Famed for its power to reduce costs & transform application delivery, cloud computing has always become particularly FUD-laced when discussed on the table. It still gives a scratchy picture for many organizations (people too) — I personally enjoy listening to people from different industries make a better sense out of it.
Resources … will always be scarce. Right? There’s not enough potable water. There’s energy, but … There’s not enough money. There’s lack of people. It is clear that at some point, pooling of resources will happen in order to sustain I’d say ways of living. Cloud computing harnesses combined infrastructure components, scales for economy, and allays resource issues.
Now, three things worth mentioning on Health IT and cloud include:
Improving cost management. Cloud-based solutions will be eye candies for hospitals in countries with small budgets. Less critical apps such as email and back office tools are ripe for cloud-enabling. Cloud-based apps’ model relieves the capital expense, as well as some of the operational expenses including software maintenance.
(Clinical IT) Talent capacity and capability. If you can’t hire, and you can’t build the team, you either outsource or refer to cloud solutions. Really? Yes, but it’s never easy. There’s a need to keep a healthy balance between: public and private, privacy and practicality, standardization and flexibility, in-house and outsourced.
Time constraints. Governments from the US to Australia are aiming to accelerate e-health adoption, but to do that fast means NOT building from scratch AND forming sustainable partnerships. A telco that has the infrastructure at its disposal may work with the government to roll out a nationwide eHealth system, for instance. And by implementing this system “over the wire” on top of mobile is I’d say a convergence worth seeing.
Watch out for the write-up in Forbes magazine on how the cloud will benefit developing nations. My colleague Alain Yap is drafting the message with young global leader Winston Damarillo.
Tune in also for updates on tomorrow’s roundtable with Philippine hospital CIOs. I’m very interested to hear about the group’s thoughts on cloud computing in the health IT setting.