Blog

Harnessing the AWS Cloud with a Healthcare Managed Service Provider

Many organizations want to work with the industry leader in cloud, Amazon Web Services. However, they sometimes can use assistance in designing their systems as coherently and securely as possible – particularly in highly regulated industries such as healthcare. Managed service providers (MSPs) meet that growing demand.

Sometimes cloud is itself the silver lining

Everyone knows that Amazon Web Services is massive. Typically you read tech headlines and see that AWS just keeps growing and growing and growing. The retailer-turned-infrastructural-giant’s dominance is undeniable, to the point that Amazon seems almost synonymous to cloud in the same way that Google seems synonymous to online search.

It should be specifically noted that cloud is becoming increasingly popular in healthcare. Healthcare companies essentially realize that cloud has the same benefits for them as it does for everyone else – affordability, flexibility, and more intelligent results (after all, big data analytics thrives in an ultra-scalable cloud environment).

Gradually, cloud is starting to replace legacy systems run through on-premises datacenters or traditional hosting environments. As occurs with any revolutionary technology, the shift will be massive and rapid. IDC Health Insights projects that by 2020, 80% of healthcare data will “pass through the cloud at some point in its lifetime, as providers seek to leverage cloud-based technologies and infrastructure for data collection, aggregation, analytics and decision-making.” The healthcare cloud in the United States will rise from its 2013 level of $903 million to $3.54 billion in 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Of course cloud is becoming more popular, and that proliferation does have its advantages in terms of standardization and innovation. However, there are manifold additional reasons to choose cloud: it simplifies HIPAA compliance, avoids ongoing infrastructural costs by shifting maintenance to another party, and streamlines operations. Many organizations find the cloud gives them a competitive edge.
Baylor Health Care System technology VP Jay Yellott said that his organization used to confine cloud to the IT department. Now, though, it is becoming accessible to all of the 6000 doctors and 34,000 workers in its 43 hospitals.

Running systems in-house is “probably going to cost more to maintain, and it’s probably not going to be as reliable,” said Yellot. “From my perspective, the cloud is a convenience in any new service I want to deliver.” He added that another benefit is to facilitate the transition from a CapEx to an OpEx business investment model.

HIPAA compliance & information overload

For obvious reasons, especially since cyberattacks on healthcare companies have become so commonplace, all the healthcare companies that are using this new technology need secure, HIPAA-compliant cloud solutions – not just standard public cloud offerings. That expertise is typically obtained via managed service providers.

“The proliferation of AWS offerings has made it increasingly difficult for IT and business decision makers to determine which AWS product is best suited to meet their needs,” argued cloud consultant Jeff Kaplan. “This is particularly true for organizations new to cloud alternatives and unfamiliar with the hidden gotchas of the AWS world.”

No one wants to drive blind, of course. Cloud can be devastating in that way when companies choose to go it alone. A survey conducted last year found that 7 in 10 companies had to make changes to their cloud model, with 52% having to modify their cloud server within six months. What’s even more disturbing is that 43% of companies saw their cloud project stall or shut down altogether. Money wasn’t clear either, with 49% of survey participants noting that they had to bump up their budget by the six-month point.

Why ClearDATA? A critical choice

Why use a managed service provider?
As you can see from the above, most healthcare companies agree that they will gradually be transitioning systems into the cloud as they become more comfortable with the technology’s security and compliance capabilities. It makes sense that companies are hesitant: it’s risky to go it alone with a DIY public cloud offering – as indicated by the above survey figures.
You can also reduce your risk by working with a managed service provider, assuming that you choose one with an impressive business associate agreement that extends the AWS provisions.

Why specifically partner with ClearDATA?
It’s important what partner you choose. That’s particularly evident in healthcare – not just because of compliance but also because of attack prevalence. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, healthcare organizations served as targets for 42.5% of data breaches in 2014.

ClearDATA not only has AWS expertise but also is specifically centered on the healthcare market, offering the only healthcare-exclusive cloud in the world. We can configure your environment precisely to meet your security, compliance, and performance needs. We also offer the best BAA in the industry.

“We are pleased ClearDATA is introducing its new Healthcare Managed Cloud offering on AWS,” said AWS healthcare GM Steve Halliwell, “[aiding] healthcare organizations eager to harness the cost and agility benefits of cloud computing without compromising on data security.”

Review our managed healthcare cloud solutions today.