By Steve Forcum, cloud solutions engineering leader, Avaya.
A recent report on hybrid cloud in the healthcare industry predicts that hybrid cloud is set to jump from 19% penetration to 37% by 2021. In an industry historically slow to adapt in the world of IT, why is hybrid cloud becoming healthcare’s primary choice?
To be fair, there was hesitancy in most major markets when it came to cloud services, many questioning the security of it all and even how it functions on a basic level. Cloud-based data centers that can either be run by third parties (public) or built and maintained internally (private).
And now that the mystery of the cloud has been de-stigmatized in the workplace, more and more organizations are turning to the cloud as its primary servers, but don’t want to give up control completely. This is where hybrid cloud comes into play.
A hybrid cloud serves as the best of both worlds. With a hybrid model, there is a channel that links an established, private computing system with a public cloud, providing access to unlimited processing power.
Both the private cloud and public cloud work in tandem to run applications, depending on decreased and increased workloads. Here’s why this is important for healthcare professionals:
The Data Storing Problem
The healthcare industry more than most, has immense amounts of data stored on its legacy servers filled with Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Although a private cloud helps keep this information safe with a firewall, the flooding of medical records may cause other applications to slow or even crash, forcing providers to buy and install more servers just to keep the system running.
This costs money and time — both crucial and limited in a healthcare environment. The hybrid cloud serves to remedy this problem as it allows applications to run from both the largely scalable public and secure private cloud, depending on demand.
The hybrid cloud model is set to save the cumbersome task of troubleshooting. Often, hospitals and clinics have to undergo a long approval process that is HIPAA compliant before they are granted the permission and resources to update and install its outdated or outgrown software. Because the public part of the hybrid cloud is maintained by a third-party, it is constantly being updated, relieving the healthcare employees of software upkeep and maintenance.
No Compromise on Security
When it comes to a hybrid cloud, there is no need to compromise on customization. Healthcare IT professionals have full control over what assets are kept on the private data center and what gets moved to the public cloud. Privacy is not jeopardized when sensitive information can still remain behind the internal firewall. For example, while less sensitive data such as appointment requests can run on the public cloud, EHRs can stay protected by the private system’s firewall.
As we look towards 2020, it’s the perfect time to migrate your health IT infrastructure to the hybrid cloud.