Cloud to be key technology enabler in healthcare

The cloud is quickly acquiring a global presence as organizations from various industries around the world implement the technology to improve internal and external operations. The healthcare sector is seeking alternative ways to reduce expenses without impairing the quality of service physicians can deliver to patients. This pursuit is inevitably leading facilities to cloud computing.

A recent Frost & Sullivan report highlighted this significant transformation, forecasting that the cloud will be a critical enabler for new solutions in the healthcare market. This is because the cloud can improve communications in and outside of hospitals and other healthcare facilities, boost quality of service and augment how individuals share information with one another. These benefits are derived from numerous qualities of the cloud, including its scalable data storage architecture and its ability to protect highly sensitive information.

"By using cloud computing, the expenditure on hardware and storage space would be cut down, as cloud storage can cost almost 10 times less than regular storage systems," said Raghuraman Madanagopal, healthcare analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "In addition, cloud storage implementation may result in a drastic readjustment of the amount spent on training resources to manage the storage systems."

Still, the cloud is in its early stages of adoption in the healthcare industry, suggesting decision-makers need to develop more rigorous migration plans.

Tomorrow's healthcare clouds
While the cloud is gaining momentum in the global healthcare scene, the sector's strict compliance regulations are forcing executives to plan ahead to ensure their cloud solutions meet all corporate requirements, Frost & Sullivan noted.

A TechTarget report highlighted how many healthcare facilities can benefit from implementing the public cloud. Although the private cloud can help in some situations, executives will often find that the public model caters to the many different storage needs organizations have today. As companies embrace electronic medical records, for example, they need the ability to provide those resources to users anywhere at any time, which can take advantage of the cloud's unique service delivery capabilities.

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon is also transforming healthcare, which is pushing decision-makers to implement cloud computing to support mobile and other IT endeavors needed to keep pace with the changing technological landscape. By planning ahead and aligning compliance requirements with cloud opportunities, healthcare executives can deploy the hosted services that meet their needs without compromising security, efficiency or costs.

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