Industry Insights

Data decisions: hosting on-premises or in the cloud?

Is moving to the cloud preferable to hosting data on-premises for out-of-hospital care providers? Corvanta has identified four factors at the centre of this comparison: scalability, sustainability, spending, and security. 

Tim Lawson
Tim Lawson

Senior Solutions Consultant

With over 20 years of experience, Tim has dedicated his career to strengthening the emergency services industry. Through Tim’s expertise in critical communications, systems integration, embedded mobile solutions, real-time data processing and data warehousing, he is focused on partnering with customers to deliver solutions and supporting information to help meet response targets, improve responder safety and make informed decisions to influence better community outcomes.

New solutions drive digital transformation

Digital transformation is driving policy and decision-making in out-of-hospital healthcare. COVID-19 accelerated digitisation and innovation, leading to behavioral shifts among providers. 

Integrated Patient Care Records, telehealth, and Business Intelligence are widely adopted. Providers now capture more clinical data, posing new questions about storage and management. Cloud hosting versus on-premises is a key consideration for IT managers. 

 Four factors – scalability, sustainability, spending, and security – are crucial in this comparison, according to Corvanta’s Solutions Consultant, Tim Lawson. 

Scalability, agility, flexibility

A specialist cloud provider offers operational flexibility through pooling spare capacity and making it available to customers as needed. This creates efficiencies that benefit customers by catering to variable demand, including temporary peaks and permanent growth.  

Cloud hosting enables you to capitalise on peak use scalability when temporary capacity increases are necessary while also supporting growth scalability over the longer term.  

Additionally, the cloud facilitates temporary testing programs without requiring the purchase of additional hardware in advance, encouraging problem-solving within your organisation.  

In emergency situations or when deploying alternative communications, the cloud offers agility by quickly and efficiently increasing capacity. Critical systems hosted by Corvanta include redundancy, allowing for scalability changes without operational impact. 

Sustainability in data management

Operating more sustainably requires consideration of scale, particularly when managing large amounts of data. Cloud hosting mitigates environmental impact more effectively because large data centers can reduce their carbon footprint by operating at a greater scale.  

Cloud hosting providers have the resources to maintain efficiency across all input costs, from data center design to hardware and operational performance modeling. For instance, Amazon Web Services (AWS) uses Graviton3 chips in their Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) system, which consumes up to 60% less energy for the same performance compared to non-Graviton EC2 instances. This reduces customers’ workload carbon footprints by nearly 80% compared to surveyed enterprise data centers.[1] 

Controlling your costs

Switching from on-premises data storage to cloud hosting can save you money by creating new opportunities for controlling your costs. This transition from a CAPEX to an OPEX operational model eliminates the extensive overheads related to maintaining your own data center, such as electricity, cooling systems, server maintenance, and technology upgrades.  

In addition, sourcing technical staff, managing high availability and redundancy, and replacing end-of-life equipment can add up. Cloud hosting removes administrative overheads related to asset acquisition and disposal, as well as the costs of maintaining expertise within your team since all associated processes are outsourced to your chosen cloud service.  

With a reduced need for on-premises equipment, you can repurpose the physical space allocated to data management for other priorities within your organisation. 

Security and compliance

It’s unlikely that your organisation can provide the same level of security as a well-designed and well-governed cloud solution hosted using major players like AWS or Microsoft Azure. If your organisation does attempt to match this level of security, it will come at a high resource cost.  

This is because these global businesses have the resources to provide levels of security controls and monitoring that may be financially prohibitive, with trained security staff on-site around the clock, state-of-the-art physical security measures, and permanent security operations centers.  

Most cloud providers have certifications against ISO 27001 and other globally recognised information security frameworks, so entrusting them with your data reduces your own compliance workload, as well as the related costs.  

By choosing a cloud provider, you can leverage the compliance structures and large security teams they already have in place, and they will deliver all physical access control requirements. 

A mission-critical solution

When considering data hosting options, it’s important to have a plan in place for when connectivity to the cloud is lost or degraded. One way to mitigate this risk is to establish multiple redundant and physically diverse communication and network pathways.  

Cloud direct connections with built-in redundancy, hosting in different availability zones, and contingency plans for offline working can all help ensure maximum availability. It’s also crucial to regularly test and validate the redundancy plan to ensure it’s functioning as intended. 

Corvanta has the technical expertise to support your service

Corvanta’s entire suite of software solutions can be supported while managing your data in the cloud or on-premises, however the benefits that flow from cloud hosting should not be underestimated.  

Our team’s technical expertise can facilitate moving your data to your chosen cloud platform in an efficient manner. We can also ensure the system is hosted within your country, giving you added peace of mind from a privacy perspective. 

Do you agree with this assessment? Get in touch so we can continue the conversation! You can contact the Corvanta team here or connect with Tim on LinkedIn 

 

Tim Lawson
Tim Lawson

Senior Solutions Consultant

With over 20 years of experience, Tim has dedicated his career to strengthening the emergency services industry. Through Tim’s expertise in critical communications, systems integration, embedded mobile solutions, real-time data processing and data warehousing, he is focused on partnering with customers to deliver solutions and supporting information to help meet response targets, improve responder safety and make informed decisions to influence better community outcomes.

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