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Cloud Storage Or Data Centres – Healthcare Sector Tussled In Between
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The demand of data centres is grooming to touch 13 percent in 2010. It was expected to grow at a swift pace and this is what it has been doing since then. However, this increasing demand has been hampered by the slow construction rate of physical spaces thus, making business owners look for alternative opportunities. Hospitals and healthcare institutions have been doing the same and evaluating substitute economic efficiencies for its various health records. At present, two most preferred storage modes are –
1. Housing entire data internally in thousands of servers known as data centres, or
2. The cloud storage technique, which allows you to store all your data in a data centre which is not attached to the hospital (off-site) and is managed by third party vendors.
If understood technically, data centre refers to an infrastructure, typically located within the hospital building or hospital premises and serves as a home to multitude of server banks. On the other hand, cloud server refers to an extensive network of servers managed by third party vendors and could be located anywhere in the world. Cloud computing acts as a central server and can be accessed by all those who are given the authority to access it.
This makes it a far less expensive mode and often, there is no limit to the data to be stored in cloud servers. All these features combine to allure healthcare institutions to look towards cloud even seriously and utilize it in meeting their core goal "patient service". But, it is also equally important to realize the risks related to cloud computing, despite most of them being just discernments of the experts, having no visible signs of practicality to date.
Many processes such as EHRs, streaming MRIs, diagnostic visuals, emails and hospital apps are a complicated piece of data, which needs maintenance and regular tweaking. Few believe that cloud computing hasn't matured enough to handle such scenarios. In addition, the cost factor also comes into play, as an augmented bandwidth is required. If cloud server is compromised or crashes down somehow, users will go empty-handed about data security or retrieving it back. The security issue is very major, as cloud concept is lesser known for its security features and more for being hackers' softest target.
If we speak of data centres, my experience says that they are too expensive to afford and too problematic to maintain. The main concerns include -
1. Older technology is often unprepared to meet the new technology
2. Requirement of physical encapsulation
3. Incompatibility of the dry fire suppression system with the existing services
4. Cleaner electrical calls for most advance fittings
5. Requirement of a dedicated power generator system
6. The threat of data loss, which if occurs would take the entire data with it
My experience says that healthcare institutions should start small. If cloud computing is tempting you, adopt it by engaging only the less critical and sensitive data like emails and payroll system while keeping the sensitive data in in-house data centres. This way IT section will get proverbial with cloud computing without putting sensitive data at stake.
Amidst this, there is no doubt that data centres remain the most preferred way of preserving business data , but cloud computing is also gaining quick pace. The cloud providers are busy tackling security and other issues and the day is not far when this concept will give a stiff challenge to the old-fashioned yet reliable data centres.
The author is associated with an enterprise apps development companies with its team of experienced iPhone app developer has created more than 300 application for clients from various industry verticals. The company has established a name as one of the best mobile application development companies in USA.
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