This week in Modern Healthcare, I revisited cloud computing. Readers may recall that we took at in-depth look at the cloud two years ago this month.
Keeping our heads in the cloud
Back then, the cloud had made inroads in other industries, but in healthcare it had barely reached the “technology trigger” stage of the Gartner Hype Cycle.
The cloud is now somewhere near the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” stage, according to one health IT professional I interviewed. Security is, and will continue to be, a worry and a barrier to adoption for cloud-based services in healthcare, particularly any applications that handle personally identifiable patient information.
In the next couple of years, we should know whether cloud creates in healthcare IT the exploitable economies of scale that Nicholas Carr wrote about in his book, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google.
Meanwhile, to those pondering whether shifting an application or service to the cloud, I recommend “Guidelines on Security and Privacy in Public Cloud Computing,” by Wayne Jansen and Timothy Grance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST has been working a couple of years on coming up with a standardized definition of cloud computing and how to make it more secure. Their 60-pager, published in February, is an excellent start for what the authors concede will be an ongoing dialogue.
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