Healthcare industry is in early stages of multi-cloud adoption, but deployments are rising - Intelligent CIO Europe
Healthcare industry is in early stages of multi-cloud adoption, but deployments are rising

Healthcare industry is in early stages of multi-cloud adoption, but deployments are rising

Research by Vanson Bourne conducted on behalf of Nutanix, surveying 1,700 IT decision-makers around the world, has revealed hybrid multi-cloud is the ideal IT model, but healthcare is slower to adopt.

Nutanix, a leader in hybrid multi-cloud computing, announced the healthcare findings of its global Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) survey and research report, which measures enterprise progress with cloud adoption in the industry. The research showed that healthcare organisations appear to be in the early phases of cloud adoption and behind the cross-industry global respondent average. However, adoption is expected to jump from 27% to 51% in the next three years, in line with the global trend of evolving to a multi-cloud IT infrastructure that spans a mix of private and public clouds.

Multi-cloud is the dominant IT architecture in use worldwide, however, among healthcare ECI respondents, 30% say private cloud is their most common IT deployment model. The healthcare industry is highly regulated and has likely been slower to embrace the public cloud as a bona fide component of their IT environments for security and privacy reasons. While multi-cloud adoption is trending upwards, the complexity of managing across cloud borders remains a major challenge for healthcare organisations, with 92% of respondents agreeing that success requires simpler management across multi-cloud infrastructures. To address top challenges related to interoperability, security, cost and data integration, 90% agree that a hybrid multi-cloud model, an IT operating model with multiple clouds both private and public with interoperability between, is ideal.

“Multi-cloud is here to stay, but complexity and challenges remain as regulations drive many of healthcare organisations’ IT deployment decisions,” said Joseph Wolfgram, Healthcare CTO at Nutanix. “Regardless of where they are in their multi-cloud journeys, evolution to a hybrid multi-cloud IT infrastructure that spans a mix of private and public clouds with interoperability is underway and necessary for healthcare organisations to succeed.”

Healthcare survey respondents were asked about their current cloud challenges, how they’re running business applications now and where they plan to run them in the future. Respondents were also asked about the impact of the pandemic on recent, current and future IT infrastructure decisions and how IT strategy and priorities may change because of it. Key findings from this year’s report include:

  • Top multi-cloud challenges include integrating data across clouds (49%), managing costs (48%), and performance challenges with network overlays (45%). While multi-cloud adoption is trending upwards, most healthcare organisations are struggling with the reality of operating across multiple clouds, private and public. Given that more than 84% say they currently lack the IT skills required to meet business demands, simplifying operations is likely to be a key focus for many in the year ahead. However, IT leaders are realising that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the cloud, making hybrid multi-cloud ideal according to the majority of respondents.
  • Application mobility is top of mind. All healthcare organisations (100%) have moved one or more applications to a new IT environment over the last 12 months, likely moving applications out of legacy three-tier environments and into private clouds given healthcare’s above-average private cloud and traditional data centre penetration. Yet, 80% of respondents agree that moving a workload to a new cloud environment can be costly and time-consuming. They cite security (48%) most often as the reason for the move, outpacing the global average (41%), followed by gaining control of the application (38%) and improving performance (36%).
  • Focus on Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery is helping to drive cloud adoption. Due to being a highly regulated industry, healthcare organisations have been slower to embrace the public cloud as a main component of their IT environments for security reasons. However, healthcare IT professionals indicated an intent to use public cloud services as supplemental IT infrastructure to which they can fail over for improved Business Continuity levels and Disaster Recovery setups (BC/DR). In fact, they cited improving BC/DR most often as motivating their three-year plans to increase multi-cloud use (38%). Healthcare’s interest in boosting BC/DR could prove to be the impetus for greater public cloud acceptance, as this use case has a strong public cloud component, which could accelerate the industry’s general multi-cloud usage.
  • Top healthcare IT priorities for the next 12-18 months include adopting 5G (47%) and AI/ML-based services (46%) and improving BC/DR (45%) and multi-cloud management (44%). Healthcare respondents also said that the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred them to increase their IT spending in certain areas such as bolstering security posture (62%), implementing AI-based self-service technology (60%) and upgrading existing IT infrastructure (48%).

For the fourth consecutive year, Vanson Bourne conducted research on behalf of Nutanix, surveying 1,700 IT decision-makers around the world in August and September 2021. This report is supplemental to the global Fourth Annual Enterprise Cloud Index master report and focuses on cloud deployment and planning trends in the healthcare industry, based on the responses of 250 IT professionals in that market. It highlights healthcare provider cloud plans, priorities and experiences and includes comparisons of the healthcare industry’s multi-cloud activity with that of other markets and the global response base overall. The respondent base spanned various business sizes and the following geographies: the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) region.

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