By Ramachandra Annadi, technical architect, Qentelli.
Cloud technology has made its way into IT since Continuous Delivery became a priority to nearly every business sector, including the healthcare industry. In fact, many hospitals and healthcare organizations are now housing electronic medical records in a cloud-based environment, giving medical teams a more convenient way to access patient data.
Even studies show that cloud computing in healthcare is set to hit $40 Billion by 2026, which is no surprise since the cloud offers numerous benefits including reducing IT costs, providing quick access to business applications and forms, and supporting medical teams with on-demand and easy access to patient data from anywhere, via computer or even on a mobile phone.
However, major concerns still exist with the cloud including challenges with security and privacy which is why healthcare organizations have to be extremely careful with the type of solution they deploy as healthcare data breaches can be very risky and costly. In fact, data breaches cost healthcare organizations millions of dollars each year because patient data is classified as extremely valuable on the black market.
So it’s extremely important that organizations have security features in their cloud like perimeter and internal firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and data encryption to ensure they are operating under maximum security.
The Accelerate State of DevOps 2019 report showcases key findings on the cloud and claims to be the largest research of its kind, presenting 6 years of research comprising data from more than 31,000 professionals across the globe. Focusing on the required practices and capabilities to deliver powerful business outcomes that can shape progressive businesses and medical teams, the report talks about various aspects from culture to cloud adoption.
The report once again warns the enterprises, to ‘Excel or die!’ while giving insights about what the key characteristics of cloud computing are as defined by National Institute of Standards and Technology – NIST.
However, one glaring finding in the report shows that only 29% of the respondents using cloud infrastructures agreed or strongly agreed that they meet all five of the below essential characteristics of cloud computing.
Let’s see how important these characteristics are for cloud efficiency.
It is definitely one of the most prominent reasons why the cloud on-demand model has gained so much popularity in the healthcare sector. While maybe not essential, having an on-demand self-serving portal to access the cloud’s accounts, tap into subscribed cloud services, and access tools to provision and de-provision services unilaterally as needed – can all significantly improve the user experience for physicians, nurses and other medical teams.
This clearly empowers business agility. On the other hand, it’s a good idea for a reliable IT rep to manage control over on-demand resources as it reduces administrative burden, but it should be controlled with a corporate channel as well to avoid risks like Shadow IT. Most of the enterprises that depend a lot on the cloud, encourage their IT departments to have cloud inventory management and perform periodic cloud audits to prevent hiccups and ensure efficiencies.