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October 24, 2018
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David W. Johnson
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Innovation System Dynamics
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A Concrete Description Of The Cloud

In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing data and software applications on the Internet, in secure files, then accessing that data and programs over the Internet rather than from physical hardware.

For a health system, moving into the cloud frees the system from owning and managing physical hardware and networking components that today physically reside in a health systems data center. The cloud also allows for freedom from paying employees or outsourced professionals to manage that hardware.

Benefits of moving into the cloud:

  • Current applications operate no differently when the data is in the cloud versus when it is in a private / managed data center. In fact, access to your data is faster, easier, more convenient and often more secure when your approved partners want to run analytic tools or develop new apps and capabilities for your organization.
  • Health systems don’t have to invest in the hardware and the people who manage the hardware. Instead they take advantage of providers that specialize in this area to optimize computer efficiency and scalability at more favorable economic terms.

  • The cloud is exceptional at scaling up and down, so you only use the infrastructure your applications require as your data and computer requirements change. That compares to an enterprise system that was specified and purchased to meet estimated peak usage, that now sits in your physical data center. A majority of the time, the expensive hardware is underutilized resulting in compute and cost waste.

  • Your data will likely be more secure in the cloud since it is hosted and managed with the same security standards and best practices as the parent company (ie. Google, Amazon, Microsoft).

  • Development languages used with data stored in the cloud are the most current, most advanced, and open source. It’s not technology owned by a corporation that you need to license.

The security, performance, accessibility and cost-savings make moving to a cloud platform the transformation needed for healthcare data.

About the Author

David W. Johnson

David Johnson is the CEO of 4sight Health, an advisory company working at the intersection of healthcare strategy, economics, innovation. Johnson is a healthcare thought leader, keynote speaker, and strategic advisor to organizations busting the status-quo to reform our healthcare system. He is the author of Market vs. Medicine: America’s Epic Fight for Better, Affordable Healthcare, and his second book, The Customer Revolution in Healthcare: Delivering Kinder, Smarter, Affordable Care for All (McGraw-Hill 2019). As a speaker, Dave plays the role of rebel, challenger, industry historian, investor and company evaluator to push audiences forward. (Watch bio video.) Johnson applies his 25+ years of investment banking in healthcare to identify ways the healthcare industry must change to deliver better care. He received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, an English degree from Colgate University, and served in the African Peace Corp service. Join over 10k+ healthcare executives who read our weekly insights and commentary on www.4sighthealth.com. His third book, Less Healthcare, More Health: The Prescription for a Happier, More Equitable and Productive America, will publish in 2024.

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