Week 7 Discussion Migration to the Cloud
Lebron (2019) shows that several institutions have invested into cloud computing. The higher education institutions have not been left behind in migrating their applications to the cloud. The author offered the examples of the universities and colleges, which believes that the cloud allows them improve and reduce their operations based on demand. “This means they do not have to invest in infrastructure to meet peak, term-time demand that is laying mostly idle during vacation period” (Lebron, 2019). The reason being, the institutions do not host students all year round.
The institutions also invest into the cloud to improve the flexibility and speed of operations. Moreover, the stakeholders embrace the technology to lower hardware costs and need for regular software updates (Lebron, 2019). They also strive to employ the existing Information Technology (IT) trends in the industry. The author also asserts that, “Among Higher Ed institutions, the most popular uses of the cloud are currently email systems (86%), web hosting (84%), and customized educational apps (82%); however large scale Infrastructure-as-a-Service deployments are being held back due to privacy, security, and reliability concerns” (Lebron, 2019). The inference shows that cloud computing applications can be a threats to the institutions.
Education institutions will also lower their investment into the cloud due to uncertainty on regulatory requirements. They also lack personalization capabilities since the cloud providers control the applications (Lebron, 2019). The privacy concerns have necessitated most institutions to adopt private clouds as opposed to public cloud. Moreover, there are those which invest in hybrid environments (Lebron, 2019). The strategy allows them to preserve sensitive data in on-premise facilities.
The study also shows that reluctance to migrate to the cloud results from planning for the cloud benefits. The education institutions have to train their stakeholders on the utilization of the cloud platform (Lebron, 2019). Failure to plan might lower the firms’ ability to exploit the cloud opportunities and flexibility. “However, as the centralization of shared services such as learning management systems grows – and these services move to the cloud – more universities and colleges will become more immersed in the cloud and follow early cloud adopters by integrating cloud computing into their general IT strategies.” (Lebron, 2019). The systems will assist in reducing expenses and utilization of on-premise infrastructures and favor investment into the cloud.
Johal (2015) discovered that the institutions have made large investments in on-premise models. The institutions find it hard to migrate to the on-demand services despite their advancement. They can take the advantage of vendors like Salesforce.com to deploy SaaS options. “However, there is still reluctance among many institutions to switch to on-demand models” Johal (2015). The previous investments reduce the preparedness to adopt new technologies.
The higher education institutions also faces lots of psychological barriers. The stakeholders trust the internal data center than the cloud in terms of security. They also ask themselves, “Can my cloud provider maintain my uptime standards?”(Forbes, 2017). Moreover, they are suspicious of the responsiveness to challenges in the network. The stakeholders have to analyze the experiences of other firms. They will learn the need for investing into the cloud.
Forbes Technology Council. (2017, June 7). 13 Biggest Challenges When Moving Your Business To The Cloud. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/06/05/13-biggest-challenges-when-moving-your-business-to-the-cloud/#578ce2c09b0e
Johal, N. (2015, November 2). Higher Education Won’t Be Able To Resist The Cloud Much Longer. The Evollution
Lebron, A. (2019, February 25). Higher Ed Spending More in the Cloud. Rave Mobile Safety.
Reluctance to Move IT to the Cloud: Healthcare
Cloud computing has become a popular and promising technology due to the opportunities it presents. Companies have been able to augment their businesses and utilize technology more expeditiously. While cloud computing offers scalability, cost reductions, and flexibility, some healthcare institutions are reluctant to adopt the technology due to security and privacy issues, psychological barriers, and minimal visibility and control.
Security and privacy issues remain one of the leading factors to the hesitancy. According to Xue & Xin (2016), “among the issues of adopting cloud computing in business, security occupied the highest percentage that is 66%.” Hospitals store private and confidential patient health information (PHI) that is privy to authorized personnel only. However, this information is lucrative in the black market, and attackers employ malware or authentication attacks to steal the data for personal gain. Transferring IT infrastructure to the clouds increases the attack surface. Raval & Jangale (2016) indicate that cloud computing involves third parties who aid in service delivery, for example, server service providers. The data is also unencrypted. This increases the chances of healthcare data theft via the external server without the knowledge of its owner or custodian (hospital) or potential leakage. Therefore, PHI’s security remains a critical issue for healthcare entities, hence the reluctance to embrace cloud computing.
Minimal visibility and control of the cloud infrastructure has created a reluctance to adopt cloud computing. Filkins et al. (2016) affirm that cloud computing offers a “lack of direct control over hardware and software, lack of visibility into audit/system activities physical locations of data, and impact of different jurisdictions where the data may be held.” Thus, healthcare entities obligated to follow HIPAA regulations regarding ePHI are reserved about the extent of infrastructure visibility and control. Xue & Xin (2016) opine that lack of knowledge on accessing the data and ways it is being utilized creates skepticism around cloud adoption in the healthcare sector. It is also important to note that concerns about cloud providers storing and processing PHI data in jurisdictions with weak regulatory frameworks regarding private and confidential information create increasing incertitude. Therefore, cloud providers and their respective clients can reach a counterbalance when the former adjust their standard operating procedures and expectations to meet the latter’s needs and demands.
Psychological distrust has made the process of migration from on-the-premise IT systems to cloud a complex endeavor. The innate sensitivity and immense amount of data processed daily are necessary to ensure care and caution by healthcare entities (Yimam & Fernandez, 2016). Therefore, while the cloud is a cost-effective strategy compared to the on-site IT infrastructure, healthcare practitioners are cynical about its long-term availability. Besides security, healthcare entities are skeptical of whether the cloud service will maintain uptime gauges at all times and if it will address their issues promptly and efficiently. Raval & Jangale (2016) affirm that “the property of availability can be attacked and made unavailable to legitimate users on temporarily or permanent basis and in the same way loss can also be in terms of partial or complete.” The psychological barrier holds that the PHI is more secure, available, and reliable on-the-premise than in the cloud, a façade, because they are prone to potential attacks, especially from insiders.
Thus, the essay established that security and privacy issues, minimal visibility and control of the cloud computing infrastructure, and psychological barriers are the reasons for the reluctance in the shift from on-the-premise IT to the cloud. Healthcare entities handle sensitive PHI data should be kept confidential. Since they operate within HIPAA regulations, transferring EPHI to a third party is met with skeptics on safety and availability matters.
Filkins, B. L., Kim, J. Y., Roberts, B., Armstrong, W., Miller, M. A., Hultner, M. L., … & Steinhubl, S. R. (2016). Privacy and security in the era of digital health: what should translational researchers know and do about it?. American journal of translational research, 8(3), 1560.
Raval, D., & Jangale, S. (2016). Cloud based Information Security and Privacy in Healthcare. International Journal of Computer Applications, 150(4).
Yimam, D., & Fernandez, E. B. (2016). A survey of compliance issues in cloud computing. Journal of Internet Services and Applications, 7(1), 5.
Xue, C. T. S., & Xin, F. T. W. (2016). Benefits and challenges of the adoption of cloud computing in business. International Journal on Cloud Computing: Services and Architecture, 6(6), 01-15.