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Healthcare industry shows preference for hybrid cloud

Nutanix, a leader in enterprise cloud computing, today announced the healthcare industry findings of its Enterprise Cloud Index Report, measuring healthcare companies’ plans for adopting private, hybrid and public clouds. The report revealed the healthcare industry is increasingly leaning toward adopting hybrid clouds that combine private and public cloud services, and their respective benefits — with healthcare ranking third in the number of hybrid cloud deployments currently running, by industry. According to respondents, in just two years, healthcare providers’ hybrid cloud deployment will jump from 19% penetration to 37%. 

Today, healthcare organizations need to address a variety of critical IT needs, including a need for increased security, protection of sensitive patient data and meeting regulatory compliance. Over 28% of healthcare respondents named security and compliance as their number one decision criterion in choosing where to run workloads. With hackers targeting medical records containing sought-after personal details like patient healthcare and insurance information, hospitals and providers require technology solutions that can handle the movement of sensitive data without risk. And, as healthcare providers also have to meet necessary security compliance for patient data, they seek out a solution that fits those specific needs.

To address ongoing security and compliance concerns, results showed the healthcare industry turning to hybrid cloud for optimum flexibility and the ability to move applications between private and public clouds. More than half of 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. 

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.  


Other key findings of the report include:

  • Healthcare companies overspend on public cloud: Another motivation for deploying hybrid clouds is likely enterprises’ need to gain control over their IT spend. Organizations that use public cloud spend 26% of their annual IT budget on public cloud, with this percentage set to increase to 35% in two years’ time. The survey demonstrated healthcare companies report being about 40% over budget when it comes to public cloud spend, compared to 35% of cross-industry global companies. 
  • Healthcare public cloud usage outpaces other industries for IoT: The healthcare industry is embracing public clouds at about the same pace as most sectors, reporting a 13% penetration compared to the 12% global average. However, healthcare companies outpace the averages for certain applications, such as ERP/CRM, data analytics, containers, and IoT.
  • Hybrid IT skills are scarce in healthcare: While 88% of respondents said that they expect hybrid cloud to positively impact their businesses, hybrid cloud skills are scarce in today’s IT organizations. These skills ranked second in scarcity only to those in artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

“Healthcare organizations 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,” said Chris Kozup, SVP of Global Marketing at Nutanix. “As our findings predict, healthcare organizations 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.”

“As a healthcare organization, we’re responsible for managing critical clinical and IT applications such as EHR and PACS as well as making sure we have an infrastructure that is secure and scalable to support changing needs such as hybrid cloud-based disaster recovery. We knew that the right hyper-converged infrastructure would allow us to manage these workloads on a single, cost-effective solution,” said Dave Lehr, CIO of Anne Arundel Medical Center. “Deploying the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has helped us realize this hybrid vision. We’ve improved the performance and availability of our core healthcare systems, while enabling our staff to work more efficiently. We’ve opened the door for our staff to work on higher-level improvements, which has led to an entirely enhanced patient experience.”

To create this report, Nutanix commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey more than 2,300 IT decision makers, including 345 worldwide healthcare organizations, about where they are running their business applications today, where they plan to run them in the future, what their cloud challenges are and how their cloud initiatives stack up against other IT projects and priorities. The survey included respondents from multiple industries, business sizes and geographies in the Americas; Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA); and Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) regions.

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