Feb 12 2019

HIMSS 2019: Hybrid Cloud Gains Momentum in Healthcare

New Nutanix report finds the technology is steadily growing as a priority for organizations.

Hybrid cloud can offer a bevy of benefits, including application flexibility, easier access to resources and improved workload management. And according to a new report published Tuesday by Nutanix at HIMSS19 in Orlando, Fla., the technology is steadily becoming a priority for healthcare organizations.

Currently, 38 percent of the 345 healthcare respondents to the Enterprise Cloud Index Report survey say they rely on traditional data centers as part of their IT infrastructure setup. By 2021, however, the use of hybrid cloud by healthcare providers will rise to 37 percent from 19 percent, while organizations heavily reliant on traditional data centers will decline to 17 percent.

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Many trends in healthcare, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning — as well as emerging trends like the Internet of Things and the need to have strong compute power for analytics — are forcing a lot of organizations to completely rethink how they approach building that foundation, says Chris Kozup, senior vice president of global marketing for Nutanix. 


“Organizations in healthcare are under a lot of pressure from a cost perspective and from a compliance perspective to really find the right IT infrastructure model to suit their business and their application needs,” Kozup says. “There is this general perspective that health IT leaders understand that they have to move beyond the traditional. Hyperconvergence is the first step toward evolving the infrastructure and moving toward more of a simple, easy-to-manage setup that allows organizations to save costs and streamline operations.”

MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: Check out all of our stories and videos from HIMSS19.

Security, Lower Costs Are Top Cloud Concerns Among Providers

Security is a primary concern for many of the healthcare respondents, with more than 28 percent pointing to security and compliance as their top consideration for the location of workload deployment. However, another goal of deploying hybrid clouds is the ability to better manage overall IT spending, with 21 percent of respondents highlighting cost as their biggest concern.

According to the survey, healthcare companies reported being roughly 40 percent over budget in terms of public cloud spending, while organizations that used public cloud said they spent more than a quarter of their overall annual IT budget on it; by 2021, that figure is expected to rise to 35 percent.

“These are definitely going to continue to be important factors that healthcare organizations are evaluating as they start to look at which different infrastructure models make sense for them,” Kozup says.

Despite the forecasted uptick in use — and the fact that 88 percent of respondents say they expect hybrid cloud will positively impact their business — the survey also found that hybrid cloud skills are scarce among current IT organizations.

Thirty-three percent of health organizations are saying that they lack in-house skills to deal with this,” Kozup says. “Thirty-five percent of organizations indicated that this was their second most in-demand skill set that they were having trouble filling.”

Keep this page bookmarked for articles from the event. Follow us on Twitter @CDW_Healthcare, as well as the official organization account, @HIMSS, and join the conversation using hashtags including #CDWHIMSS and #HIMSS19.

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