Healthcare Inches Into the Cloud

Amy Larsen DeCarlo
Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Recent research on cloud use conducted by IT provider CDW found that just 35% of the healthcare IT professionals surveyed are either implementing or supporting cloud deployments today.
  • Worries about security are keeping some health organizations on the sidelines; however, organizations in the industry are becoming increasingly receptive to the model, based at least in part on experience with on-demand storage and other services for personal use.

As adroit as the healthcare sector is when it comes to applying advanced medical technologies to improve diagnostics, treatments, and ultimately patient outcomes, the industry has a more awkward relationship with information technology in general and collaboration solutions in particular.  Though healthcare providers have often invested heavily in communications systems to streamline the information sharing process, many of these often proprietary implementations have fallen far short of expectations.  We can chalk some of the lackluster results to privacy and compliance issues that mandate organizations maintain tight control over information; however, there are also process and even cultural obstructions that are getting in the way of progress. Continue reading “Healthcare Inches Into the Cloud”

The Changing Face of Network Management

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • For vendor management platforms to be effective, they need to replace processes IT developed to get around shortcomings of previous platforms.
  • The management platform must provide all the tools needed for management at a low cost. The management platform isn’t a value add—it’s an integral part of the network buy.

I was talking to a friend who is neck deep in network management in a very large enterprise about some of the new technologies and features network equipment vendors are putting into their network management systems (NMS) with the lofty goal of providing a single pane of glass that has contextual views and workflows built-in. His response, after making a face like he just took a swig of sour milk, was “I’ve heard this all before and each time the platform was expensive and lacked the necessary features we needed. We ended up augmenting with other products. It’s not pretty, but it works.”

One part of the problem my friend faced was that network management products were long on promises and short on delivery. Device discovery was never 100% and network mapping sometimes resulted in impossible, Klein bottle style topologies which had to be corrected by hand. Another part of the problem was self-inflicted. His IT staff would use the CLI or custom built scripts to manage network elements which resulted in the NMS being out of date and constantly needing updating. A whole cottage industry developed to rationalize the NMS view of the network with reality but that’s because the NMS’s weren’t effective tools for IT. I think that’s changing. Continue reading “The Changing Face of Network Management”