I am very much a list person. I love just about any Yahoo or Forbes Top 10 article and Trip Advisor is my favorite travel planning website (which if you don’t use it you really should!). So while doing my homework for a cloud computing in healthcare presentation, I started making my own lists – the top 3 reasons why healthcare organizations would be hesitant to make the leap to the cloud and the top 3 reasons they would be excited to make the leap to cloud.
The interesting thing is THEY’RE EXACTLY THE SAME: Cost Savings, Security and Flexibility. For the exact same reasons 32% of healthcare organizations are leveraging the cloud, more see them as barriers to adoption. So let’s do a quick breakdown of this conundrum starting with the concerns side:
Concerns Around Healthcare Cloud
Cost Savings: While cloud solutions reduce capital requirements they increase operational costs and in some cases network requirements.
Security: Organizations want control over how data is stored, transmitted, managed and are wary about liabilities in the event of a breach or outage (here’s an example of what not to do).
Flexibility: Organizations want to avoid vendor lock in, and want to have the freedom to move to new solutions easily, with their own data in tow.
Benefits of Healthcare Cloud
Cost Savings: Realizing efficiencies is a prevalent theme in healthcare. With cloud you can do things like reduce energy consumption and capital outlay. Even better, you can outsource your biggest headaches! (PACS storage, telehealth conferencing, email etc.)
Security: Leading cloud providers often have the most cutting edge, secure, traceable data access trails available because not only is this the lifeblood of their existence, but it gives them (and you) a competitive edge.
Flexibility: As mobile health gains traction, care is moved to the home and doctors are increasingly leveraging mobile applications, solutions that provide scalable data access or capture from a central location become key.
These benefits and concerns are all valid but at the end of the day 78% of healthcare organizations are planning to move to the cloud and those that already have are averaging over 20% cost savings. If you are thinking of jumping on the cloud bandwagon I suggest you re-evaluate your concerns and add these things on your to do list.
- Define what you are trying to achieve through your cloud solution and inventory your applications to determine what would be best served via a cloud solution
- Carry out TCO and break even analyses for build vs. buy (or Capex vs. Opex)
- Understand the liabilities of trusting a vendor with confidential information and work with cloud providers to satisfy your security requirements
- Define data ownership and determine in the event of a breach or outage, who is responsible for what and what SLAs etc. exist
- Evaluate network requirements (cloud performance is network performance)
- Design the right hybrid/public/private solution that satisfies redundancy, application performance and security requirements
- Test with regular audits and enjoy the many benefits cloud has to offer
Before you know it you can have a cloud solution that taps into the benefits and cuts down on the concerns. For more thinking on how to get started, check out this cloud video.