While the cloud has become an increasingly important part of consumer computing — see Apple’s cloud product and Google’s plans to transform Documents into Google Drive — healthcare organizations are rightfully waiting just a bit before moving ahead.
If you’re wrestling with cloud issues, you might find some of the following cloud “dos and don’ts” tips to be of use. These are my favorite of the recommendations Mariano Maluf, CTO of Atlanta-based GNAX, shared with Healthcare IT News:
* Assess your environment and capabilities for short-term and long-term opportunities for cloud use, then prioritize. Which would you implement first?
* Be aware that there are some apps that probably shouldn’t be migrated to a private cloud initially, Maluf suggests. Hybrid models, secure multi-tenant public clouds and enterprise-grade cloud storage may be first-line choices.
* Don’t forget to look into the effects of cloud installations, such as architectural dependencies. Also analyze the impact of refresh cycles and application latency tolerance.
* Do develop an integrated cloud strategy, with a related roadmap, Maluf advises. “Focus on incremental value by emphasizing infrastructure delivery and management simplification,” he told HIN.
* Do benchmark your application performance today. Otherwise, it will be tough to know how the cloud has affected app performance, and then it will be tough to establish SLAs with vendors.
I really like these tips because they dig into application performance, rather than going off on a fishing expedition as to what security breaches could possibly happen. (Security is certainly important, but once you establish a security baseline the discussion must inevitably move on to performance.)
Do you have any other tips on cloud implementation to add? Do you disagree that we should table security as the primary discussion around the cloud? Is it too soon to do that yet?