Cisco & Zebrazoo Consulting deliver Transformative Networking Report

These are without doubt challenging times for any NHS organisation, faced with a backdrop of proposed reforms, cost improvement plans and ever increasing demand. However, these challenges also present opportunities and increasingly NHS organisations are looking towards IT as an enabler of change.

In his foreword to the “NHS Operating Framework for 2012/13”, Sir David Nicholson (NHS Chief Executive) outlined 4 areas of focus in the coming year:

  • Getting the basics right every time (patient care);
  • Maintaining a grip on performance;
  • Meeting the quality and productivity challenge;
  • Building the new delivery system.

This means that many NHS organisations will be facing a period of transformational change to ensure that they are able to deliver against these 4 areas of focus. Transformational change will mean a complete reconfiguration of the organisation’s people, processes and technology.

Cisco advocates an architectural approach to NHS IT and that IT investment should be informed and driven by business and clinical need. You have to ‘plan down and build up’. This means that many organisations will need to make a cultural shift, whereby they no longer deliver just ‘good IT’ in isolation of the rest of the business, but closely align IT investment with business and clinical strategy.

At the beginning of 2012 Sean Mullineux, lead consultant at Zebrazoo Consulting, was working with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to help them issue a tender to refresh their entire voice and data network. He identified that there had been a historical IT investment-strategy gap. The current IT network was unable to support the Trust in delivering its strategic objectives or deliver transformational change and therefore any future investment had to be aligned to deliver the hospital’s business and clinical strategy.

As Cisco was the hospital’s primary incumbent network solution supplier he arranged for them to use the hospital to pilot their new ‘Transformative Networking Review’. This review included:

  • an analysis of the hospital’s existing network architecture
  • an analysis of the hospital’s published strategy
  • analysis of environmental and political factors affecting and likely to affect the NHS
  • detailed ‘forward looking’ interviews with 30 of the hospital’s key decision makers

The interview data and the output from the detailed ‘paper’ analysis was combined with Cisco’s detailed knowledge of current and future IT network solutions and developments. This resulted in a report being presented to the hospital that translated the findings into a proposed 5 year IT architectural investment roadmap (at the generic level as opposed to a brand specific level)

This roadmap, if adopted, would ensure that from an IT perspective that the Trust was able to a) deliver its business and clinical strategy and b) support delivering transformational change

Sean Mullineux, who facilitated the review and helped Cisco construct the report, was then able to use the report and generic level roadmap to inform the structure of the Trust’s invitation to tender to refresh its voice and data network.

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