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BLOG | December 22

Why Every Senior Living Community Needs a Strategic Technology Plan to Thrive

Technology can mean something different depending on who you ask. Many think of traditional "IT" as being limited to desktop and mobile devices, network monitoring, and the help desk. We believe technology encompasses so much more. But how do we change this mindset? Enter our vision to transform technology culture in senior living.

We believe technology means and impacts much more of your day-to-day operations in the senior living community. Every company is a technology company today whether you realize it or want to admit it or not. Yes, technology does encompass your devices, network, and the service desk, but it also involves security, artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, business system applications, project management, culture, and much more. It can be overwhelming, but with the right strategic technology plan in place, you can set yourself apart as a premier senior living community by leveraging the power of technology to your specific goals.

Having a strategic technology plan and roadmap is one of the best ways for a senior living community to proactively meet their long-term technology objectives. Developing a prioritized roadmap of technology related projects  is vital for any organization to gain alignment across their community, and work together to achieve their technology related initiatives that support their overall business objectives.

Working reactively under a "break-fix" mindset can lead to suboptimal outcomes for your community and waste valuable time, resources, and money. Senior living communities can navigate the ever-changing technology landscape by implementing a strategic technology plan, aligning their vast array of baseline technology needs, with innovative technology solutions that will differentiate and bring their community to the next level.

How Strategic Technology Plans Benefit Senior Living Communities

Senior living communities face a number of barriers to updating their technologies that can seriously hinder efforts at technological change. Years of experience in senior living technology  has shown that communities face issues such as:

  • Lack of staff bandwidth for technology initiatives or ability to take advantage of emerging technologies
  • Minimal availability of training for new technologies or systems
  • High staff turnover
  • Budgetary restrictions
  • Challenges meeting strict regulatory requirements

Many of these issues point to a lack of a holistic approach to technology, creating inefficiencies and other problems for the organization. Having a clear and well-devised strategic plan can help to minimize many of these issues and bring structure to the organization as whole. One of the most beneficial parts of a strategic technology plan is that it allows organizations to optimize their technology purchases and upgrades in a way that streamlines their operations and empowers their staff and residents. Transparency is another key benefit for senior living communities. It allows the technology steering committee to clearly communicate the business value of certain technologies to key stakeholders within the organization in a way that underlines the business value of these initiatives.

The most important aspect of creating a technology strategic plan for your organization is that it gives you a clear understanding of what you're trying to achieve, timelines for getting it done and a framework for your technology organization to work around. Without one, your technology team might not have the focus to make real, impactful and value-driving decisions and execute on meaningful initiatives.

How to Create a Strategic Technology Plan

When looking to create a strategic technology plan for your own organization, the first step is a thorough analysis of the entirety of your organization's business and technology systems, including: network, security, systems, telecom, low voltage, business systems, operations and culture. Without a complete understanding of your entire environment, you will have no baseline to work from, and no way to start effective planning. It's also important to consider your community's long-term budget for technological improvement, as well as the willingness of your staff to implement new systems and solutions, viewing technology as an asset, not an expense.

Once you have assessed your current technology environment, the next step is to create a roadmap with key initiatives and projects outlined and adjusted to your organization's budgetary requirements. This means making certain projects a priority, such as areas of your business that should be optimized first, and your organization's long-term goals for technology over a three year timeframe. It's important to remember that every technology upgrade that you plan on implementing should be directly aligned with your organization's long-term strategic goals to get the most out of your investments.

After your roadmap is complete, it's time to form a technology steering committee and start executing on your projects based on priority and resources. The whole process of assessing your technology environment and creating a strategic technology roadmap can be completed within a month or two with the right team and resources. These documents should be used as living documents that are fluid and adjusted based on changing priorities and resources in your community. It is important to remain flexible, but to hold your team and partners mutually accountable for executing on these initiatives for your organization. If your community needs assistance, or simply wants a third-party expert opinion on the assessment and planning process, there are senior living strategic technology planning organizations that can help.

Parasol Alliance offers comprehensive technology assessments and strategic technology planning exclusively for senior living communities to help take their  organization to the next level. We perform a thorough assessment of all of your systems, from business systems and infrastructure,  to policies and processes, to give you a thorough understanding of your entire environment. We then use that information to develop a customized three-year technology strategy that suits your organization's goals and budget.

About Parasol Alliance

We are more than a managed service provider – we're a long-term technology partner and resource supporting your organization's goals. Our company solely provides services to senior living communities and our mission is to make sure that they operate at their highest potential. With many years of experience in the industry, we have advanced capabilities to assess your technology needs and create a complete long-term technology roadmap for you. For more information on how we can help you with your strategic technology planning, contact us today.

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