From other sectors, IT execs guide their healthcare colleagues into the cloud

One recommendation experienced IT execs make is to create a cloud centre of excellence, where different groups in the organization can get together and understand each other's concerns.

Jeff Rowe | Apr 06, 2018 05:23 pm

Usually, health IT managers looking to learn what to expect when approaching the cloud are inclined to turn to their colleagues at other healthcare organizations for pointers.  But sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to remember that there are lessons to learn from outside healthcare as well.

For example, in an article at ZDNet, three executives, two of whom were well outside healthcare, recounted their remarks from a recent Cloud Expo Europe conference event in London.

To wit, Chris O'Brien, CIO at the Royal Shakespeare Company, noted that while the cloud brings an array of benefits, making digital transformation a success is about people and planning.

"People do not like change being imposed on them," he explained. "They don't want to do things differently to create a benefit they can't see. People want to know how it will benefit them and how it will improve their working lives. If you're going digital, you must consider the impact on your people, both in terms of consumers and staff.”

When it comes to planning, O'Brien says CIOs must work hard to ensure change is thought through in a series of stages. "Plan everything over a period," he says. "Look at the rate of change at which can you release benefits to the rest of the business.”

Not so far away, at least in terms of daily experience, Mark Clarke, cloud infrastructure lead at the Royal Opera House, said companies looking to transform digitally and take advantage of technologies like the cloud computing face a tension between developers and line-of-business managers. Developers tend to want to move quickly, but managers can be concerned by a too-rapid rate of change.

His advice to other IT leaders was to invest in management training, so internal business leaders can keep pace with developers. "When you have a lag between management and developers, you're creating a business risk," he said. "Make sure your management team are adopting the same sort of processes as your developers. Get your developers to do the funky stuff and get your infrastructure specialists to focus on operational concerns. Make sure the infrastructure team ensure everything is compliant and patching is established. Put the guard rails in so they can hand over a safe environment to the developers to do their work.”

"When you go to the cloud, you need a responsive interface," he said. "We work in manufacturing and distribution, and auditing and responsiveness are important. We can use the system to set up our own modular workflows and support the organization across various areas, such as customer services, e-commerce and web-based chat. . . .The cloud means people can plug into our key operational services from any location on day one. That's a big advantage for any business."