In today’s digital economy, nearly every company is a software company to some degree. In the healthcare field, organizations of all sizes leverage technology to improve patient to provider communication, deliver faster services, and reduce costs. However, this often leads to complex infrastructures that rely on an abundance of applications.
It’s not just the applications undergoing this shift; their deployment is also forced to adapt to this complex environment. That’s where containers come in. Gartner predicts that by 2022, more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, up from fewer than 30% today.
However, containers need to be managed and connected to the outside world for tasks like scheduling, load balancing, and distribution. That’s where Kubernetes enters the picture. This container orchestration system is a central control plane that monitors and manages containerized infrastructure.
Since Google released Kubernetes to the open-source community in 2015, it’s become the gold standard for container management. Although it’s seen widespread horizontal adoption, we’ve seen the healthcare vertical struggling to effectively implement this system due to limited resources and compliance concerns.
If healthcare can overcome these challenges and adopt Kubernetes, the industry will see more innovation and be able to build HIPAA-compliant healthcare solutions more quickly.
Here are 5 benefits of Kubernetes for healthcare:
Kubernetes takes agile methodology to the next level. It enables flexibility, rapid development and deployment, and fits into the DevOps landscape. Since today’s market now requires changes to be smaller and faster, organizations need agility to continuously adapt and respond.
Kubernetes’ modular approach enables faster development by smaller, more focused teams. It provides a stable production environment that reduces change management and operational difficulties. This culminates in deriving maximum utility from containers and building cloud-native applications that can run on any platform.
Second, Kubernetes simplifies application development. Since deploying new applications or expanding existing ones can be a complex process that is prone to errors, healthcare organizations can use Kubernetes to mitigate these complexities. Kubernetes orchestrates the interactions between hundreds or thousands of microservices, allowing them to autoscale to the need of the workload.
3. Cost Efficiency
Kubernetes is also cost-efficient for three primary reasons:
Since Kubernetes automates so many operational concerns, companies can dedicate less personnel resources to system administration, coordinating or managing patches, and worrying about whether their OS and utilities are compatible.
Containers are much more lightweight compared to the previous generation of virtual machines (VMs). Since they require fewer computing resources, organizations can cut down on hardware costs and/or cloud subscription fees.
Kubernetes manages infrastructure to maximize efficiency. This means that it can spin up more containers during periods of heavy traffic and then spin them back down when those resources are no longer necessary. By responding to real-time demand, companies only have to pay for the exact amount of resources that they need.
4. Stronger Security
In a world where healthcare breaches are more costly than credit card breaches, security is a top priority. We’re often stuck in a balancing act where we’re asked to prioritize growth and innovation or security and compliance. With Kubernetes, these goals are no longer mutually exclusive.
Foremost, containers are more secure because they minimize traditional security challenges like operating system level patches and malware. Even beyond switching to containers, however, Kubernetes itself minimized human error via automation and, because it’s self-monitoring and self-healing, the system minimizes operational vulnerabilities.
Another important challenge Kubernetes helps us solve is scalability. Since this system is portable and infrastructure-agnostic, Kubernetes can run on virtually any public cloud, on-premise hardware, or even bare metal. This enables organizations to grow their business without having to worry about infrastructure lock-in.
Plus, since Kubernetes uses declarative configuration, users simply tell it how to scale and it does the rest. If we want to scale up or down, we just need to tell it what we want and the system makes it happen.
Roadblocks to Kubernetes Adoption
As healthcare companies modernize their software delivery pipelines, cloud-native technologies like Kubernetes will set them apart, giving them a clear advantage in the market.
However, Kubernetes management is difficult. Its complexity is infamous, and setting it up is a huge challenge for anyone who isn’t an expert with a very deep understanding of Kubernetes. Since the average salary for such experts in the US is above $140,000, many companies don’t want to shoulder this upfront cost for a system that won’t provide immediate gains like a new application would.
When we add this to the regulatory and compliance hurdles that healthcare companies face, it’s no surprise that much of the industry has opted out.
Fortunately, there is a way for healthcare to gain the benefits of Kubernetes without taking on the additional costs and risks. Cloudticity Managed Kubernetes is an end-to-end solution that automates the entire Kubernetes workflow, from on-demand deployments of HIPAA-compliant clusters to monitoring, alerting, and retiring. There’s no need to be an expert or divert time from other projects.
To learn more about how we can help you leverage Kubernetes without the overhead of managing them, schedule a free consultation.