As technology advances, computing via a cloud network is becoming more and more common. But can a cloud network really help you run your practice more efficiently than using a local server in your office?
Cloud computing involves using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet where your data can be stored, managed and processed. This differs from the traditional means of storing data on a local server that is physically located in your office, requiring regular maintenance and upgrades that you or a local IT resource must perform.
Computing on a cloud network takes advantage of scale and resource pooling - providing large amounts of storage and computing power without involving additional hardware. The impact of cloud computing will have major effects on the healthcare industry and can help improve the work flow in your practice.
Data Security: Resiliency
Due to economies of scale, cloud services can utilize large redundant data centers to emphasize backup, data resiliency and uptime, all for lower overall costs. The cloud infrastructure offers improved durability, integrity and ease of access to the data.
Data Security: Privacy
Just how secure is data stored on a cloud network? The levels of cloud security are much higher than you would find in a typical IT department. The ability to store data on the cloud forces programmers to put all the security in the application layer; including encrypting data in various bits and pieces. Cloud networks also rely on economies of scale to maintain system privacy standards equivalent to those of PCI (credit card industry), HIPAA (healthcare industry) and FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act).
Speed of Innovation
Cloud networks are able to upgrade and improve services quickly, cheaply and with minimal or no interruption in the service. No longer are healthcare providers forced to deal with the hassles of installing and implementing new software upgrades. Cloud networks simply initiate automatic release upgrades at regularly schedule intervals. By allowing the cloud service provider to handle data upgrades and improve overall computing power, your local IT resource can perform more value-added tasks for your practice such as infrastructure maintenance and administration.
Mobile apps on smartphones and tablet computers are backed by cloud infrastructure. Storing your practice data and computing power in the cloud enables healthcare providers and their staff to have access to the information from any location. For large institutions or partnered organizations, the data may be needed in two different locations at the same time and by using a cloud network this data can be synchronized and shared in real time.
Transitioning to a cloud network enables you to do similar things for less money and on a bigger scale while also helping to remove inefficiencies in IT. The cloud network structure and file systems are open and easily adaptable to, making the transition from a local network server in your office to a cloud system simple and efficient.