Forecast looks clear for cloud computing

By Erin McCann
04:03 PM

Video may have killed the radio star, but the cloud is expected to rain on its parade, according to a new July report by MarketsandMarkets. Report authors announced Monday that the global healthcare cloud computing market is projected to precipitate a value of more than $5.4 billion by 2017.

The “Healthcare Cloud Computing Market – Global Trends, Challenges, Opportunities & Forecasts” report predicts that cloud computing will serve as a boon to the healthcare industry, as the market has already witnessed a deluge of this technology. 

In an increasingly IT-driven world, healthcare providers are using cloud-based technologies to facilitate the exchange of patient information and to provide IT services at lower costs and faster speeds. In 2011, the penetration of cloud in the healthcare industry was estimated at 4 percent and valued at $1.7 billion. Moreover, according to report forecasts, the compound annual growth rate of the cloud computing market will grow 20.5 percent from 2010 to 2017.

[See also: Walmart clinics go live with the cloud.]

Because healthcare organizations (HCOs) are expected to deliver more while simultaneously reining in healthcare costs with the technology, a large number of HCOs are allocating funds for migration to cloud computing over the next five years, the report noted.

North America represents the biggest share in the global cloud computing market, with the biggest players being CareCloud, Carestream Health, Merge Healthcare and GE Healthcare

Kalyani Jekkaraju, author of the MarketsandMarkets report, explained that his study examines numerous aspects of the cloud computing market, from the business end to the challenges faced by the technology, such as security challenges and shifting market trednds. “There is a lot of data in terms of how the cloud has evolved into the market and why it is believed to grow at a very faster pace compared to the other healthcare IT offerings," she said.

[See also: Cloud computing myths vs. risks.]

The report also finds that despite the shower of promises cloud computing brings, the entire healthcare industry isn’t singing in the rain quite yet. Private, public and hybrid clouds are the three deployment models available to healthcare, but the industry has been slow to adopt public clouds due to their highly regulated nature. Moreover, there has been increased scrutiny over potential privacy and security issues the technology poses – issues that further stymie the adoption process within the industry. 

“The reason we took this particular market and we made a report on it is because cloud computing in the healthcare market is getting so much attraction," said Jekkaraju. "As it is, the cloud computing market is ever-growing in terms of its adaptability and its advantages.”

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