Health orgs entering hybrid cloud to balance present and future needs

Companies’ digital transformations have come a long way, but as cloud platforms continue to innovate, healthcare organizations need to evaluate carefully what is right for them for the long term.

Jeff Rowe | Mar 02, 2018 12:00 am

In simple terms, the importance of data centers is diminishing, while public and private cloud technology’s value and usability is growing and gaining traction.

That’s according to Robert Belgrave, founder and CEO of  Wirehive, a UK digital technology marketing firm.  In a recent commentary, Belgrave describes how the cloud has been playing “an integral role in the transformation of many businesses over the last decade,” and how that race to the cloud is only going to pick up speed as the technology matures.

In his view, the numbers clearly back up his prediction.  He cites a recent study from IDC that points out “that a year ago traditional data centers accounted for 62 per cent of IT infrastructure spending, while public cloud captured 23 per cent and private cloud, 15 per cent. Illustrating a rapid shift, IDG predicts that by 2020 data centers will represent 50 per cent of the market, with public cloud forming just under a third of the market and private cloud making up 20 per cent. 

As managers in healthcare and other sectors venture into the cloud, they need to understand, evaluate and implement cloud computing with an eye toward both their current and future needs. According to Belgrave, many are making the move somewhat gradually by opting for hybrid cloud arrangements.

“Some businesses see hybrid cloud use as a way to deal with IT demand peaks, while others view it as a central management experience,” he observers. “Many companies tend to start working with hybrid clouds to complement their present investments. For instance, as most businesses usually use a sliding scale for what aspects of their operations are most crucial, some would place the less valuable or security-demanding areas in the public cloud.”

He’s speaking of organizations across the economy, but the importance of prioritizing data accessibility is arguably more immediately critical to healthcare, with the obvious direct impact patient information can have in determining treatment, than it is anywhere else.

Finally, with the increased exploration of hybrid cloud, Belgrave predicts, “people will also start turning their heads to emerging options such as multi-clouds, which are naturally evolving from hybrid cloud use. Multi-clouds enable the use of multiple cloud computing services in a single infrastructure. For example, a company can use separate cloud providers for its infrastructure and software services, or it can use a number of infrastructure providers for a variety of workloads. This is when multi-cloud architecture comes into play, as it enables businesses to increase their cloud operations’ availability.”