Why Hybrid cloud strategy is so prevalent in Healthcare & Lifesciences Industry?

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According to a survey, the healthcare industry increasingly adopts hybrid cloud models.

Healthcare providers ‘ hybrid cloud deployment is expected to jump from 19 percent penetration in two years to 37 percent, respondents predicted.

While 88 percent of respondents said they expect their organization to be positively affected by hybrid cloud, there is a scarce supply of hybrid cloud skills. Only those in artificial intelligence and machine learning ranked second in scarcity these skills.

The Endless Customizability of a Private Cloud

In fact, the primary reason why many healthcare organizations remain hesitant to explore public cloud computing is concern about information security. The lack of control over specific security protocols on public cloud infrastructure is simply not an option, particularly for healthcare providers such as hospitals and clinics whose sensitive patient data is closely regulated by HIPAA. However, a private cloud configuration does not present security concerns near the same level anywhere. 

On a private cloud, the IT administrator of a healthcare organization can implement whatever firewalls or encryption protocols are required to comply with the HIPAA organization. Some public cloud providers claim to offer in-line security measures with regulatory considerations, but none of these are close to the control provided by a fully customizable private cloud infrastructure. 

3 Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Adoption in Healthcare

Healthcare organizations often opt for a hybrid cloud approach of these options as a way to continue to take advantage of existing IT resources, expand new resources quickly, maintain a higher level of control and visibility in certain workloads, and link different systems together for a seamless end-user experience.

The potential benefits of a hybrid cloud computing model include:

1)Flexibility: When organizations connect private and public clouds in a hybrid model, they can place applications depending on specific resource requirements in one or the other. For example, when workloads are in the testing phase, companies may choose to place them in the public cloud, where resources can be quickly and easily scale-up if needed. However, steady-state applications may be better suited to the private cloud of an organization, especially if it is readily available on-site infrastructure and resource needs are reasonably predictable.

2) On-Demand Resources: It was common to hear people quote cost savings as a surefire benefit from migrating resources during the early days of the public cloud. Indeed, as IT leaders have discovered in many organizations, the use of public cloud resources will not necessarily reduce infrastructure costs. Instead, the public cloud can help organizations optimize IT spending by giving them an almost instantaneous option to scale up on-demand resources.  Public cloud’s on-demand processing power allows organizations to run their daily workloads in their private clouds (which can very well cost less over time), and then spill over workloads into the public cloud during peak demand periods. 

3) Work Load Management: Some types of the workload are more or less equally suitable for private or public clouds. In these cases, organizations can decide where they should be run based on preference, cost, existing resources, and other factors. But inherently, either the private or the public cloud is a better fit for some workloads. For example, large workloads with the potential to monopolize resources will typically fit better in the public cloud. Meanwhile, workloads subject to heavy regulatory scrutiny, such as e-commerce payment processing, may be more appropriate for the private cloud.

Taking a Hybrid Cloud Approach

The most reasonable course of action appears to be a compromise, that is, a “hybrid cloud,” taking all these considerations into account. Some healthcare IT processes, as shown above, are perfectly suited to the public cloud, while others must remain on a private cloud (or perhaps even on a physical server on-site) for all purposes.

Many healthcare organizations have already settled on a hybrid cloud approach in which they run as much as they can on their existing IT infrastructure and when demand spikes occur, they “burst” the rest onto a public cloud. Ultimately, as long as a healthcare organization develops a thoughtful, sufficiently nuanced approach that takes into account both public and private cloud strengths and weaknesses, it will be well on its way to achieving better, more efficient workflows.

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