Despite regulatory barriers and data protection concerns, healthcare organizations have been avid adopters of technological trends like bring-your-own-device. Now, the sector is shifting its attention to the cloud, according to InfoWorld’s David Linthicum. The cost benefits of scalable storage infrastructure are particularly attractive to medical organizations, which must follow stringent data retention mandates. At the same time, doctors can benefit from improving access to patient information.
Cloud storage solutions have emerged as ways to bring sensitive data out of information silos without compromising patient privacy or violating compliance provisions. According to Linthicum, these benefits in concert with an increasing focus on security from cloud providers will contribute to an expected $5.4 billion growth of the cloud market within the healthcare sector.
“Despite this growth, many in health care are still pushing back on cloud computing, citing security and privacy issues,” Linthicum wrote. “But others are finding better security models and technology in the cloud. Moreover, most health care organizations moving to cloud computing are doing so to reduce operational costs, because many have very limited budgets — a powerful motivation that will overcome the overblown security and privacy excuses.”
Although some would say compliance is a barrier to adoption, some providers have turned it into a value proposition. As CloudTweaks recently noted, some vendors are now offering consulting as part of a managed services package. In addition to decreased costs from utilizing cloud hardware, health organizations are beginning to trust third-party partners with handling the regulatory burden. Despite this environment of growing trust, cloud storage companies will need to continue providing security and privacy assurances for all organizations, particularly given the growing prevalence of cyberattacks.