Why the future of health care is in the cloud

Nov. 8, 2021 / By Mike Gooch

Many health care organizations have hesitated to adopt cloud-based applications due to a variety of issues including security, performance and productivity. However, thanks to technology advances, today’s cloud solutions offer numerous advantages over on-premises technology applications.

Mike Gooch, senior business manager at 3M HIS, explains why now is the time for health care to move to the cloud.

Question: What has changed that makes the cloud so important in health care?

Mike Gooch: In the past, health care providers felt that deploying applications on premises was best for security and performance. A lot of that perception was driven by performance. When you look at clinical applications, getting information into the hands of providers and back office staff like medical coders, is critical for productivity. Billing and accounts receivable are improved with productivity, so organizations don’t want to sacrifice performance.

Although organizations used to have to balance security and performance with cloud applications, that’s no longer an issue. Given the maturity of the cloud, security is as good and often better than on-premises systems. Similarly, cloud performance is on par with what you can get on premises and sometimes it’s even better.

Q: What’s the true cost of on-premise solutions?

MG: Quantifying the cost of on-premises solutions is difficult. When you look at the total cost of ownership, the human resources required to make applications work is one of the biggest expenses. In a data center, there are many different roles such as database administrators, system administrators, the storage team, the operations team and more. Yet, it’s hard to allocate their work to specific applications versus global tasks.

We encourage customers to look at the human resources associated with on-premises applications, as well as the cost of the servers, virtual machines, operating systems and maintenance. It’s also important to consider the cost of refreshing technology every three to five years. The fees that we charge customers for our cloud solutions build all that in, so there are no extra fees for an operating system upgrade or a technical refresh.

Q: Can cloud-based solutions create cost savings?

MG: We have a very large customer base. Each organization wants to accomplish the same goals. Since they are using different tools and standards, their costs vary. When we go to the cloud, we standardize those costs. We’re building with the same tools, using the same security scanning and provisioning products in the same way. In addition, moving to the cloud eliminates a lot of the shadow IT that can pop up in organizations using on-premises products.

Read more about how the cloud can enhance security, help with disaster recovery and increase operational efficiency in this Becker’s Hospital Review article.

Mike Gooch is a senior business manager at 3M Health Information Systems.

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