Cloud Computing holds great potential to change the dynamics of the healthcare and life science industry. The ease of use, flexibility, scalability, and low up front costs are driving the growth of cloud at a CAGR of 36% (over 2008–14). But despite its numerous benefits, cloud computing still needs to answer concerns such as control, data security, privacy, availability, portability, vendor viability, and regulatory and compliance requirements for HIT.
More health providers are ramping up advancement in products and services, established better standards, and putting in place best practices that may be the way ahead to answer these challenges, but that is yet to be realize. However, that is just one challenge that cloud computing brings. To many, lower costs and the elimination of HIT staff requirements are primary reasons for small healthcare institutions to push aggressive adoption of Cloud Computing. The present economic climate also made even large healthcare organizations turn towards the cloud.
Most large organizations see the benefits for using a hybrid cloud, i.e. a combination of private, public and community clouds. The cloud ecosystem is segment into three key categories. Cloud Products and Services, Cloud Development Technologies and Infrastructure, and Consulting and Other Professional Services. Which further products and services that are categorized under 10 key segments— Application-aaS, Business Process-aaS, Cloud Security, Storage-aaS, Computing-aaS, Desktop-aaS, Integration-aaS, Cloud management, Platform-aaS, and Database-aaS.
Being that cloud in HIT is at a nascent stage, the absolute definition and segments of Cloud are still evolving.
• Computing- and Storage-aaS are well established; Desktop- and business process-aaS are expected to drive the growth and adoption.
• Database-aaS (DaaS) and Desktop-aaS are forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 111% (over 2008–14) and 157% (2009–14) respectively.
• The SaaS market expected to reach USD 22–37 B by 2013, is driving the Platform-aaS (PaaS) market expected to grow from USD 6B to USD 6–20B over 2007–14.
From an IT perspective Cloud Computing will adds scalability and hence simplifies manageability of HIT computing enterprises. For instance, cloud services allow one HIT staff instead of a team of professionals to add groups of users and resources, resulted from a corporate merger or increase in security levels across the organization. They can also ensure security levels for wireless/mobile users’ on- and off-network, which is otherwise difficult to manage with on-premise solutions.