From telemedicine and virtual care to “hospital at home” programs, the healthcare industry has implemented significant changes to adapt to changing patient and workforce needs. over the past two years. As the industry acclimates to and expands on these methods, it is more important than ever for healthcare organizations to benefit from the flexibility and operational efficiencies offered by a multicloud model. After all, according to our research, multicloud has become the most commonly deployed computing model in the world, with businesses across different industries and sizes using it. However, the reality is that the healthcare industry, in particular, is struggling to update its IT infrastructure.
Results from our fourth annual Healthcare Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) revealed that 90% of healthcare IT respondents consider hybrid multicloud – an IT operating model with multiple private and public clouds with interoperability between – their ideal model of choice. . Despite this, the current adoption rate sits at 27%, with the private cloud being the most common computing model for healthcare organizations. The burning question that arises is: what is stopping them? If multicloud is on the rise in other industries and desired by healthcare IT professionals, what’s stopping them from deploying it? The answer is not entirely simple, but healthcare organizations face some significant challenges:
The first barrier to multicloud deployment is the very nature of the healthcare industry, which is highly regulated in terms of patient and data privacy. Compliance with regulatory mandates, such as HIPAA, drives many deployment decisions and is likely one reason healthcare IT professionals have been slower to trust public clouds and adopt it as a component in good faith of their computing environments. However, extending on-premises private clouds to one or more public clouds for appropriate use cases, including storing patient health information, is a fundamental step towards creating a multicloud environment and gaining the flexibility to meet diverse needs as they arise and evolve.
The security concerns facing healthcare IT professionals are closely tied to strict privacy regulations. Healthcare’s focus on security has intensified during the pandemic, causing their IT departments to spend more to strengthen it. In the past 12 months, 100% of ECI respondents have moved one or more applications to a new computing environment, and 48% of respondents cited this move as a security measure. While security concerns will undoubtedly remain paramount in the healthcare industry, the availability of hybrid multicloud solutions that allow organizations to centrally create and enforce top-down, cross-cloud security and compliance policies will eventually by leveling the playing field to allow for equally effective defenses regardless of Infrastructure.
The computer skills gap
IT is currently facing a skills shortage crisis across all sectors, and healthcare is no exception as 84% of CIS respondents said they lack the IT skills to meet the current demands of businesses. In addition to needing IT skills on staff to move regulated data from on-premises infrastructures to the cloud, IT must also have a deep understanding of how cloud security setup and security practices application differ significantly from traditional IT security practices on-premises (and between different public cloud providers). With a lack of the complex skills and understanding needed to move to multicloud, many healthcare organizations have been slow to take the necessary steps to make it happen.
Cost effectiveness plays a huge role in the upgrades chosen by IT departments. For them, cost savings means value for money. It’s no surprise, then, that cost management is a priority when exploring multicloud deployments: 80% of ECI respondents agreed that moving a workload to a new cloud environment can be costly, while that 48% of respondents also cited cost management as a challenge. . To modernize operations and achieve new levels of efficiency, there are several paths healthcare IT can take by embracing cloud technologies and cloud-centric operating models. Enterprises realize significant cost savings with platforms capable of delivering storage, compute, security, infrastructure management and monitoring through a virtualized architecture. Besides selecting a cloud platform with these features, another key is to implement smart governance and cost monitoring strategies. Having clear visibility into the ongoing cost of each cloud is key to avoiding unnecessary spending.
Although traditionally behind the scenes, IT departments in healthcare organizations are now at the forefront of business success as they have become critical drivers of day-to-day and global operations since the onslaught of the pandemic. With future patient needs and preferences, and the innovations that will be developed to meet them, being uncertain, it is imperative that healthcare IT professionals adopt a hybrid multicloud IT infrastructure that spans a mix of private and public clouds. with interoperability between them. Healthcare IT professionals seem to agree with this sentiment despite the challenges they face, as multicloud penetration is expected to nearly double over the next three years. Although there is a difficult road ahead, the payoff from multicloud will be worth it.