Agencies, health sector should employ modern IT as superpower

Best listening experience is on Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Subscribe to Women of Washington’s audio interviews on Apple Podcasts or PodcastOne.

Some federal contractors have made it their goal to ensure the health care system too employs mobile applications and modernized IT more often.

On this episode of Women of Washington, Gigi Schumm welcomed Lisa Mitnick, managing director for Accenture Digital. Mitnick is responsible for driving mobile and digital innovation services across North America Health and Public Service markets.

In 2018, it is not weird at all to see someone using their phone as a source for almost everything. You can reserve tables at restaurants, check how much money you have in your bank account and even use an app to call a car, such as Lyft or Uber, to pick you up when needed.

Mitnick is a wide supporter of digital health tools, such as health coaching, mobile exercise programs and other apps. She said giving the public the ability to access help and motivation without having to pay an arm and a leg is the goal.

“When you think about what the cost to society is in terms of health care as a percent of GDP, it’s huge. Our ability to provide easy tools … it’s going to have a huge impact on somebody’s life,” she said. “There’s so many great ways to sort of get in-shape, to monitor and also to use social media to bring other people that are going through the same thing that you’re going through.”

Mitnick said taking these same principles and using them within a government agency — whether as an enterprise for a department or for individual employees — is becoming more important. Using digital and social media within an agency can also help to transform how people do their jobs efficiently, she said.

She also applauded modern IT for being able to collect data in real-time without an employee having to be on site. This is both an improvement to time, and in some ways, cost. But there is always a downside to relying heavily on computers.

“We obviously have to be vigilant as it relates to security, but that is no longer a reason not to go ahead and innovate. I would say that we’ve seen so much progress in this area [as] many federal agencies are moving to Gov cloud,” Mitnick said. “What I think is most important is to start with a user case. Really think about the user, whether it’s an employee or whether it’s the citizens, and really think about a day in the life and how we can transform the work that they do or how they’re receiving services.”

Using services such as the Cloud and other digital tools costs less than manufacturing huge computers and they allow agencies to focus more on their stakeholders. Staying people-focused, and not technology-focused is key, Mitnick said.

Lisa Mitnick, Accenture

Her role at Accenture is focused on helping companies and agencies deliver new products and even software as a service to their constituents. That includes programs focused on artificial intelligence, virtual reality,  the internet of things, mobile applications, etc.

“It’s really unlocking new opportunities for organizations to not only transform their core business, but it really drive new kinds of revenues, new types of engagement models,” she said. “So what excites me about it is it’s not just about mobile as a channel, but integrating mobile with other types of technologies.”

She said the ultimate goal in federal contracting is to help agencies use these tools, almost like a superpower, to propel their missions forward.

But how did she get into this line of work? She stumbled upon consulting after graduating from business school and fell in love. Mitnick said that’s OK, as long as you give it your all and find your place.

She has made it her goal to stay confident and to allow herself to feel good about the work she’s doing.

“I think it’s super, super important that we help [all] women to do that,” she said. “Help encourage them to feel empowered and not have that feeling of ‘I’m not good enough’. … Instead, own it. Appreciate it. And be thankful.”