Motivated by the increasing need for security and reduction in overhead expenses, the healthcare industry data center seems to be considering the cloud for help. Experts have advised hospitals and healthcare institutions to completely eradicate physical data centers, while some recommend a hybrid solution that merges the best of on-site and cloud architectures.
Proven Cost Reductions
As a result of rapid technological advances, many healthcare CIOs are beginning to opt out of replacing old servers that would ultimately lead to principal depreciation. The realization that infrastructure assets that were purchased months ago are quickly becoming obsolete, is hard for anyone to fathom.
On the other hand, healthcare CFOs burdened with the overhead expenses of physical assets like cooling systems, floor tiles, real estate, and the servers themselves. All of this takes continual energy output to operate it on around the clock basis.
Using cloud storage enhances dexterity and productivity as storage capacity can be increased as needed by merely spending more on operations instead of depreciating hardware. Cloud storage also eliminates physical labor that was previously consumed by the purchasing and installation of initial system upgrades, which can take weeks to accomplish.
Size Does Matter
Perhaps the first to healthcare organizations to implement cloud storage will be the smaller independent hospitals and clinics that can’t afford the costs of constantly updating servers and other hardware. The cloud’s low maintenance fees may be enough to attract the smaller healthcare orgs.
Now no one is arguing the fact that there are monetary setbacks involved with initial set up and relocation, but the minor upfront expenditure is nothing compared to recurring premiums associated with an on-site data center.
It would take larger healthcare orgs much more time to migrate to cloud storage as they will have the obstacle of conquering the stagnant investment of a major data center. Migrating enormous amounts of data to the cloud can also be very laborious.
The Cost of Healthcare Security
Hospitals have some of the toughest regulations regarding data security and patient confidentiality. Therefore, no one can really blame their CIOs for being wary of making the cloud jump; especially with news of recent data leaks like the one at Equifax.
Recent studies have shown that the average data breach takes about 200 days to identify and more than 3 months to fully contain. One breach could cost an organization, healthcare or not, $240,000 or more. That doesn’t include legal fees.
Upper management must be cautious that the security software offered with cloud services delivers the same if not better security than their in-house data center. The cloud-based storage security that is chosen absolutely has to be HIPAA-compliant, as well as HIPAA- and IDC-certified. It should also be monitored by high-end security software and firewalls.
Events as of late have revealed that disaster recovery and backup must supplement heightened security. Migrating to the cloud forces many healthcare organizations to cut the symbolic umbilical of hardware control and patching. Therefore, CIOs must be careful to confirm cloud providers abide by to their strict security protocols.