Why it’s never been a better time for NHS Trusts to make the move to cloud

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The healthcare sector has had to pivot to enable remote working and deliver virtual appointments and consultations to patients during the pandemic. But what will the future of healthcare look like post Covid-19?

It’s safe to say that the NHS has always operated under pressure but now during the Coronavirus pandemic, the NHS is under pressure to cope with the increase of workloads. Over the last few years, the government has pushed the NHS towards a cloud first policy moving forward and has encouraged all NHS organisations to consider cloud solutions before other options. The policy was set out to introduce cloud technology into the public sector to capitalise on benefits such as efficiency and cost reductions making now the ideal time for the NHS to fully embrace a move to the cloud.

Migrating to the cloud can help transform the way NHS services are run; with digital solutions, the NHS can offer quicker and more seamless services, in turn improving patient outcomes.

The pandemic has shown that digital technology and data have become indispensable tools for healthcare professionals as they adapt to changes across their organisations. Many healthcare leaders are reassessing their plans and imagining a future where technology is used as a key enabler in helping to overcome the challenges caused by the pandemic.

The push to cloud

Digital transformation has been priority under the ‘Personalised Health & Care 2020’ policy; a strategy published by the National Information Board, outlining how the health and care system will use data and technology to transform outcomes for patients and citizens in the coming years. There is a fair amount of work that has to be done before migrating to the cloud, understanding which applications are best suited for cloud? Which applications can be re-architected or re-platformed? Which on-prem services can be turned off and decommissioned? These considerations need to take effect to drive efficiencies in the cloud.

Making the most out of the cloud

The concept of the cloud lends itself perfectly to the current state the NHS finds itself in. Cloud platforms can be used as needed at this current time scaling up or down according to demand. With the pandemic ongoing, mass amounts of confidential data are being produced daily and utilising cloud platforms can ease the pressure on the traditional data centres.

The flexibility of the cloud allows the NHS to deploy and store applications and workloads as needed. Instead of paying huge sums for on-premises infrastructure with 3 – 5 year contract, using cloud means that the NHS will only be paying for what it uses, driving cost savings across the board and allowing the NHS to allocate the money saved for frontline health services and improving patient healthcare.

Choosing the right solution

The beauty of the cloud means the NHS can choose the best cloud platform to meet their requirements. A multi-cloud strategy is often used to indicate the use of multiple public cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Adopting a multi-cloud approach will help the NHS minimise reliance on any one public cloud provider thereby increasing the flexibility and reducing security risks.

Innovative technologies continue to unlock doors to opportunities which haven’t to date been considered possible. By migrating data and services to the Cloud, the NHS can explore and experiment with the application of new technologies such as machine learning, which requires access to large and complex data sets in order to support clinicians in decision-making.

While different technology is being deployed across the NHS to improve its services and patient outcomes, the cloud is extremely important in enabling the healthcare system to do better including a secure, agile network, better integrated risk management, flexibility and elasticity in the use of applications and importantly, large cost savings.

There has been a lot of talk about the challenge’s organisations are faced with when migrating to cloud. These challenges can be mitigated by engaging with a cloud provider like ANS that has experience working with other NHS Trusts in helping the fast track elements of their cloud transformation journey.

If you’re looking  to get up and running in cloud quickly and securely, our Cloud Start framework lets you do just that.

Cloud Start is an outcome based service focused on delivering a production ready public cloud capability for organisations based upon the vendor and ANS best practice framework. Cloud Start follows a proven methodology that provides a bespoke design for the NHS whilst ensuring all best practices and key requirements are met. The key outcomes will provide NHS organisations with:

  • A Production Ready Platform – suitable for hosting production workloads with alignment to the organisation’s compliance, security and architecture standards.
  • A Defined Operating Model – ensuring all required tooling is operational and processes / skills are in place.
  • Enterprise Governance – providing transparent costs and a highly governed configuration/To find out more about our Cloud Start framework, click here.

Alternatively, to hear from one of our customers that has already moved to the cloud, check out our video case study with the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust in which Joanna Smith, CIO discusses what inspired the Trust to move to cloud, how they started their cloud journey and how they have managed the operational shift.