Software-as-a-Service can make healthcare organizations more efficient
April 30, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly transformed how Canadian healthcare organizations deliver IT services to their employees, suppliers and partners. In 2018, Statistics Canada reported that less than 10 percent of Canadian employees worked from home once or twice a week. By mid-2020 that figure had grown to 40 percent.
While some healthcare workers like nurses, doctors and clinicians still must be on-site most of the time, administrative and IT staff are working from home more frequently.
This means hospital IT staff are challenged to protect and back up information that’s more distributed than before.
Pre-pandemic, with almost all employees working from a central site, or several closely connected sites, IT administrators could perform data backup and protection at one central data centre. Now, with employees working from home on laptops outside a healthcare organization’s own network, it’s a bigger challenge.
COVID-19 has also made it more difficult for Canadian healthcare organizations to run their data centres. Lockdowns and social distancing mean it’s not feasible to have as many employees physically in a data centre as you could pre-pandemic. This makes it tougher to perform upgrades, add capacity and manage data storage, backup and protection.
Fortunately, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) backup and protection solutions are allowing Canadian healthcare organizations to extend their reach beyond the data centre. Cloud-based SaaS offerings can reduce the pressure on overworked data centre teams and allow hospitals and clinics to focus more of their resources on what they do best – frontline healthcare.
Below are some of the top benefits organizations shifting to a SaaS-based data backup and protection solution can realize.
Scalability and flexibility: SaaS backup solutions allow you to add or reduce capacity with the click of a button. IT staff don’t have to make a hardware purchase, wait for the purchased equipment to arrive on site, rack it up, install the software and test it before it’s ready to go, as they would with a traditional data centre solution.
With SaaS backup, they can add capacity in minutes rather than weeks. And administrators don’t have to worry about having extra backup capacity that’s not being used. With a SaaS solution, healthcare organizations can scale their backup and storage to their exact needs and pay for only what they consume.
Simplicity: A well-designed SaaS backup and protection solution can give you a single-pane-of-glass view into your entire data environment, including public cloud, private cloud, on-premises and O365. In fact, organizations that switch to SaaS backup and protection can expect to realize savings of between 30 percent and 45 percent in administrative time and management.
Having a single view over the entire enterprise backup and protection environment has become especially important because of data becoming more dispersed as a result of the pandemic. More data is moving closer to the network edge. By 2023, IDC predicts 60 percent of data will reside at the edge. With SaaS, administrators can backup and protect edge data as easily as they backup and protect data anywhere else on their network.
Cost: In a traditional data centre environment, if a hospital wants to add storage or backup capacity, it needs to budget for significant up-front expenses including hardware and software and get board approval for the project. With SaaS backup there’s no big capital expenditure – just a simple monthly recurring fee, backed by a service level agreement.
Security: Ransomware attacks continue to grow. With more people working remotely, Bitdefender’s Mid-Year Threat Landscape Report 2020 said ransomware attacks had increased more than 700 percent year over year. Enterprise ransomware costs are also growing – from an average of US$2 million per endpoint breach in 2018 to US$9 million in 2019, according to the Ponemon Institute.
An effective cloud-based SaaS solution allows IT teams to protect their data no matter where it resides – on-premises, at an off-site data centre or on an employee laptop. It also encrypts data travelling across the network and ensures data can be accessed only by authorized users.
For Canadian healthcare organizations, data sovereignty is a must. Patient data is not allowed to be stored outside the country, so making sure your SaaS backup and protection partner has in-country data centres is important.
A SaaS-based backup and protection solution managed by a company with a background in data management and security can significantly reduce the budget and time constraints faced by healthcare IT teams.
Bassam Hemdan is Vice President Canada and LATAM for data protection and management leader Commvault and Metallic SaaS.