Jan 15 2021

Why More Healthcare Teams Are Embracing a Hybrid Cloud Model

Changing needs and attitudes are boosting deployments that support stronger care delivery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted and expedited many health IT projects, including wider cloud adoption to support the needs of remote employees and data analytics platforms.

More than half of healthcare respondents said they’ve increased their public cloud and hybrid cloud adoption as a result of the pandemic — and nearly half have invested more in private cloud environments — according to a December report by Nutanix.

Another bright spot: The healthcare industry now favors hybrid IT models more than any of the 12 other business sectors surveyed in the report. It’s a notable pivot for a group that has historically been slow to embrace cloud solutions.

Still, the shifts will require a significant departure from legacy practices. The share of healthcare organizations that run exclusively traditional, noncloud data centers (27 percent) is higher than any other industry, the Nutanix survey found.

MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: Learn how COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation in healthcare.

But many are on their way. Nearly two-thirds of healthcare organizations have already deployed or plan to deploy hyperconverged infrastructure — compared with 50 percent across all surveyed industries — which is often seen as the foundation for a hybrid cloud model.

Using both private and public cloud services can have significant benefits in healthcare. “It allows organizations to harden the security parameters based on their organization’s specific compliance policies,” Nutanix healthcare CTO Cheryl Rodenfels told HealthTech in an interview last year. “The hybrid cloud model also allows them to store their data in the most cost-effective platform.”

Beyond the pandemic, other challenges also are driving the movement. Security, cost control and continuity of operations were cited by healthcare respondents as significant challenges to their digital transformation more often than other industry leaders.

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