Healthcare organizations increasingly face two competing goals: cut costs while also improving patient care. When it comes to cutting operating costs, that often means the IT department carries an especially heavy burden to contribute. For IT organizations that are already lean, this is a challenging endeavor.
Many look toward digitizing medical records and other information as a way to help both cut costs and improve patient care, while also becoming more efficient. This is generally a smart move, unfortunately digitizing all this information represents an enormous amount of data, and the legacy infrastructure isn’t designed to keep up.
In a recent webinar, Rainer Fuchs, former CIO of Harvard Medical School summarized the demand for storage his team faced. “When I started, we had about one terabyte of storage online. Five years later it had grown to about 50 terabytes.”
This is incredible growth, but any healthcare IT organization will say it’s not unusual. That means, one of the best opportunities to cut costs is to re-architect your storage infrastructure model to include more flexible and efficient cloud-based solutions. For those organizations that have a lot of legacy to deal with, hybrid cloud can be a particularly good choice.
Rainer gets into the nitty-gritty in the webinar, and I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to it and hear Rainer’s perspective on the hybrid cloud challenge and opportunity for healthcare. Here are two reasons he cites as to why hybrid cloud is the perfect solution for the unique challenges healthcare organizations face.
Hybrid cloud is flexible
This is the first thing that companies look at when considering heading to the cloud. With the as-a-service model, you can simply scale storage up and down as the need arises, so you don’t fill your data center with extra capacity you might not need for years. It also means – in a scenario that’s increasingly more likely in healthcare – that you won’t get caught light on capacity if you’re generating a lot of data, but haven’t provisioned enough.
This ability to quickly and easily add or subtract capacity with the click of a mouse frees IT from focusing on infrastructure management, and brings the focus back to optimizing app performance and providing other value – rather than “just keeping the lights on,” as Rainer puts it.
The cloud can boost security
Many organizations have come around to the fact that cloud security has improved to the point that it is at least equal to what they can accomplish on-premise. But there are still those, especially in healthcare, who think, “How can we let our sensitive data live anywhere but our own data centers?”
This is an understandable concern. Healthcare data is so sensitive it can be almost impossible to trust its security to a third party. On the other hand, the growing number of well-publicized attacks on healthcare systems and data show that keeping data on-site isn’t as secure as we like to think.
“The cloud can provide a more efficient way of securing data, or can effectively complement your existing ways of securing data,” Rainer summarized. “And at the same time improve your resiliency when it comes to cyberattacks.”
Getting to the cloud presents its own set of challenges, and it’s worth watching the entire webinar to get Rainer’s advice on how to navigate the transition – or contact us for more information. For those healthcare companies that are looking to make IT more efficient, and free it from the constant provisioning cycle – that is to say every healthcare organization – hybrid cloud can be a great solution, with the added benefit of improving your security, backup and DR along the way.
To learn more about hybrid cloud options for healthcare organizations, check out our webinar.