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January 29, 2018
Making a healthy move to cloud
By: David Wood

Making a healthy move to cloud

Part 2: Jumpstarting healthcare's move to the cloud

In part 1 of this blog, I talked in general terms about why healthcare companies need to move to the cloud—especially the public cloud. Now, let’s talk more specifically about the “how.”

How does a traditional healthcare organization—operating in the payer, provider or pharmacy benefit manager space, for example—get started? How do they unlock the value of technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, robotics, analytics and machine learning to fully embrace a digital future? And how could they do so in a way where both legacy and new cloud capabilities peacefully co-exist?

Based on what we’re seeing in the marketplace, healthcare players—from hospitals, insurance companies to pharma firms—are looking at cloud’s potential by asking three distinct questions:

  1. What business value or economic advantage does cloud offer their organization?

  2. What applications should they move to cloud from the host of legacy apps they already deal with?

  3. What are the security and compliance risks associated with moving to cloud, and how should we effectively mitigate them?

Your journey to cloud

No two journeys to cloud are the same. However, in the healthcare space, we’ve seen a certain pattern emerge among incumbents making the transition. It begins with a solid strategy that demonstrates the value of cloud to the rest of the organization. Think about where you could demonstrate a few quick cloud wins. For example, CIOs may begin by replacing back-office legacy applications with new cloud-native software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications or experimenting with smaller pilots in the cloud to leverage new services such as machine learning or predictive analytics.

After a few wins and after gaining some momentum (and trust), we see other critical elements emerge, including working across corporate silos to define a broader business case for cloud—quantifying more than project-level or IT-only benefits. This is typically done in parallel with a more formal application assessment set of initiatives, where healthcare companies analyze legacy applications and disposition them for cloud suitability. This phase is also important to help define likely cloud patterns for future migrations.

As a healthcare organization’s journey to cloud continues and matures, the focus shifts to transforming the enterprise—leveraging cloud as a way to help drive new efficiencies and growth opportunities.


Heavy lifting

Organizations using cloud at scale are typically driven by other interests—more modern, elastic consumption models and the capacity to uncover new capabilities and services to fuel the business. Tapping into this power at scale requires some heavy lifting, including:

  • Defining a new operating model

  • Building cloud governance and controls

  • Integrating cloud and legacy environments across technologies, processes and people

Cloud at the foundation
The opportunities that come with cloud are profound—and will likely be foundational to support the healthcare company of the future. Accenture believes that the healthcare companies that succeed in this rapidly evolving ecosystem are embracing the journey to cloud and laying the groundwork, in preparation for the transformation that the healthcare industry is undergoing today.

Let me know what you’re thinking about when it comes to cloud and your company. Here at Accenture, we have the experience and capabilities and are at the forefront of developing industry cloud solutions and services to guide our clients at the pace of innovation on their journey to cloud.

If you’d like to read our full point of view on this topic, click here.


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