Friday, September 30, 2011 5:35:20 PM
As necessity is the mother of invention, the cloud computing industry has thrived because of the variety of benefits it boasts for individuals, enterprises and federal agencies. While the cloud has been proven to improve companies' bottom line and better the experiences of users, other advantages continue to sprout up.
Healthcare Informatics recently published an article explaining the advantages the cloud offers for disaster preparedness and regulatory compliance statutes. As data stored in only one physical location is extremely susceptible to breach, loss and damage, the cloud offers a relatively cost-effective method for storing data in multiple locations, improving the security of data stored and managed by enterprises.
Because of extensive regulatory compliance requirements, the healthcare industry has been especially interested in cloud adoption. HIPAA compliance, meaningful use and portions of the HITECH Act are just a few reasons why cloud computing is effective in the healthcare industry, as it offers a safe and comprehensive way of storing and transmitting sensitive patient information.
"You are spreading your data over multiple geographic areas, which is part of the high availability strategy, and is extremely important to look at these days," Chuck Podest, senior vice president and chief information officer of Burlington, Vermont-based Fletcher Allen Health Care, told the website.
The website notes that an increasing number of natural disasters have led many CIOs and enterprise executives to rethink their data storage security practices, as a loss of data resulting from a natural disaster can be catastrophic to a business. Additionally, because of electronic health record regulations, the healthcare industry has increasingly turned to third-party service providers.
"We are already paying for the service, so we can add value to that expense by providing access to a clinical record in case we have a failure," Charles Christian, chief information officer of Vinceness, Indiana-based Good Samaritan Hospital, explained to the source.
According to the website, remote hosting, such as that provided by cloud computing, is a much more fiscally sound option than purchasing and maintaining more hardware and data centers, especially in regard to healthcare industry entities.
Additionally, the Wall Street Journal recently published an article explaining that small and medium sized businesses, characteristically focused on keeping costs low to drive profits, have adopted cloud services at a rapid pace in the past 18 months. According to the source, 7 percent of small businesses and 17 percent of mid-sized companies had some form of cloud services in the beginning of 2010, while currently those numbers stand at 13 percent and 36 percent, respectively.
-McAfee Cloud Security