Healthcare's Cloud Challenge

The industry has been slow to embrace cloud computing, but demand could grow.
Healthcare has been slow to embrace cloud computing. Only 14% of respondents to InformationWeek Analytics' 2011 Healthcare IT Priorities Survey are using public cloud services, while 47% have no plans to use either public or private clouds. Thirty percent of companies across all industries use some public cloud services and just 33% have no plans to use cloud computing, according to InformationWeek Analytics' State Of Cloud Computing Survey.

There are many reasons for healthcare providers to lag here. With all the security and privacy requirements around how patient data is handled, they must be more cautious than the average company. And many providers believe they can handle supporting, storing, and sharing electronic data on premises.

But as budget-conscious healthcare organizations need to support growing volumes of data and address legacy applications while adding new applications, demand for cloud could grow, says Roberta Katz, director of EMC's healthcare and life sciences business.

Electronic healthcare records are the most common application being hosted. More than 30% of survey respondents using public or private clouds are using it for this, followed by storage (28%) and financial apps (25%).

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Kelly Jackson Higgins 2, Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading