Healthcare Cloud Managed Services: The Benefits

| Author , tagged in cloud managed services
Cloudticity, L.L.C.

Building a healthcare app in the cloud? You’re in good company. A growing number of organizations are opting to use public cloud services to speed innovation, avoid capital expenditures, increase scalability, and tap into the latest cloud-based technologies. Like you, they see the vital role that the cloud can play in achieving business goals and ultimately delivering better healthcare outcomes. 

The potential benefits of the cloud are real. But establishing a cloud environment and managing that environment going forward can be challenging, even for well-prepared in-house IT teams. The time, costs, and risks of relying solely on existing personnel for cloud migration and management can erode the benefits of moving to the cloud.

Working with a managed service provider (MSP) for healthcare can help you address key cloud challenges. By combining deep cloud and healthcare experience with capabilities for automating essential management tasks, the right healthcare MSP can help you make the most of the cloud, while reducing the operational burden on your team . 

What are Healthcare Cloud Managed Services?

Managed cloud services for healthcare are a type of managed IT services that specifically address cloud infrastructure, as opposed to traditional infrastructure, in the healthcare industry. They allow healthcare organizations to offload most aspects of cloud administration and operations management such as patching, backups, monitoring, security operations, and compliance operations so that internal resources can be focused on more differentiated activities.

What are the Benefits of Healthcare Cloud Managed Services?

Managed cloud services can help healthcare organizations modernize their technology infrastructures while avoiding large capital investments into full-time personnel. Working with a managed cloud service provider can reduce complexity, increase productivity, and help you stay on the cutting edge.

How can an MSP help your organization?

1. Accelerate time to value.

The cloud promises agility. Most cloud service providers enable you to provision new environments in a small fraction of the time it would take to purchase, install, and configure infrastructure in your own data center. Still, if you need to hire new personnel or train your existing staff to manage these cloud services, you lose that agility. 

MSPs know public cloud services inside and out. The right MSP can help you set up a cloud environment that meets your organization’s specific needs in much less time than it would take to bring your in-house team up to speed. You can eliminate the work of researching cloud services, learning new tools, and correcting inevitable mistakes. With an MSP, you can do things right the first time and start realizing cloud benefits faster. 

2. Reap the full benefit of your cloud investment.

The real value of cloud comes from being able to automate so many processes that are traditionally done manually, like deployments, infrastructure updates, and security processes. If you try to leverage existing IT personnel who are primarily experienced running on-prem environments, you risk running your cloud environment the same way you run your data center. When you employ manual management processes instead of leveraging automation, what we often see happening is that cloud hardly provides any additional value and organizations see the project fail.

For example, if you have an autonomous vehicle but you drive it the same way you drive your traditional vehicle, you won’t get any extra benefits. The right healthcare MSP with the right cloud management experience will help your IT team take full advantage of the automations and features that the cloud has to offer. You will gain flexibility and agility, see productivity increase, and reduce the time needed to push features to market.

3. Simplify compliance.

As you set up and manage your cloud environment, complying with HIPAA regulations must be a top priority. Demonstrating that compliance through HITRUST certification can help you stand out among competitors while also enabling you to protect sensitive information. But achieving HITRUST certification, which involves meeting hundreds of requirements, is extremely time-consuming.

Working with a knowledgeable MSP can help simplify that HITRUST certification process, first by sharing responsibility for building and maintaining a compliant environment. The right MSP will also offer inheritable security controls—controls that you do not have to worry about implementing on your own.

4. Reduce security risks. 

Healthcare organizations, which are often responsible for large volumes of sensitive patient information, are targeted by cybercriminals more frequently than any other type of organization. Protecting that information is critical for maintaining regulatory compliance and avoiding devastating fines and remediation costs.

But deploying and managing security solutions for your cloud environment can require new skills. Compared with protecting an on-premises data center, securing your cloud environment might require your team to implement new tools and address distinct types of threats. The right MSP can offer deep cloud security expertise to help identify potential vulnerabilities, select the right tools to address them, and automate ongoing security management. 

5. Streamline adoption of new tools and technologies. 

Cloud service providers offer an array of tools to provision infrastructure, implement data exchange standards for healthcare systems, deploy security capabilities, and more. They also provide cutting-edge technologies, such as machine learning and AI, which can help you extract new insights from your data and enhance the new apps you might be building. 

An MSP can help you select, configure, and manage those tools and technologies, much of which might be new to your in-house personnel. You can take full advantage of the services your chosen cloud provider offers while significantly reducing the learning curve.

6. Save money by gaining predictability over IT resources. 

It might seem like using existing in-house personnel would be the most efficient, cost-effective way to manage a cloud environment. But you need to factor in the time and costs of training your team. Hiring individual cloud experts is an option, though given the high demand for people with those skills, doing so could be very costly. Meanwhile, the high turnover rate among cloud experts means that you might have to onboard new staff repeatedly. 

What’s more, without the right governance in place, developers have free reign to spin up infrastructure in your cloud environment. As a result, many IT leaders see their bill increasing instead of decreasing, without any visibility or control over the charges being spun up.

Partnering with an MSP can reduce costs by providing trained cloud experts, eliminating the need to train and certify existing IT staff as well as the need to hire and retain new IT staff. Additionally, an MSP can help you keep costs under control by implementing proper governance, guardrails, and visibility.

7. Free your staff, stay ahead of the competition. 

By working with a healthcare MSP to manage your cloud environment, you can free your in-house staff for more strategic activities—activities that drive value for your organization and your customers. Instead of working to meet rigorous security requirements or learning cloud tools, your team can stay focused on developing new apps, generating new insights, and delivering innovative services. 

That focus will pay dividends. When your staff has more time to concentrate on your core business goals, you can stay ahead of competitors—including all of the businesses that try to manage new cloud environments entirely on their own.

How Do You Choose a Cloud Managed Service Provider for Healthcare?

Choosing the right managed cloud service provider (MSP) for healthcare is crucial. Many providers claim to support the healthcare industry, but they don't have the right credentials to do so. They are generalists posing as specialists. In an industry like healthcare where sensitive data must be protected, it's important to pick an MSP that knows healthcare and has the necessary competencies to ensure safe keeping of data.

When looking for a managed cloud service provider for healthcare, consider the following:

Competencies and Credentials

A qualified cloud partner for healthcare should be HITRUST CSF Certified. Many providers claim to be HIPAA compliant, but without CSF certification there's no way to verify their security posture is up to par for healthcare data. In addition, look for a partner with relevant cloud service provider credentials, such as the AWS Healthcare Competency,  AWS Public Sector, or Azure Infrastructure competency.

Business Associate Agreement

A HIPAA business associates agreement (BAA) is a written contract between a HIPAA covered entity and its vendors, contractors, and third-party service providers; it’s required by law. BAAs describe how both parties adhere to HIPAA regulations and outline the responsibilities and risks each party takes on. Choose a partner that will sign a BAA and steer clear or any that won’t. You can’t be HIPAA compliant without a BAA.

Security Track Record

When it comes to managing and securing your PHI, you can’t be too careful. In fact, cybersecurity attacks on healthcare organizations accounted for 79 percent of all attacks in 2020. And because of the high cost of recovering, about half of SMBs go out of business within six months after an attack. Make sure you do research on a potential partner and its track record. Choose a partner that has never experienced a breach or audit failure, and make sure the company has been around for more than several years.

Get Started with Healthcare Cloud Managed Services

Managed cloud services can help your healthcare business get ahead. With the right partner you can modernize your infrastructure, stay at the cutting edge with your technology, and reduce the overhead and operational burden on your team.

To learn more about choosing the right healthcare MSP download the free Tip Sheet, "10 Tips for Choosing a Cloud Management Partner for Healthcare." Or schedule a free consultation to learn how Cloudticity managed cloud services for healthcare can help.


TAGGED: cloud managed services

Subscribe Today

Get notified with product release updates and industry news.