Three Steps to Better Cloud Migration Decisions

By Peyman Zand, Vice President, CereCore
Twitter: @CereCore
Meet CereCore at HIMSS: MPO9

Healthcare’s digital transformation and the need to meet patients’ consumer-driven expectations is forcing organizations to re-evaluate their core IT infrastructure, applications and data architectures. Expanded technology requirements require new health IT options and digital platform strategies.

Migrating applications to the cloud is a proven way to evolve Health IT toward new capabilities and enable improved patient experience. However, vetting solutions and building a solid cloud migration strategy is easier said than done. Multiple cloud platforms are available. And solutions that work for one organization or application may not work for another.

Each healthcare organization must make cloud migration decisions consistent with their unique environment, applications and outcomes desired. In establishing the right cloud migration strategy, CereCore follows these three methodical steps.

Assess Your Current State
Review existing applications, architecture, storage capacities, data centers and other key environmental factors to determine the overall impact and change implied to the organization. Part of this assessment should include financial impacts and return on investment opportunities associated with migration to the cloud. Here are four additional steps to take during this stage.

  • Verify all cloud computing options available today or upcoming with your current application or service providers.
  • Document the scalability, work process and organizational impacts for all cloud-based options.
  • Evaluate your IT policies and assess what changes will be required with the application of cloud-based migration.
  • Employ skills where needed. The majority of the existing IT systems are not equipped to assist provider organizations with their cloud migration journeys.

Consider all Technology Options
One of the primary activities in selecting the right cloud solution is to understand the variety of options available in the market and which are specifically well-suited for each organization. For example, determine what each of the primary providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure Cloud or Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provide and how each may or may not be an optimal fit for your organization’s unique application architecture.

Know all the various public, private and hybrid cloud model alternatives. Be sure to take advantage of any vendor or consultant tools to assist in designing the right solution and plan for cloud migration.

All these considerations make a major difference in both short- and long-term viability of services, availability, scalability, security, operability and costs to the organization. Migrating applications, storage and other data to the cloud also impacts how you design and architect data sources, network topologies, security end points, etc.

Build a New Work Process
Migrating your applications to the cloud is a major investment and it also requires new processes for how your organization performs work. For starters, the retirement of old platforms, switching over to the new cloud environment, sunsetting key contracts and all the other activities associated with this migration have significant cost and effort associated with them. IT governance models, financial arrangements and business outcomes reporting also evolve with migration to the cloud.

Cloud migration is a business model transformation. The steps listed above provide a framework to get started and determine how migrating health IT platforms to the cloud will support the organization’s growth strategies while improving the quality of services provided to all constituents. The question is no longer if the move the cloud is viable, it is how to make cloud migration effectively meet your business outcomes.