AO North America Embarks on a Digital Transformation Journey

Exploring the ideas behind our evolving online presence

19 October 2020

AO North America’s digital transformation is no longer just an idea, it’s now a reality. It’s a path that we’ve devoted the last 8 months to, one that will continue indefinitely into the future. What are we working to achieve? What would AO North America look like once we digitally transform?  These are some of the questions we’ve answered time and time again, and the answers are what have motivated our decisions thus far. With a focus on learning, engagement, and building community, the goal is to achieve and fulfill our purpose of serving as a credible and validated resource for continuing professional development in North America.

Four pillars were fundamental and foundational to the success of the transformation. 



While technology solutions and tools have evolved to high levels of sophistication, understanding how any particular technology contributes to the transformation in the context of the organization, adapting that technology to the specific needs of the business and its customers, and integrating it with existing systems is extremely complex.  Integration existing legacy systems can also be challenging. AO NA’s experience was no different. In collaboration with AO Foundation and Valtech, a New York based agency, the AO NA staff have assessed the existing systems and evaluated the needs and technology solutions required to support the transformation.



Understanding the data that exists and data that needs to be collected from the business, the customer and the organization is essential.  This data is required to provide personalized, relevant and meaningful interactions that can increase engagement with the community. In addition, the technology infrastructure, and processes need to be aligned in order to ensure we collect the right data at the right time from the right customer. This data needs to be analyzed and contributes to continuous evolution of the transformation and the organization.



Transformation requires reinvention of our processes to connect differently with our customers in the digital space, to enable seamless connection of all activities, and develop the ability to be agile, nimble and respond to needs efficiently and effectively. Process management — horizontally, across silos, and focused on customer, is required to streamline and build efficiencies. Incremental process improvement can be achieved through revision of existing processes as needed and building new ones. 


Change Management

Leadership, teamwork, courage, emotional intelligence, and other elements of change management are critical for transformation. Effective communication, support for training and optimal team performance to manage change are key factors that influence staff morale and motivation. Dissemination of information to all stakeholders and customers about change and how the organization is managing the same is crucial. The right people to support the changes in processes, technology and the organization is also a key component that drives transformation. 


Bringing it all together

Technology that drives digital transformation, data that provide insights and reason, aligned processes that support goals and guide the teams, and the organization’s ability to manage the change are all essential components that need to functional well together.  

Our digital transformation also aims to boost engagement, and we are doing this through new communication and social media strategies. A surgeon taskforce has been charged with assisting in the implementation of these strategies and fostering alignment across the clinical divisions. In addition, a regularly updated news stream is present on the website to make sure our users can keep in the know on all the happenings within AO North America, its faculty, and members.

Building community is at the forefront of AO North America’s digital transformation as well. Our surgeons speak of the camaraderie and “AO spirit” that they enjoy as members of AO North America, and it is our intent to increase our reach, allowing more of the surgeon community to take advantage of all that we offer.

AO North America’s digital transformation is an empowering force, one that will allow our digital presence to foster and enrich AO NA customer experiences. This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for what is yet to come as we continue to expand our reach and the scope of the transformation. 



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