In the past, health care facilities have been reticent to adopt the cloud for fear that it may put their sensitive medical data at risk or leave them in non-compliant with regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. These lingering and often false fears have prevented health care organizations from making the most of cloud computing, but a new report shows that those legacy ideas about the technology are quickly dissipating.
According to a research report released by TechNavio earlier this month, the cloud market among global health care providers is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of close to 22 percent between last year and 2019. As more digital data and new technologies like electronic health records and wearable computing devices enter health care settings, medical care providers and others in the industry increasingly need to update their IT resources to account for it all. Instead of investing in expensive on-premises machines with limited capacity and little to no flexibility, health care firms are embracing the cloud and its many benefits.
"The increased adoption of IT in healthcare has led to an urgent need for storage devices to store the enormous amount of data that is being generated," the report noted. "Cloud solutions for storing and retrieving data are expected to significantly reduce the IT expenditure of healthcare institutions."
TechNavio is far from the only research firm to note this uptick in cloud computing adoption within this sector. In particular, a June 2014 report from HIMSS Analytics found that 83 percent of the IT executives polled said they used the cloud in some capacity, with 92 percent saying that the cloud will benefit them both now and in the future.
In particular, those surveyed said they are primarily turning to this technology to host data and apps, support Health Information Exchanges and back up data in the event of a disaster or other calamitous scenario, Forbes contributor Louis Columbus reported. Furthermore, HIMSS Analytics found that the cloud enables health care providers to reduce IT maintenance costs, quickly deploy new programs and initiatives and not rely on internal teams as much for the day-to-day oversight of IT infrastructure and solutions.
What kind of cloud is best for health care organizations?
While firms in this sector are increasingly seeing the light when it comes to the cloud, some lingering fears about the technology remain. In particular, security topped the list of the most commonly cited issues health care organizations have with the cloud, according to HIMSS Analytics, with more than 61 percent of survey respondents noting this as a source of concern. Luckily that does not mean that they are forsaking the cloud entirely, but it may be influencing their deployment preferences.
Of those polled by HIMSS Analytics that have the cloud for data or application hosting, over 37 percent of them have a private cloud architecture in place, while more than 36 percent said they use a hybrid cloud arrangement. It makes sense that organizations with security and compliance concerns would be more willing to embrace private and hybrid cloud arrangement over a purely public cloud deployment model. With hybrid and private cloud, health care organizations can maintain more granular control over their assets while still gaining the scalability, flexibility and cost benefits inherent in the cloud.
Now that health care organizations have seen the light and are embracing the cloud and its myriad benefits, the question now becomes which service provider to turn to for their hybrid or private cloud needs. With a cloud deployment from Faction, firms can be sure that their data and applications are stored in a top-of-the-line environment built specifically for their unique needs. Contact Faction today to learn more!