June 7th, 2017

Healthcare Embraces Cloud – Finally!

I vividly remember three years ago when I was talking with a CIO of a major healthcare provider around his organization’s strategy towards cloud migration. I was surprised to learn that cloud migration and integration were not even on his radar, for two main reasons. First, he was unwilling to trust the cloud with protected health information (PHI) and second, he did not see any cost savings by moving operations to a cloud-based model. For a moment, I believed that this was more specific to his organization, but after speaking with CxOs at several other healthcare organizations, there seemed to be a general belief that cloud adoption in healthcare was not a viable business model given the concerns around patient privacy and data security (e.g. HIPAA) and more importantly, it did not provide tangible cost savings.

Fast forward to 2017 and the story around cloud adoption in healthcare space is vastly different. Just in the past couple of years, the cloud evolution in healthcare has gained significant momentum as healthcare organizations’ strategic benefits trump previous reservations. Healthcare companies of all kinds – providers, payers, pharma, medical device manufacturers – are now leveraging cloud solutions to manage several key areas such as data analytics, IoT, wearables, and new patient engagement platforms.

Cloud adoption in the healthcare industry has accelerated over the last few years and is projected to keep growing. The global healthcare cloud computing market is forecasted to triple from 2015 to 2020, eventually reaching $9.48 billion, according to MarketsandMarkets report.

There are a couple of key areas within the healthcare space that are fueling the cloud computing market. It should come as no surprise that one of them is infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings such as Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, and Google Cloud. More and more healthcare organizations are moving their data center operations to one of these IaaS platforms.

The other being “Mobile-First” – how people move throughout the world today – constantly on the move connecting from any place, any time, any device. Mobile engagement platforms are being used across the healthcare industry today to drive sweeping transformation around areas such as clinical trials by pharma companies to enriched next-generation patient engagements.

healthcare cloud
I am not saying that cloud computing is the panacea for all the challenges (e.g. we still have to make progress on patient security concerns and healthcare information exchanges) that the healthcare industry faces, but it is definitely alleviating a lot of the pain points that were inconceivable just two or three years ago. So, while this technology continues to make inroads, it is critical that healthcare organizations focus on the implementation and delivery aspects very carefully.

Most partners helping enterprises shift to the cloud platform are missing the mark, according to a recent Forrester report. They focus on technology and forget about not only the human aspect but also the opportunity to reinvent applications for a digital world. From DMI’s perspective, the way data needs to be migrated to the cloud should have an entirely different approach; one that shifts the focus from mass migration to a smaller more agile process guided for the customer. This helps ensure the business resolves the correct challenges at an appropriate time.

When re-thinking the way cloud migration and integration is done, we apply five key principles:

  • Human-Centric Methodology
  • Mobile-First Structure
  • Data-Driven
  • Micro-services
  • Security

To learn about DMI’s unique industry-proven cloud migration and integration approach, please download our white paper here or join our webinar on 5 Principles to Ensure a Successful Cloud Migration on Thursday, June 8th at 11 AM to 12 PM EST.

I firmly believe that the cloud computing platform is emerging as a mission-critical tool that can help healthcare organizations transform major aspects of their business – foster rapid innovation, impactful patient engagement, and yes even laying the foundation for the emerging wave of artificial intelligence (more on that in subsequent blogs).

Tapan Mehta

Tags: cloud cloud computing data analytics forrester healthcare IoT wearables

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