What’s Your Plan? Cloud as Disaster Recovery for Healthcare IT and Healthcare Consultants

Guest post by Dan Tully, executive vice president, Conduit Systems.

“Disaster” is defined as a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, which causes great damage and results in unfortunate consequences. Hurricane Sandy – which as hard as it might be to believe,  just came upon its six-month anniversary – still comes to mind as the most recent example of the havoc that disasters can wreak. Sandy caused an estimated $50 billion in damages and healthcare IT systems, their managers and healthcare consultancies were not immune. Not to mention the devastation we just faced with the tornados in Oklahoma.

In recent years, the cloud has emerged as a powerful tool to ensure service continuity in the event of disaster, and rightfully so – it’s swift, efficient and cost-effective. A review of cloud-based solutions today for disaster recovery is a safe investment of time, resources, and eventually, capital.

Cloud Backup Today

Information is a precious commodity and protecting it is essential. Cloud backup offers a low-cost solution with little up-front capital expense. It’s most striking benefit is its recovery speed.

Cloud as a backup solution often works best for those working in a mobile capacity. Because employees in these situations do not log into a central location, each time they connect to the Internet, data is pushed to cloud-based servers where it can be easily retrieved in the event of a disaster. An added bonus is that cloud backup requires no transportation costs and offers minimal risk of data loss due to theft.

The Hybrid Approach: Cloud-integrated Backup

Not all healthcare IT and consulting professionals are comfortable placing their data in the cloud. Fortunately, customizable solutions exist to address their concerns. Hybrid, cloud-integrated backup solutions offer secure access to data while ensuring continuity in the event of disaster. With the installation of an on-premise appliance (physical or virtual), an encrypted cache of information is collected, copied and pushed to the cloud in real time for storage. When catastrophe strikes, the most up-to-date information is readily available to be pulled down on to a new server.

From a business and patient outcome perspective, disaster is about continuation after impact – not the event itself. The up-front and hidden costs of downtime are very real, especially for those in specialized, healthcare-related industries. For that reason, contingency plans are a necessary reality. Those who prepare for the worst, have no need to hope for the best because they’ve already planned for it. In which of those categories do you fall?

Dan Tully is executive vice president of Conduit Systems, an IT management services firm founded nearly 30-years ago. Conduit Systems specializes in helping healthcare and SMB clients adapt to the evolving tech landscape, streamline operations and protect the data most valuable to their operations.

One comment on “What’s Your Plan? Cloud as Disaster Recovery for Healthcare IT and Healthcare Consultants”

Cloud based backup is a terrific solution – particularly when integrated with tablets for disaster recovery episodes of short duration. Unfortunately, disasters come in all types, sizes and durations – making a paper based solution the ultimate in reliable disaster recovery. Properly executed, structured data from paper files can be loaded onto cloud based backups by third parties during the outage in the case of extended failure.

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