The benefits of switching to the cloud, according to health IT execs

Cloud-based platforms have many benefits including helping create cost savings, creating a more integrated and scalable health IT foundation, and helping health systems improve their cybersecurity infrastructure, according to health system CIOs. 

Becker's spoke to four health system IT executives about the benefits cloud-based platforms can have for health systems and their IT  infrastructures. 

Darrell Bodnar. CIO of North County Healthcare (Whitefield, N.H.): There are many benefits to cloud adoption for health systems. Cost reduction and efficiency are a good place to start, but scalability both up and out and elasticity provide for a quick and dynamic environment with predictable costs that can be operationalized.  

You can move away from the expensive and unpredictable capital budget process as these environments also tend to alleviate some of the burden associated with traditional IT data center challenges like backup and restore, disaster recovery, storage capacity, and business continuity.  

Depending on your perspective there can also be improved security, data loss prevention and mobility opportunities.

Rich Rogers. Senior Vice President and CIO of PrismaHealth (Greenville, S.C.): The greatest benefits of cloud computing that I have experienced have been — ease of access, scalability and predictable year over year expense. 

The challenge of competing for capital dollars internally to support vendor upgrades and backend architecture changes thankfully goes away.

Sunil Dadlani. CIO at Atlantic Health System (Morristown, N.J.): Not all the workload or data needs to move to the cloud and this will be on a case by case basis. 

But, cloud provides agility, scalability and just in time elasticity to move at the speed of business. However, there are valid reasons and use cases where data needs to reside in enterprise data centers. The future is moving to everything as service.

James Wellman. Chief Digital and Information Officer of Blanchard Valley Health System (Findlay, Ohio): Improved cybersecurity is a good driver — when properly configured, you can operationalize your server spend with the added flexibility to increase/decrease server performance and storage as needed. 

This should allow IT to improve their operational costs by reducing or eliminating expensive hardware and resource time needed to manage that equipment.

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