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Hybrid cloud adoption accelerating in healthcare

12 Feb 2019

Nutanix today unveiled its healthcare industry findings from its Enterprise Cloud Index Report that delves into healthcare companies’ intentions for adopting private, hybrid, and public clouds.

According to the report (which was based off a survey commissioned by Nutanix and conducted by Vanson Bourne of more than 2,300 IT decision makers around the globe), the healthcare industry is increasingly swinging towards hybrid clouds that combine private and public services. Of all the industries measured, healthcare is currently ranked third in the number of hybrid cloud deployments currently running.

In just two years, healthcare providers’ hybrid cloud deployments are set to almost double from 19 percent penetration to 37 percent.

More than half of the survey respondents from the healthcare industry noted inter-cloud application mobility as ‘essential’, further demonstrating this need for seamless movement of applications and associated data, networking services, and security policies between different types of clouds.

Nutanix says from a patient and clinician perspective, adopting a cloud model, hybrid or otherwise, also allows for providers to undergo a digital transformation of healthcare delivery. Infrastructure innovations allow hospitals to manage different applications and data types, take advantage of automation and create new service lines such as telehealth or remote monitoring, thus leading to improved patient engagement.

Security, protection of sensitive patient data, and meeting regulatory compliance were all factors front of mind for healthcare respondents, as more than 28 percent named security and compliance as their number one decision criterion in choosing where to run workloads.

And it’s no surprise, as Nutanix as says hackers are increasingly targeting medical records containing sought-after personal details like patient healthcare and insurance information. To address these concerns, results showed the industry is turning to hybrid cloud for optimum flexibility and the ability to move applications between private and public clouds.

Another motivation for the drive behind hybrid cloud could be the fact that many healthcare companies need to gain control over their IT spend. According to the survey, organisations that use public cloud spend 26 percent of their annual IT budget on public cloud, with this percentage set to increase to 35 percent in two years’ time.

The survey demonstrated healthcare companies report being about 40 percent over budget when it comes to public cloud spend, compared to 35 percent of cross-industry global companies. Despite this, the healthcare industry is embracing public clouds at about the same pace as most sectors, reporting a 13 percent penetration compared to the 12 percent global average.

However, the report also noted a distinct lack of hybrid IT skills in healthcare, as while 88 percent of respondents said that they expect hybrid cloud to positively impact their businesses, hybrid cloud skills are ranked second in scarcity only to those in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“Healthcare organisations especially need the flexibility, ease of management and security that the cloud delivers, and this need will only become more prominent as attacks on systems become more advanced, compliance regulations more stringent, and data storage needs more demanding,” says Nutanix Global Marketing senior vice president Chris Kozup.

“As our findings predict, healthcare organisations are bullish on hybrid cloud growth for their core applications and will continue to see it as the ideal solution as we usher in the next era of healthcare. With the cloud giving way to new technologies and tools such as machine learning and automation, we expect to see positive changes leading to better healthcare solutions in the long run.”

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