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Health care, cloud and IT budgets: Oh my!

7/29/2016 2:55:45 PM

A good portion of the news lately surrounding the cloud and its many benefits has focused on its impact on IT spending. In fact, the tech industry is aflutter with Gartner's latest analysis of the vertical, as the IT research firm predicted that by 2020, $1 trillion in IT spending will be impacted by the cloud. IT budgets themselves were projected to be right around $3.79 trillion by then, so the cloud represents just under a third of that grand total – an unprecedented occurrence.

Cloud environments are becoming more popular, yes, but the phenomenon goes deeper than that. The popularity of the cloud isn't just for its own sake; this technology is actively bringing real-time results to organizations looking for a cost-effective, collaborative alternative to their current IT strategies. And the marketplace for these kinds of solutions is showcasing that need. According to Forbes contributor Louis Columbus, the market for cloud computing as a service will reach a value of $21.9 billion in 2016 and more than double to $44.2 billion by 2020.

Use case: Health care industry

The cloud brings a lot to the table, especially when it comes to industries that need a compliant, effective solution for storing and analyzing their data. There's no industry more heavily regulated than health care, and medical organizations are beginning to use the cloud judiciously to augment their IT strategies. Rock Health reported that $4.3 billion in funding was spent in 2015 on digital health initiatives, and one of those includes cloud environments.

This vertical has been moving to the digital realm slowly but surely, with the shift to electronic medical records and the need for highly responsive, collaborative environments compliant with strict standards. In 2014, a HIMSS Analytics survey found that 83 percent of health care organizations were using at least one cloud application, according to a separate article penned by Columbus.

Health care organizations are turning to the cloud for more and more.Health care organizations are turning to the cloud for more and more.

A ready example of the health care industry using the cloud to enact real change is the University of Warwick's recent project. According to News Medical, the university sponsored a collaborative effort between academic and computing departments to develop a cloud-based microbial bioinformatics resource. This repository, the Cloud Infrastructure for Microbial Bioinformatics, will allow genome researchers to share scripts and perform complicated analyses in a virtual environment.

"CLIMB represents a user-friendly, one-stop shop for sharing software and data between medical microbiologists in the academic and clinical arenas," said Mark Pallen, a professor of microbial genomics at the University of Warwick. He was the principal investigator for the project. "Using the cloud means that rather than dozens, or even hundreds, of research groups across the country having to set up and maintain their own servers, users can access shared pre-configured computational resources on demand."

In other words, this cloud-based environment will pave the way for researchers in the U.K. to communicate and collaborate on their genome projects, which will bring better results. It's also going to help bridge the gap between academia and public health professionals.

"Cloud-based tools can help strengthen customer relationships and drive revenue."

Azure has the works

The news surrounding cloud computing continues to be positive, and organizations will no doubt be clamoring to join their neighbors in the cloud in the coming years. Health care providers, auto manufacturers – no matter what industry a business calls home, there are cloud-based tools that can help strengthen customer relationships and drive revenue, all while making it easier to document and store important information.

For instance, tools from Microsoft Azure offer a range of solutions that can improve business processes and provide support for all the disparate operations of any company. Cloud-based SQL Server software and productivity-enhancing tools of Office 365 are all available to enterprises and small businesses alike.

To that end, no matter whether your organization operates within the health care vertical or any other industry, the cloud can improve how you do business. The flexibility, scalability and cost-effective nature of cloud computing makes it a must for any organization, and partnering with the right cloud vendor can make a huge difference in the long term. A managed services provider can help you get from point A to point B with your cloud deployments.

Get in touch with the cloud computing experts at Apptix today for more information.

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