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Moving to the Cloud? 3 Things to Keep in Mind

May 23, 2019

Healthcare and change are certainly synonymous, but perhaps no role has seen more change than the leader responsible for shepherding his or her organization through new technology: the CIO.

For many IT leaders, the next frontier is the cloud. Whether you’re moving existing applications to the cloud, or introducing new cloud applications from technology vendors, keep these three things in mind.

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1. Your governance model will likely need to evolve

When on-premise servers hosted every solution, IT had all the control. Hospital IT teams managed the infrastructure themselves and had sole responsibility for applications. Today, as existing solutions move to the cloud or hospitals introduce new cloud solutions to their organizations, IT is now sharing control with leaders in other areas who now have access to make changes on their own. The cloud effectively decentralizes the model, so manual governance is no longer sufficient. Healthcare CIOs must find “automated ways to maintain governance without sacrificing agility” by leveraging internal policies, best practices, and reference architectures.

2. You may need staff with cloud experience

The cloud means less “stuff”—fewer servers, processors, cords, and shelves—so it can lend the impression that maintaining cloud solutions will require less staff, too. But that’s not always the case. Hospitals and health systems might initially need more staff for a cloud infrastructure with security needs unique to the industry. Black Book Research found that 93 percent of hospital CIOs are actively acquiring the staff to configure, manage, and support a HIPAA-compliant cloud infrastructure. It may only be temporary, but consider your current staffing and organizational needs to determine if you need to make any changes or additions to facilitate cloud-based solutions.

3. Your relationships with vendors might get tighter

Cloud-native or cloud-hosted solutions often go hand in hand with a software as a service (SaaS) business model, since the technology facilitates a higher level of self service and more frequent updates. Consistent access to the latest and greatest version of the solution without a forklift upgrade is a tremendous benefit. However, you may need to have proactive conversations with your vendors about change control, testing, and communication to make sure you can work together to ensure updates occur smoothly. Cloud solutions don’t have to be a “one-way” affair if you develop a partnership with your vendors.

Your Clinical Communication Partner

Wherever you are in your cloud journey as it relates to communication, Spok is here to be your trusted partner. We recently revealed our new cloud-native clinical communication platform. We recognize that our evolution as a company affects our customers as well. Our professional services team has the experience (the team member average is 13 years’ experience within healthcare specifically) to support your communication needs in a cloud, on-premise, or hybrid environment.

Whatever your environment is now, or however it may be changing, Spok is your partner to improve clinical communication at your organization, and consequently, help improve staff satisfaction and patient safety and outcomes.


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By Mark Costanza, Senior Vice President of Professional Services
Mark Costanza is an accomplished business executive with more than 25 years of healthcare information technology experience. He has been a leader in the development of strategies and tactics that propel business growth and profitability. His experience includes work in both public and private companies, where he has been a catalyst in turning around underperforming organizations, launching new business initiatives, and driving business growth in professional services. He is deeply knowledgeable in the creation of more effective and efficient hospital systems through the integration of medical care with leading-edge healthcare technology. Costanza joined Spok from Nordic Consulting, where he was the Chief Client Officer. Prior to joining Nordic, he served as Vice President and Senior Account Delivery Executive at Lumeris. Before Lumeris, Costanza served as Senior Managing Director at Siemens Health Services Consulting. He also has held senior executive roles at CSC, McKesson, and Cerner Corporation building high-performing sales and delivery organizations. Costanza holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.