News Feature | March 13, 2015

Report On Advanced Cloud Topics Addresses State Of HIT

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Report On Advanced Cloud Topics Addresses State Of HIT

As the cloud and surrounding technology mature, healthcare will find itself following suit. Topics like cloud architecture and deployment, financial outcomes, barriers to further adoption, and details around migration will become increasingly important, and this report from CDW on advanced cloud topics addresses them.

The Survey
The survey questioned individuals at organizations that have implemented cloud services as a part of their overall IT strategy. All participants also directly participated in the decision-making process to implement cloud computing services at their respective organizations.

The survey covers the cloud from multiple angles, but solutions providers will likely be most interested in the following sections:

  • Prospects For Cloud Growth
  • The Essential Role Of IT: Enabling And Integrating
  • Security Risks Remain, But Are Addressable
  • All Industries Agree — Cloud Works
  • Recommendations

Prospects For Cloud Growth
The survey asked respondents to discuss their plans around “entirely new IT services,” and to estimate what percentage of those services would be delivered either completely, or partially via the cloud. The result was 35 percent, and when asked to discuss barriers to these implementations, security came out on top at 47 percent.

  • security (47 percent)
  • trust (31 percent)
  • budget (24 percent)
  • management support (19 percent)
  • IT headcount concerns (18 percent)

The Essential Role Of IT: Enabling And Integrating
While IT is by definition, deeply involved with using and maintaining cloud services, only 73 percent of the actual decisions to select and manage these services were made by the IT department. In the remaining cases, operations and HR were cited as making the decision by 33 percent of respondents, with finance, R&D, marketing, and sales departments all coming in above 20 percent.

Security Risks Remain, But Are Addressable
Security did not rank often as the largest problem for current cloud services (only 28 percent of respondents named it) with most users challenged find value in the cloud. This number is likely different in a vulnerable industry like healthcare, but the report provides useful insights, specifically around the area of not viewing cloud security as a point solution. CDW recommends specific risk mitigation practices to address security issues:

  • defining policies for different levels of organizational data
  • applying controls to track data
  • managing credentials and access
  • protecting remote and mobile endpoints

All Industries Agree — Cloud Works
The survey spoke with multiple CTOs and IT leadership for direct quotes on their thoughts on their successful cloud migrations. The CTO of the included healthcare organization responded, “Although it may seem complex, cloud is by far the way to go as far as infrastructure and storage.”

CDW also offers advice for organizations in their approach to the cloud:

  • Planning and preparation for migration and integration shouldn’t be overlooked.
  • Choose a platform with system diagnostics, seamless operation, and solid approaches to privacy and network transfer speed.
  • Consider managed services, which frequently offer the benefits of a cloud solution without the management concerns and complexities.