Cloud computing allows users to reduce upfront costs and invest in applications rather than infrastructure. The most common form of cloud computing is Software as a Service (SaaS), in which users access application software and databases and third parties manage the infrastructure and platforms that run the applications.
Healthcare providers continue to increase their use of the cloud. The recently published 2014 HIMSS Analytics Cloud Survey provides an up-to-date status of healthcare cloud computing. The cloud model has achieved significant penetration in the healthcare provider market. According to HIMMS, 83% of healthcare organizations are currently using cloud services for at least one application and 9% plan to do so. Cloud users report improvements in technological capabilities and capacity, financial contribution, time to deploy, productivity, business processes, data security, and regulatory compliance. For providers who are not yet using the cloud, concerns include security, lack of internal IT control, system availability and uptime.
The following table shows the distribution of use of cloud applications by survey participants:
|Backup and Disaster Recovery||35%|
|Back Office and Data Management||22%|
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