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Study Shows Healthcare Industry is in Early Stages of Multicloud Adoption, but Deployments are Rising

Research Reveals Hybrid Multicloud is the Ideal IT model, but Healthcare is Slower to Adopt

Nutanix, a leader in hybrid multicloud computing, announced the healthcare findings of its global Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) survey and research report, which measures enterprise progress with cloud adoption in the industry. The research showed that healthcare organizations appear to be in the early phases of cloud adoption and behind the cross-industry global respondent average. However, adoption is expected to jump from 27% to 51% in the next three years, in line with the global trend of evolving to a multicloud IT infrastructure that spans a mix of private and public clouds.

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“Regardless of where they are in their multicloud journeys, evolution to a hybrid multicloud IT infrastructure that spans a mix of private and public clouds with interoperability is underway and necessary for healthcare organizations to succeed.”

Multicloud is the dominant IT architecture in use worldwide, however, among healthcare ECI respondents, 30% say private cloud is their most common IT deployment model. The healthcare industry is highly regulated and has likely been slower to embrace the public cloud as a bona fide component of their IT environments for security and privacy reasons. While multicloud adoption is trending upwards, the complexity of managing across cloud borders remains a major challenge for healthcare organizations, with 92% of respondents agreeing that success requires simpler management across multicloud infrastructures. To address top challenges related to interoperability, security, cost and data integration, 90% agree that a hybrid multicloud model, an IT operating model with multiple clouds both private and public with interoperability between, is ideal.

“Multicloud is here to stay, but complexity and challenges remain as regulations drive many of healthcare organizations’ IT deployment decisions,” said Joseph Wolfgram, Healthcare CTO at Nutanix. “Regardless of where they are in their multicloud journeys, evolution to a hybrid multicloud IT infrastructure that spans a mix of private and public clouds with interoperability is underway and necessary for healthcare organizations to succeed.”

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Healthcare survey respondents were asked about their current cloud challenges, how they’re running business applications now, and where they plan to run them in the future. Respondents were also asked about the impact of the pandemic on recent, current, and future IT infrastructure decisions and how IT strategy and priorities may change because of it. Key findings from this year’s report include:

  • Top multicloud challenges include integrating data across clouds (49%), managing costs (48%), and performance challenges with network overlays (45%). While multicloud adoption is trending upwards, most healthcare organizations are struggling with the reality of operating across multiple clouds, private and public. Given that more than 84% say they currently lack the IT skills required to meet business demands, simplifying operations is likely to be a key focus for many in the year ahead. However, IT leaders are realizing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the cloud, making hybrid multicloud ideal according to the majority of respondents.
  • Application mobility is top of mind. All healthcare organizations (100%) have moved one or more applications to a new IT environment over the last 12 months, likely moving applications out of legacy three-tier environments and into private clouds given healthcare’s above-average private cloud and traditional datacenter penetration. Yet, 80% of respondents agree that moving a workload to a new cloud environment can be costly and time-consuming. They cite security (48%) most often as the reason for the move, outpacing the global average (41%), followed by gaining control of the application (38%), and improving performance (36%).

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  • Focus on business continuity and disaster recovery is helping to drive cloud adoption. Due to being a highly regulated industry, healthcare organizations have been slower to embrace the public cloud as a main component of their IT environments for security reasons. However, healthcare IT professionals indicated an intent to use public cloud services as supplemental IT infrastructure to which they can fail over for improved business continuity levels and disaster recovery setups (BC/DR). In fact, they cited improving BC/DR most often as motivating their three-year plans to increase multicloud use (38%). Healthcare’s interest in boosting BC/DR could prove to be the impetus for greater public cloud acceptance, as this use case has a strong public cloud component, which could accelerate the industry’s general multicloud usage.
  • Top healthcare IT priorities for the next 12 to 18 months include adopting 5G (47%) and AI/ML-based services (46%), and improving BC/DR (45%), and multicloud management (44%). Healthcare respondents also said that the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred them to increase their IT spending in certain areas such as bolstering security posture (62%), implementing AI-based self-service technology (60%), and upgrading existing IT infrastructure (48%).

For the fourth consecutive year, Vanson Bourne conducted research on behalf of Nutanix, surveying 1,700 IT decision-makers around the world in August and September 2021. This report is supplemental to the global Fourth Annual Enterprise Cloud Index master report and focuses on cloud deployment and planning trends in the healthcare industry, based on the responses of 250 IT professionals in that market. It highlights healthcare provider cloud plans, priorities, and experiences and includes comparisons of the healthcare industry’s multicloud activity with that of other markets and the global response base overall. The respondent base spanned various business sizes and the following geographies: the Americas; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and the Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) region.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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