Where data center employees go when health systems move to the cloud

Hospitals are looking to retrain data center employees as they begin shifting legacy infrastructure to the cloud, health system IT executives told Becker's

Becker's asked six health system IT executives: What happens to data center employees when a health system moves to the cloud?

Sunil Dadlani. CIO at Atlantic Health System (Morristown, N.J): Data center employees will get retrained and reskilled to manage hybrid environments where data centers will co-exist with multi-cloud environments.

Rich Rogers. Senior Vice President and CIO of PrismaHealth (Greenville, S.C.): Our experience with moving systems to the cloud is that some engineering staff migrate to the cloud engineering team while others remain supporting the legacy systems. 

The legacy staff is not as deep as it was previously, but overall headcount does not change significantly. There has still been the need for systems, citrix, storage and database engineers.

James Wellman. Chief Digital and Information Officer of Blanchard Valley Health System (Findlay, Ohio): Considering we are experiencing a nationwide workforce shortage I feel we are obligated to train/retrain our existing workforce whenever possible. 

Moving systems to the cloud also expands our options to hire remotely since the need to be a physical presence onsite will diminish.

Aaron Weismann. Chief Information Security Office of Main Line Health (Philadelphia.): They do what people have done since technological advance became a thing — they leverage the new technology to adapt and grow into new and different roles. 

Most positions can be retrained with low-to-moderate effort to operate cloud infrastructure instead of an on-prem presence. Cloud migration changes how and where work is done and allows for more sophisticated infrastructure. In my experience, cloud migrations don’t significantly diminish workload for an organization — it's not like a migrating organization got rid of the data or applications they use and operate.

Muhammad Siddiqui. Vice President and CIO of Reid Health (Richmond, Ind.): Much of our legacy HIT infrastructure is a poor fit for our future of highly data-driven healthcare. The outdated environments lack the agility and scalability required to rapidly aggregate, analyze and secure vast data sets from unlimited sources.  

We should consider upskilling them. Healthcare organizations will focus on innovation, more strategic initiatives, and less time maintaining their infrastructure and software products, allowing employees to upskill and do more meaningful and strategic work. 

Darrell Bodnar. CIO of North County Healthcare (Whitefield, N.H.): Depending on the approach taken and the model adopted, you may still need to manage portions of these environments. 

Many of these platforms offer tools to improve the management and orchestration of systems, but there is still work that needs to be done. 

There is no doubt that the migration of traditional data centers to cloud environments will reduce certain legacy IT functions but there is always plenty of work in healthcare IT for those willing to adapt.

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