Integration and Generification—Agile Software Development in the Healthcare Market
The aim of this paper is to contribute to strategies applicable to vendors who want to move their locally designed and highly integrated systems to a larger market. A further aim is to explore how such systems developed for a local practice, and tightly integrated with the existing infrastructure, can be adapted to a larger market. We analyse the socio-technical mechanisms in play, the roles that the vendor and the users have in order to facilitate this, and the delicate interplay in relation to the other vendors. The analysis draws on the CSCW field, notions of generification of packaged software products, and boundary work. We argue that this process involves boundary work in relation to the installed base, as well as to other vendors and users. We also argue that the roles of the actors involved change during this process. The case described in this paper is the evolution of a system in which general practitioners can order laboratory services from the hospital electronically. The system integrates the general practitioners’ information systems with the laboratory information system in the hospital. The development of the system started out in close cooperation with one customer, but as it evolved more customers bought the system. The system has been designed in an iterative and evolutionary way using agile development methods.