Why Custom Building Technology Isn’t Always The Right Choice
With the changes in the NDIS came rapid requirements for businesses within this sector to revamp their technology structure and offerings. Many service providers had systems which were disconnected, paper based and very inefficient. Poor levels of performance and the inability to upgrade technology meant many organisations simply couldn’t adjust to the market trend; leaving them with systems that weren’t scalable, maintainable or feasible.
Many businesses recognised the need to update their technology solutions and the importance of creating a system that allowed for transparency and connectedness. The two main options available were to either select a single, industry specific software vendor that would support the complete operations of a business; or select best of breed software applications that would need to be integrated together to create an end-to-end solution that handled various levels of capability for their business operations.
A few larger organisations considered a custom built solution developed from existing platforms, but this arguably came with its own set of challenges and risks. “For some the concept of custom building seemed like the best fit as it gave these organisations the promise of complete flexibility over their solutions, which was something they had not had before. However, a few years into using these customised systems, it became evident that the ROI of this tech solution was not well defined or understood which consequently negatively impacted these organisations,” said Joseph Mercorella, CEO of Lumary, a care management platform, specifically servicing the disability and aged care sector .
Joseph explained that the NDIS has created a market which is price and service regulated, constantly changing and offers consumers more choice, which therefore results in a significant increase in competitiveness which was never present in previous disability funding models. “Investments in digital systems must be made where the result enables the business to compete competitively in the current market,” said Mercorella.
So what is the solution? The best of both worlds which is 1) a leading platform that provides the business with the flexibility and capability to uniquely position their business offering and 2) a single or integrated suite of software solutions, underpinned by the platform that provides the business with the necessary compliance and expected capabilities, for which results in no unique benefit.
Here is a list of 5 things to consider when looking for a technology solution for your business:
Leveraging is King: You could build your own application, which requires a lot of in-depth knowledge around the technology stack you need to create, or alternatively you can get a head start by leveraging off a software company that specialises in creating complete digital solutions for your specific needs. Leveraging means you don’t have to make the same mistakes that others may have made before, so your time and money can be spent in the smartest possible way. Find software providers that offer the basic standards and compliance that you require now and in the future while also providing flexibility to enable you to support the business you want to provide to the market.
It’s a regulated market so don’t gamble: With regulation comes many ever-evolving rules around compliance and governance, and as soon as you create a custom built tech solution you put yourself at risk when it comes to adhering to these rules. Updating information and ensuring compliance from a technology backend is not an easy task, and you need the right expertise to ensure your systems are being updated and maintained adequately. And this expertise can’t only be technology based – it has to be tailored to the needs of an NDIS specific environment. “Changes, like updates to travel claim rules, which are obligatory for compliance are frequent tasks for custom built solutions that bring no unique benefit to the business’s customers,” said Mercorella.
Customising with sensibility: A business operating in this sector with inflexible technology will have a limited life span in particular when their success is dependent on serving a market with increasing consumer choice. The consumer and employee experience are the critical outcomes for success and your ability to customise your technology is therefore mandatory. However every customisation needs to be validated by an ROI, whether that be one day or fifty days of effort. It’s not just the initial cost to develop the solution but the ongoing costs both software, people and processes required to successfully maintain and support it.
Spend money on developing your business where it counts: As a service or care provider, your business focus and resources should be aimed at the areas where your expertise lies and what will most benefit the community you serve. Although technology will play a massive part in the efficiencies and effectiveness of the services you provide, you don’t want to waste time and money trying to understand the back end of a system and all the complicated nuances that come with attempting to create your own customisable platform in a fluctuating environment.
It can cost you in the long term: It’s important to choose a technology solution partner that truly understands this complex marketplace, offers flexibility and has appropriate partnerships in place. Otherwise you may find yourself spending precious funds and time on tech development and software that ultimately can’t provide the complete solution your business needs. Long term you need to ensure that you are able to maintain your system easily and have the skills and expertise to make changes quickly, implement updates and provide your business with a solution with longevity.
At the end of the day, it’s very important that thorough research and careful consideration is given before deciding on your digital transformation approach. Choosing a technology partner that not only has technical expertise, but also an intimate knowledge of the NDIS sector, is crucial. Additionally choosing software that gives you flexibility, ease of use, and a solution that is automatically updated when any new changes or policies are implemented, is going to give you the opportunity to focus on the things that really matter, and allow your business to succeed where it counts the most.
Lumary is a technology partner that provides a platform of an end-to-end workflow management solution for aged and disability care providers. It is an Australian designed-and-built software platform that integrates with tools on the Salesforce.com™ Lightning Platform. It brings together comprehensive NDIS stakeholder management and business workflow, for the first time, in a single workflow platform delivering agility, visibility and control.
Lumary is fast becoming an integral part of the Australian healthcare ecosystem as it intimately understands the technology needs of the evolving disability and aged care industries. Creating solutions and products that ultimately benefit the community is at the heart of Lumary. Participants receiving the best care is only going to be achieved by providers using tools that provide the best in class technology, which is what Lumary does.