CDW recently surveyed more than 1,200 cloud decision makers (those who have deployed cloud services as part of their IT strategy) about their successes, challenges and outlook for the future of cloud. The­ results are in, and we found the respondents are no longer simply testing the waters — they’re exploring ways to improve the delivery of cloud services within their IT service portfolios.

Here’s what the healthcare cloud decision makers specifically had to say.

Cloud Usage

Healthcare organizations deliver just under 35% of their IT services either totally or partially via cloud computing. The top categories are storage (59%), email (46%) and productivity applications (43%), followed closely by collaboration (33%), web hosting (33%) and traditional business applications like finance and accounting (32%). These findings align closely to many of the IT service categories that have been the easiest for them to transition to the cloud.

Barriers and Challenges to Cloud Adoption

The biggest barrier to adoption by far is concerns about migrating or integrating with other resources, noted by 67% of providers. Providers have also had challenges with cloud vendors that operate under service-level agreements (SLAs), with survey results citing that 21% of vendors fail to meet their SLAs.

Healthcare organizations’ first cloud implementation on average took 14 weeks, but that time frame is shorter for subsequent implementations, taking around 10 weeks on average after that.

Decision makers’ single largest source of problems with their overall current cloud services breaks down to security (29%), followed by cost (17%) and integration with existing infrastructure (15%).

Looking Ahead

Despite the growing pains of moving to the cloud, healthcare organizations are clearly beginning to see it as the path to the future. As providers evaluate and plan entirely new IT services, 33% of those services are being considered for either partial or total delivery via the cloud, and 71% of organizations noted that their organization will buy more compute and storage servers for their own data centers over the next three years than over the past three years. This may be nudged along in part by overall organizational requests and adoption as human resources, finance, operations, marketing and other internal departments also make the shift.

Healthcare providers’ biggest future cloud concerns center on security (52%), trust in the solutions available (35%), lack of budget (25%), worry about losing IT headcount (23%) and limited support from management (22%). What are they most looking for from public or hybrid cloud providers? Reliability (41%), the ability to integrate with existing infrastructure (31%), support for IT during implementation (27%), the lowest total cost/cost stability (25%), a broad array of cloud solutions (21%) and strong past experience (20%).

Is your cloud provider delivering on the things you need most?

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