How to pitch your finance department on a move to the healthcare cloud

Finance execs are often understandably concerned about making a move to cloud computing, but the flexibility of cloud computing, among other things, can help them to understand how it makes financial sense.

Jeff Rowe | Apr 09, 2018 12:00 am

Since its rapid emergence in recent years, cloud computing has been a hard sell for many IT managers in healthcare and other sectors.

As Nick Ismail recently pointed out at Information Age, it’s not the IT professionals and their CIOs who have needed convincing about the benefits of cloud technology, but rather those who control the organizational pursestrings or make the final decisions.  But, he says, “while it can be frustrating when others can’t recognize the benefits of cloud computing, it’s best to present statistics and strategies that relate specifically to your business. This will allow others to see how the business can benefit, rather than make general claims or be drawn into a theoretical argument.”

As he sees it, there are three key arguments to present in support of a move to cloud computing: connectivity, efficiency and flexibility. Ismail isn’t writing about healthcare specifically, but it’s not hard to see how his arguments can be applied.

On connectivity, for example, Ismail notes that “with facilitating remote working as a priority, IT staff may have success with HR departments in emphasizing how cloud computing can make working remotely easier. Employees can use their own devices to work from home, somewhere else in the office, with a customer or on-the-go between meetings.”

Switch the topic from remote work to the rapid rise of remote monitoring and the Internet of Health Things, and the argument remains the same.

Similarly, on the efficiency front, Ismail says “cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software connects the different departments in a company to see where efficiency savings can be made.”  Or, it can connect the different departments of a hospital to give providers a comprehensive look at a patient’s data to help determine the best treatment.

Finally, there’s flexibility, and here the similarities almost converge. Once the CEO is convinced of the benefits of cloud computing, Ismail says, “the next hurdle is convincing the director of finance that changing to a cloud based system is worth the financial investment. The reasons for the investment are two-fold. By allowing a third party to manage the cloud-based software . . . it takes some of the pressure off IT teams. The IT department no longer has to worry about data backups or hardware failure, as these are managed remotely. . .  The second financial benefit of moving to cloud software is that businesses can scale up and down their software depending on business growth. Rather than having to host servers themselves and invest more space as the business grows, cloud computing is adaptable to the needs of the business, whether it faces a sudden increase in demand or sudden difficulties because of unexpected circumstances.”

In any organization, there will always be those averse to change, but when armed with the facts about flexibility, efficiency and cost-savings, senior IT managers can convince their healthcare organizations how cloud computing can help everyone, not just the IT department.

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