering scalable, repeatable, predictable experiences.  

Phase Two is about using governance and best practices to tackle the common problem areas addressed in Phase One. The Modernization Core Principles – outlined below – should make up your back-to-basics toolkit for data and systems preparedness.  


Four Principles of Modernization

Modernization Principle #1: Common Tools

Breaking down barriers to cross-functionality and creating a common language across your business by ensuring that everyone has access to and is using the same tools. Examples of these include Microsoft Teams, Mural, Tableau, or Microsoft Power BI. What are common tools?

Problem Area Solution: Having a common set of tools helps organizations reduce manual processes and optimize operational efficiency. They help to standardize processes, making it easier to streamline and automate manual work. It would also reduce the risk of errors or inconsistency in your data by creating a central, single view of your customers and employees. On top of automation and data quality, common tools help create a connected enterprise, offering a shared language, framework, and platform. 

Modernization Principle #2: Traceability and Measurability

Creating data-informed awareness of how your operations are performing today, how much it’s costing you, and how it’s impacting customers and employees. 

Problem Area Solution: Traceability and measurability take center stage in mitigating lackluster data. You need strong analytical models and a single source of data to accurately track and measure all of your activities, helping you make decisions that allow your business to thrive. Of course, these data-driven decisions will support your ability to identify and reduce manual processes, improve the lowest common denominator, and better connect your enterprise.  

Modernization Principle #3: Governance

Keeping operations and activities on track by monitoring status, efficiency, and accuracy. This applies to your data and your enterprise. 

Problem Area Solution: Designing and implementing governance models is central to achieving data quality. This is because governance is about implementing policies, best practices, standards, and guardrails around data use. Governance, in turn, empowers the entire enterprise to use and follow a common language appropriately and effectively. This principle also serves to connect your enterprise by governing general processes, technology, and operating models. Ultimately, this all compounds to enable faster decision making and better leadership alignment.   

Modernization Principle #4: Strategic Alignment

Ensuring business strategy is at the center of it all and your teams are united under shared goals and a common operating model.  

Problem Area Solution: The principal impact of strategic alignment is connecting your enterprise. It enables better business decisions by bringing strategy and operations together, so that every member of the organization unites around a common goal and operating model. This will also prevent the lowest common denominator from holding your business back. Even the tangential parts of your business are critical to the core, so aligning every facet with your modernization strategy and initiatives will help keep you on track. We discuss this in depth in part three. 

Like the common problem areas in Phase One, use Phase Two to reflect on how modernizing with these principles in mind will benefit your customers and employees. Consider questions like: 

  • “How will strategic alignment influence employee engagement and satisfaction?” 
  • “In what ways will traceability and measurability prevent customer attrition?” 
  • “How will enhancing data quality through governance enable me to identify customer and employee trends?” 


Conclusion: Let’s get your house in order 

Connecting your enterprise, retiring manual processes, and completing the foundational tasks that are critical to successful data and systems transformation can be overwhelming. And when the end goal of your modernization effort is an improved experience, it can become even more complicated.  

North Highland can simultaneously help you identify the link between data and systems and customer and workforce experiences, while also helping you on the road to modernization. And we help you through this process with specialized methods fine-tuned to your unique problem areas. So not only will your enterprise architecture be elevated and streamlined, but you’ll have a crystal-clear view of how to apply these enhancements for scalable, predictable, and repeatable experiences. Arrows saying coming up next 


Part three of this series picks up with Phase Three: Moving to Modernization. In this next installment, we’ll put two premium solutions – AI and Strategic Portfolio Management – in conversation with the concepts outlined above and demonstrate how each option supports better experiences. 



Elevating Experiences with Modern Data & Systems (Part One)


Elevating Experiences with Modern Data & Systems (Part Three)