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More Healthcare Organizations To Adopt Hybrid Cloud Computing

The healthcare industry is increasingly adopting hybrid cloud models, according to a survey of more than 2,300 IT decision makers.

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Source: Thinkstock

By Fred Donovan

- The healthcare industry is increasingly adopting hybrid cloud models, according to a survey of more than 2,300 IT decision makers by VansonBourne on behalf of cloud provider Nutanix.

Hybrid cloud deployment by healthcare providers is expected to jump from 19 percent penetration to 37 percent in two years, respondents forecast.

While 88 percent of respondents said that they expect hybrid cloud to positively affect their organization, hybrid cloud skills are in scarce supply. These skills ranked second in scarcity only to those in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“As a healthcare organization, we’re responsible for managing critical clinical and IT applications such as EHR and PACS as well as making sure we have an infrastructure that is secure and scalable to support changing needs such as hybrid cloud-based disaster recovery,” said Anne Arundel Medical Center CIO Dave Lehr.

One reason for deploying hybrid clouds is the need to gain control over IT spending. Organizations that use public cloud spend 26 percent of their annual IT budget on public cloud, with this percentage set to increase to 35 percent in two years.

Healthcare companies reported being about 40 percent over budget when it comes to public cloud spending, compared to 35 percent of cross-industry global companies.

The healthcare industry is embracing public clouds at  the same pace as most sectors, reporting a 13 percent penetration rate compared to the 12 percent global average. However, healthcare companies outpace the averages for certain applications, such as enterprise resource planning/customer relationship management, data analytics, containers, and IoT.

More than half of survey respondents from the healthcare industry said inter-cloud application mobility is “essential,” highlighting the need for movement of applications and associated data, networking services, and security policies between different types of clouds.

“Healthcare organizations especially need the flexibility, ease of management and security that the cloud delivers, and this need will only become more prominent as attacks on systems become more advanced, compliance regulations more stringent, and data storage needs more demanding,” said Nutanix SVP of Global Marketing Chris Kozup.

According to the Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC), the average enterprise environment uses a combination of five or six cloud environments that can be a combination of private on-premises and public clouds. 

“Hybrid cloud adoption has expanded the role of IT operations and created a demand for adaptable management tools capable of supporting the complexity of hybrid cloud deployments,” said the CSCC.

“The market for CMPs [cloud management platforms] can be expected to increase alongside the predicted growth in use of hybrid cloud environments. The capabilities of CMP offerings are also expected to evolve to meet the increased complexity of the target environments and more sophisticated requirements from enterprise customers,” it noted.

Market research firm TechNavio predicted that the global healthcare cloud computing market would increase at a compound annual growth rate of 22 percent, growing by $16.4 billion from 2017 to 2022. Cloud-assisted medical collaborations are fueling growth in the healthcare cloud computing market.

Technavio expects the software-as-a-service (SaaS) segment to reach 65 percent of the total market by 2022, a 3 percent increase in market share from 2017. Other healthcare cloud market segments include infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).

A major trend for this market is edge computing, which optimizes cloud computing by performing applications at the logical end-point of the network, the research firm explained.

Sensors, controllers, and other connected devices collect and analyze IoT data or transmit it to nearby computing devices such as servers or laptops for analysis. Data can be quickly retrieved and applied in edge computing systems, Technavio noted.

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