Why the cloud won’t solve your interoperability challenges

The cloud is a game-changer. It’s not just a buzzword or a trend — it’s a revolutionary technology that is changing the way we work, live, and play. Within healthcare, the cloud has the potential to be equally transformative, by improving access to medical records, facilitating remote patient monitoring, and enabling data-driven decision-making.

It is also huge. The big vendors like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, each provide massively scalable platforms with 100’s of major cloud products and services. They continue to innovate and invest heavily, with countless new announcements presented every year at their respective keynotes.

Their offerings vary from the more traditional Infrastructure as Code model (where you essentially run your software on someone else’s computers) all the way through to the next generation of serverless computing (where you no longer really think about computers).

This choice is great, but with such an array of services to choose from and the constant exposure to the latest innovation it can often result in an implicit association between the cloud and success. This can lead decision makers to be overly optimistic about the potential of the cloud to drive successful outcomes.

Typically, this happens when projects are viewed as a technology first initiative. In contrast, where organisations start with the problem and work back to the technology, they typically have a more explicit association with success.

I was reminded of this earlier in the week when I listened to a conversation where an implicit association between moving to the cloud and improved interoperability was being discussed.

Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. If it was that simple, I suspect most of healthcare would now be running in the cloud. Of course, you can move to the cloud and leverage cloud services to improve your interoperability posture, but unfortunately:

Simply moving to the cloud will not solve your interoperability challenges.

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