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How to navigate risk in the healthcare hybrid cloud

Among other goals, a hybrid cloud strategy must provide a healthcare organization with the right levels of data performance, cost, security, access, protection and governance.

Jeff Rowe | Oct 05, 2017 09:27 am

We’ve pointed numerous times recently to the rise in popularity of hybrid cloud strategies for healthcare organizations still trying to figure out the best way to begin to take advantage of the cloud.  

But as with any emerging technological option, there are still risks and challenges that somewhat balance the advantages of the hybrid cloud, in addition to the well-known concerns about security, and planning to overcome these issues should be an essential part of any cloud migration strategy.

For example, a recent article out of the UK notes, stakeholders need to be mindful of the potential complexity of a hybrid cloud strategy. “With the explosion of web services, mobile devices and new technologies, managing the complexity of an expanding data centre environment across a hybrid cloud is a significant challenge. Choosing the right service offerings at the right service levels on different data management frameworks across a blend of cloud resources can be daunting.”

In addition, the article notes, “for years, IT organizations have been working towards developing agility within the data centre. Now, as the public cloud is folded into company IT strategies, the capability to move applications, workloads and data among cloud resources requires connections between those resources - a cloud data fabric - to extend this agility to a hybrid cloud.”

Interestingly, one of the challenges the writer discusses that might fly under many organizations’ radar is the need to have the skills at hand, though that can mean either in-house or via a partner. “If a skills gap exists in an organization,” the writer says, “that shouldn’t be seen as an obstacle to moving to a hybrid cloud model. Selecting the right consulting services partner to help design, deploy and manage the cloud environment can help address such a gap whilst still gaining the business benefits of a hybrid cloud.”

Other key considerations include ensuring control of data even though management of infrastructure and applications may increasingly be shared, as well as implementing effective management tools to protect against excessive cloud provider lock-in.