Is Your Data Infrastructure Around Apps or Data? – Industry Perspectives from HIMSS 2019

While at HIMSS 2019, I asked a number of people I met with to provide some industry perspectives and insights. Basically, tell me something that I don’t know or tell me something that not enough people were talking about. I got a wide variety of perspectives and insights. This week we’ll be highlighting a series of four insights. Next up is a look at a healthcare organization’s data infrastructure.

Infrastructure Around Apps, Not Data
Talking with a storage company like Pure Storage is likely rough unless you’re a techguy like me who is fascinated by what they’re doing with storage. Plus, even if you’re not a nerd like me, you have to appreciate the challenge we face in ensuring that a healthcare organization’s data storage infrastructure is managed appropriately. Making sure the data is always available and is quickly recoverable has become essential to every healthcare organization. That’s really what Pure Storage does.

In talking with Josh Gluck, Vice President of Global Healthcare Technology Strategy at Pure Storage, I was quite intrigued by his comment that most data storage was designed around the applications that were deployed. Given this history, there’s a lot of technical debt that’s been built up around an organization’s data storage (And yes, I love the idea of applying the term technical debt to storage). Instead, he suggested that progressive organizations were looking at how to change to a data-centric approach to data storage instead of an app based one.

Plus, many of these data stores like an application database, data warehouses, and data lakes never get sunset. The data needs to be stored essentially in perpetuity. This often left DBs doing data migrations which led to corrupted databases and other problems associated with migrating data to new equipment. Josh suggested that the future of buying storage capacity will be more similar to the way you purchase cloud. Instead of buying a physical storage array which you put in your data center, you’ll buy so much storage capacity which is managed by the vendor, but on-premise. In this program, you never have to go and rebuy the same storage capacity going forward. It’s amazing to see this type of subscription service being applied to on-premise storage.

Of course, the best compliment I heard for Pure Storage was from a CIO I was talking with as we walked around the floor. The CIO pointed to Pure Storage and said, “You should talk to them. They’re doing some really great stuff with storage.” The good news was that I already had spoken with them. I was impressed with what they’re doing. While it’s not really the sexiest thing to talk about data storage, it’s also an essential part of every healthcare CIOs technology plans.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.