The healthcare community is moving toward the cloud as the amount of information that doctors, nurses and hospital staff use quickly escalates. With cloud data available for staff, hospitals could see a drastic increase in productivity. For hospitals, the best kinds of clouds are hybrid or private clouds, depending on the level of control it needs to have over its information. As HIPAA tightly controls how a hospital can store data on patients, there are different needs for hospitals in terms of how to deal with keeping the information they have secure and safe. For healthcare companies or organizations looking at adopting the cloud, it is important for them to work with their potential cloud vendors to understand exactly how their data will be viewable and how it will be stored.
Healthcare and the cloud
A recent article by Health Data Management shows that there are many benefits to cloud adoption. A specific note mentioned in the article is that HIPAA now defines cloud services as "business associates of healthcare organizations." This means that the cloud vendors have a larger obligation to report breaches and keep up strong security standards. Something that may arise from this development is an increase in the amount of could vendors who may now actively seek business from healthcare providers due to the clarity of the new rules.
Healthcare has a lot to gain from the advantages of cloud computing. Healthcare could obtain accessibility, reliability, and security due to the natural existence of those three things in cloud servers. The mobility provided by most cloud hosting companies will allow healthcare professionals to easily send data to each other through applications on mobile phones, potentially saving thousands of hours over the course of a year in the hospital. Because health care professionals are so mobile and spend so little time in traditional offices, they benefit greatly from technology that allows them to keep up with data wherever they are.
The cloud and IT
As different industries adopt the cloud, there will be a period of transition for IT workers in those industries. Right now, many IT departments work as specialists who understand the deepest underpinnings of the systems at play. While this is important for any organization that still uses principally mainframe computing, this distinction will no longer be so relevant as many companies switch to hybrid and private cloud solutions. One of the benefits of cloud computing is its user-friendliness. The new wave of IT professionals will, instead of dealing with the arcane insides of computers, work with business leaders and the rest of the company in order to communicate concepts about technology and application adoption that may become important for organizations over time.
According to a recent article by Business 2 Community, new IT roles will be more about understanding how development and operations intersect, and helping the business people learn how their ideas will translate in technical terms. This change in the way that IT operates is dramatic, but not fundamental. IT will still work with technology and help those who are less skilled in dealing with technical elements realize their vision. The purpose of technical staff at a business has always been to facilitate interactions between non-technical workers and machines. Because the daily details of using computers and programs will be solved by the ease-of-use most cloud computing applications have, though, IT's new job will be helping upper levels of business implement new systems. Having the details automated for a business is one of the benefits of cloud computing, and technical workers will be able to give more of their attention to dealing with long-terms problems because of it.