Today every business has the potential to be a digital business. Businesses that digitally transform are able to connect more closely with customers, speed up the pace of innovation and, as a result, claim a greater share of profit in their sectors. In fact, according to a report earlier last year from IDC, the global economic impact of digital transformation to date already exceeds £14 trillion, a staggering 20% of global GDP. While Big Data and mobile technologies have driven digital transformation, the cornerstone of it all is cloud computing.
Flexible, cost efficient and accessible from anywhere, the cloud has already been a transformative technology for many industries. However, while migrating to the cloud is a top priority for virtually all organisations embracing digital transformation projects, the path to get there involves navigating many obstacles, especially for those operating in highly-regulated industries. Healthcare, in particular, is at the top of the list.
Over the past few years, cloud adoption has been on the rise in the healthcare industry. To date, organisations have primarily been testing the waters by focusing on modernising the back-end of their systems, moving financial, operational and HR applications into the cloud. Now there is increasing demand for transforming core healthcare systems and applications in order to improve the quality of patient care with new digital services that empower patients to take control of their own health and reduce costs of operations, as well as modernise infrastructure and create a more efficient environment in order to again reduce costs. In fact according to a recent study by Accenture, the healthcare industry stands to save over £44 billion in the long-term by making the right strategic technology investments today.
However, as anyone managing IT for a hospital or clinic understands, migrating is not as simple as signing up for a public cloud service. For IT leaders in the healthcare industry, it involves taking into account a wide array of complex factors, including regulatory compliance, information security and organisational change. Indeed, security mandates are increasing due to the upswing in cyberattacks on health providers; you only have to look at the WannaCry ransomware attack last year and how that impacted many NHS hospitals across the UK to see how healthcare, and in particular health information and systems, are being targeted. This has led many healthcare providers to closely examine enterprise cloud options for hybrid and off-premises deployment models that meet or exceed high security and compliance requirements whilst offering utility-based billing and cloud flexibility.
The good news is that healthcare IT is now trending towards the cloud, with hospitals, care centres and clinics all undergoing some form of digital transformation, integrating their electronic patient record (EMR) platforms and new patient engagement systems and as well as emerging precision health platforms.
As digital technology continues to transform the healthcare industry, the right cloud infrastructure can pave the way for providers of every kind. By choosing a cloud provider with superior service, governance, security and flexibility, healthcare providers can make significant improvements to their current IT infrastructure, while at the same time transforming their systems to be future-ready. Today digitally transformed companies have an edge; tomorrow, only those businesses that have digitally transformed will succeed.
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