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Embracing cloud essential for healthcare organisations to deliver advanced care

Increasing patient care demands is putting on healthcare organisations across the world to drive digital transformation, according to new research. 

Enterprise cloud computing firm Nutanix has released the findings of its second annual Enterprise Cloud Index Report, measuring healthcare organisations’ plans for adopting private, hybrid and public clouds. 

According to the report, digital transformation significantly impacted cloud implementation across various industry verticals, and healthcare organisations were no different with 68% citing this trend. In line with top healthcare IT trends, healthcare companies ranked personalised healthcare (52%) and AI assistants (44%) as positively impacting their cloud adoption. Embracing cloud is essential for healthcare organisations to deliver the most advanced care. 

No stranger to regulation, the healthcare industry knows compliance must remain top of mind. In fact, more than half of healthcare respondents (55%) cited regulations governing data storage as a top factor influencing future cloud model adoption at their organisations. 

The report found that healthcare organisations were marginally less concerned with cost and budget than they were with accelerating IT deployment.  

According to the research, security and compliance ranked as top factors driving cloud deployment decisions.

When asked about the top factor influencing how they decide where to host a given workload, data security and compliance came up most often in healthcare companies (29%). By comparison, cost placed a distant second, with just about 16% of healthcare companies citing it as the top factor. Furthermore, well over half of healthcare respondents (60.4%) said that the state of intercloud security would be the factor having the biggest influence on their future cloud deployments. 

Hybrid cloud is considered the most secure, with public cloud coming last. While nearly all industries surveyed in the 2019 ECI said they consider hybrid cloud to be the most secure IT operating model, the percentage was even higher among healthcare respondents. Healthcare organisations chose hybrid cloud as most secure almost 33% of the time, compared to the average of about 28% from all 2019 ECI respondents. 

At a distant second, healthcare IT pros ranked on-premises, non-hosted private cloud as the second most secure infrastructure (21%). They indicated that public cloud infrastructure was least secure, with only about 7% choosing it as the most secure option. Expect aggressive adoption of hybrid cloud: An overwhelming majority of healthcare companies (87%) identified hybrid cloud as the ideal IT operating model. 

In the next three to five years, healthcare companies shared aggressive plans to increase hybrid usage by a net 44% while decreasing traditional data centre deployments by about 35%. While other industries currently outpace the healthcare space with higher adoption of hybrid cloud, ECI data finds healthcare companies have confidence that the issues of tools, cloud skills, and other obstacles impeding adoption will be worked out fairly quickly. 

“Healthcare organisations today are looking to improve patient experience, increase data interoperability and deliver both virtual and value-based care,” says Cheryl Rodenfels, healthcare strategist at Nutanix. 

“These outcomes cannot be achieved without harnessing the power of flexible and secure cloud infrastructure. A hybrid cloud model enables IT teams to secure patient data and ensure regulatory compliance while allowing healthcare providers to continue delivering advanced technological care to extend patient experience to the digital space.” 

The 2019 respondent base spanned multiple industries, business sizes, and the following geographies: the Americas; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and the Asia-Pacific (APJ) region.