Maybe you’ve noticed our recent ad campaign, “Cloud with Confidence“, in which we talk about the explosion of companies enabling their business via Cloud Computing activities -- Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds. One of my favorite parts of the messaging is that it doesn’t try and confine the definition of “cloud” as a single thing but instead it highlights the power of connectivity between people, information, markets and ideas. The value to businesses is the interaction and availability of all of these services to help them move from a great idea to a great implementation as quickly as possible.
But that’s just marketing, right? We live in an environment where people are skeptical of large claims and want to see results. Increasingly, they often want to see other people take the risk before them. Not only do we hear this from CIOs that are managing long-term strategies and budgets, but we also hear it from IT organizations that don’t want to do a lot of extra work if the benefits aren’t going to be there.
While Cloud Computing is getting the majority of the headlines within the IT industry, it could easily be argued that no industry is going through as much change as Healthcare. Whether it’s Healthcare reform in the United States, the rollout of Telemedicine solutions (by corporations and municipalities), or online collaboration to educate and discuss outbreaks and crisis, the business of keeping people well is going through radical change. Not only are the economics of Healthcare being forced to change, but so to is the technology that allows doctors to deliver care, medical records to be stored and researchers to find the next cure.
This past week I had the opportunity to present at the NCHICA “Health Information in the Cloud” along with experts from industry, technology, law and standards-bodies. The conference focused on many aspects of Healthcare + Cloud, including HIPPA standards, Legal and Compliance considerations, Security, Deployments in Public vs. Private Clouds, offerings from Managed Service Providers and real-world case studies (presentations can be found here and here). The presentation we gave focused on the infrastructure required to build Private Cloud.
All too often, vendors talk about products or features when customers really want solutions and “how do I get there?” models for evolving their business. Cloud Computing is a topic that definitely falls into the latter category because it isn’t a single piece of hardware or software, but rather it’s a new way to align business needs with technology capabilities.
For many companies, Cloud Computing represents both an opportunity and a challenge. From an opportunity perspective, it potentially represents a chance to leapfrog your competition by leveraging technology as a core driver of new business models. This would create a compelling business differentiation and it’s most likely what every CIO will be talking about in 2011. From a challenge perspective, it introduces some new types of change that your company will need to address, such as:
Before I get into any thoughts or observations from PEX2011, I want to say THANK YOU to all the Cisco partners that attended our bootcamp on Monday. It was an all-day event, the day after the Super Bowl, and you turned out in force throughout the day. The bootcamp Q&A sessions and subsequent discussions at the Appreciation Party and within our booth were very insightful. Keep giving us feedback on how we can help drive your business into new opportunities in 2011.
In the past, when talking with customers there would be a level of consistency between the CIO and the IT staff about priorities and needs. They needed to improve internal operations by deploying a new ERP system. They needed to improve workforce productivity by rolling out wireless access within the office and smartphones to their sales force. Business needs led to technology implementation.
But over the past year, those conversations have been changing. More and more, the CIO is looking to the IT department to drive new innovation for the business. In parallel, they realize that existing IT organizations have been built in silos to address previous business demands and this will need to change if they are expected to have cycles to drive innovation. Quite often, the CIO is asking how their company can begin to offer IT as a Service to the business, exploring the simplicity that is apparent with public or consumer Cloud Computing services. Read More »