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Building a Healthcare Cloud Strategy Prevents Overspending

While healthcare cloud can save organizations money, planning a cloud strategy can prevent organizations from wasting money unnecessary cloud infrastructure.

healthcare cloud

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Many organizations are moving to the healthcare cloud to reduce the cost of on-premises IT infrastructure deployment. While initially deploying a new cloud infrastructure may be expensive, over time cloud service models are less expensive to maintain.

Many healthcare organizations face IT budget restrictions which can deter them from investing in advancing infrastructure technology that will help increase workflow and improve patient care.

The transition to value-based care requires healthcare organizations to modernize their IT infrastructure to support tools that will increase workflow and improve patient care, according to a Damointel report.  This often includes investing in technology that can process more data.

While value-based care is expected to be the biggest driver in health IT spending in 2018, other categories are also expected to influence spending.

Respondents were instructed to choose two areas of increased spending. Value-based care (60 percent) was followed closely by patient engagement and care management (58 percent) and enterprise digital transformation (47 percent) for investment areas.

Cloud migration was one of the top IT infrastructure areas organizations expected to grow through 2018.

Organizations understand the need to upgrade their IT infrastructure, but they are concerned with unproven ROI on new IT solutions (47 percent) and the cost of maintaining their existing technology investments (34 percent).

This obstacle stems from financial concerns. Organizations need to spend money to make sure their IT infrastructure is ready to handle more advanced technology. This includes upgrading dated wireless networks to accommodate increased data flow, and expanding data storage solutions in the cloud.

Moving to the cloud is one way organizations can reduce their overall IT infrastructure spending in the long term.

According to a Clutch survey, 67 percent of businesses plan to increase their cloud spending this year in order to provide a more flexible and scalable environment.  

However, the increased spending may not only be the result of expanding the entities’ cloud infrastructure. Survey authors noted that some increased spending may be the result of negligence regarding usage.

Some organizations may need to spend more money to fix current deployments, or to switch cloud service providers for one more suited to their cloud needs.

Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents said that they increased their cloud budgets between 11 and 30 percent, with 19 percent increasing from 31 to 50 percent. Twenty-three percent reported that they expect their cloud budgets to remain flat.

Eight percent reported a decrease in cloud spending while 2 percent were uncertain.

Increased cost was one of the biggest challenges reported by the majority of respondents. Even with increased budgets, cloud costs can be more expensive than initially thought.

“In some cases, the increased spending is perhaps not always intentional or wanted. The reality of cloud computing’s mechanisms means that businesses may end up paying more than they expected,” survey authors explained. “Cloud computing prices look cheap, sometimes advertised at just fractions of a cent per hour for a certain amount of storage. However, if usage surges, then those prices can jump up dramatically.”

While cloud computing can have a significantly positive ROI, price fluctuations can make it difficult for organizations to accurately predict and overall cost.

“Cloud computing is a dual edged sword,” Stratalux CEO Jeremy Przygode said in response to the survey. “It’s great because you can quickly provision equipment or resources in the cloud by simply pushing a button. That's the agility. However, the other edge of that sword is, because it’s so easy, people tend to fire stuff up and forget about it.”

Developing a cloud strategy is key to transitioning from pricy on-premises deployments and reducing the risk of wasting money. Organizations with a thought out healthcare cloud strategy will have a better idea of the overall costs and how to prevent wasting resources.

Working with cloud vendors with experience in the healthcare space and help organizations plan their budget for a realistic and scalable healthcare cloud infrastructure.

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