Varian Medical Systems, a multi-billion dollar supplier of medical equipment, has recognized the vital importance of mobility to modern productivity – and is pushing ahead of the curve with a focus on mobile ROI.

42-45556274_sRGBsmall.jpgApril 2014 saw Varian Medical Systems install its 500th Medical Linear Accelerator, at the Red Cross Kyoto Daiichi Hospital in Japan. This was a milestone achievement for Varian, which has developed technology and equipment for cancer and other medical treatments as an independent company since spinning off from Varian in 1999. April also saw its market capitalization reach $8.50 billion.

Fitting its Palo Alto headquarters, in the historical home of the US technology industry, Varian understands that modern medical treatment is a challenge requiring excellent hardware and excellent software. Varian Medical Systems recently acquired Velocity Medical Solutions and its software product, which analyses large amounts of unstructured data into clinically useful information.

The challenge of mobility

The ability to access and interpret data – and access it anywhere – has the power to transform business and medicine. And, as mobile technology evolves, new uses will emerge. Last year, a doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston performed life-saving surgery while accessing information on using a Google Glass head-mounted device.

The businesses making the tools doctors use may not be performing surgery themselves, but their ability to run effectively is a vital part of the modern medical ecosystem. And managing – or failing to manage – mobility has emerged as one of the greatest challenges to the modern information enterprise.

Bringing devices to work – and making devices work

In the enterprise, one of the biggest issues facing IT departments and managers is BYOD – bring your own device. Few could have predicted before the age of commoditized smartphones that workers at every level of business would not just be prepared to supply their own mobile devices, and pay for them, but would in many cases insist on it. Enterprises are working to overcome the security issues of BYOD by retooling their IT capacities, and developing dedicated applications to support their business.

BYOD is already well established across industry. The Gartner study “Bring Your Own Device: The Facts and the Future” suggests that by 2017 it will not only be widely accepted that employees will bring their own devices to work, but 50% of employers will actually expect employees to provide their own devices.

The potential cost and complexity savings of employees providing their own technology, and managing their own data plans, are clear. Analysis by Cisco indicates that employees allowed to use their own devices spend $965 from their own pockets on an average of 1.7 devices. Currently, these devices are generally smartphones and tablets, but in the future may be wearable technologies or “smart glasses”.

The same study estimates that the value of a “basic” BYOD policy to businesses in the US can be found in up to 81 minutes of productive time returned to mobile employees every week, with a 37-minute benefit on average across the world.

The cost benefits of BYOD are initially found in hardware and contract cost savings. But the real value is found in productivity improvements – and in the acknowledgement that, in the business of the future, almost all workers will be mobile workers.

Measuring mobile ROI

Varian’s approach to mobile centers on measuring and maximizing mobile ROI – a figure many businesses have yet to define. Partnering with one of its technology providers, an analytics-driven approach to mobile technology allowed Varian to find the three most profitable applications in its mobile arsenal – measuring tangible and intangible benefits. Now, Varian is maximizing the benefits of those “hero” apps, to create a culture of mobile enablement and lay the foundation for identifying and deploying more mobile applications with strong ROI potential.

To find out which three applications are already saving Varian more than 13,000 person hours and nearly $1 million, and how they do it, download the white paper “Measuring Mobility at Varian Medical Systems”.

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