7 concerns healthcare organizations have about the cloud

While healthcare organizations are increasingly shifting to the cloud to streamline data analytics and store patient records, some in the industry are resisting the transition and even some cloud adoptees have uncertainties about it.

Here are seven concerns healthcare organizations have about employing the public cloud, according to market researcher Forrester:

1. Talent pool. As a recent Forrester report noted, "A senior software developer at Amazon can make upward of $340,000 annually, compared with a similar-level developer at a hospital, who might make $147,000 annually."

2. Budget. The healthcare sector invests only 3 percent of its budget in technology. Thirty-eight percent of healthcare leaders told Forrester that a lack of resources and expertise is one of their primary worries about adopting the public cloud, compared with 25 percent of decision makers in other industries.

3. Culture. Healthcare groups "have been slower to adopt and digitally transform their organizations due to massive technical debt and coming out from under legacy applications and infrastructure," Forrester senior analyst Tracy Woo told Becker's.

4. Data insecurity. "Healthcare is the sole leader of a dubious triumvirate: the most [cyberattacked] industry, the highest average cost of a data breach, and the slowest incident response time," another Forrester report stated. "As a result, there is significant hesitation around the ability to thwart data theft [and] manage identity and access," Natalie Schibell, vice president and research director of Forrester, told Becker's.

5. Regulations. Healthcare organizations "are concerned with the ability to stay compliant using the public cloud to store patient data," Ms. Woo said.

6. Trust. "As the industry grapples with the spread of false information, shortcomings in data integrity and a politicization of science, it strives to rein in these risks in order to maintain its standing as a trusted industry," Ms. Schibell said.

7. Lack of data interoperability. "[This] makes migration off of on-premises systems incredibly difficult as most devices and systems use their own proprietary language, rendering communication between systems difficult, if not impossible," Ms. Woo said.

In closing, Ms. Schibell said: "Over the next five years, nearly all forms of data will be stored and processed in the cloud to facilitate data-intensive analysis and control operational expenses. Healthcare organizations that are not adequately preparing for this reality now will ultimately not survive."

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