In my last blog post I mentioned that hospital information systems now face multiple challenges. Their systems are now being called upon to support medical staff dealing with an unplanned-for influx of new COVID-19 patients needing critical care. On top of that, IT support staff working from home, are scrambling to keep their systems available 24 x 7, while facing an unprecedented and potentially devastating spike in the number of cyber-attacks from those who seek to do us all harm. All patients needing hospital care are now in a position of increased risk.
Yesterday, we heard that cloud service providers (CSPs) were starting to ration services. One hospital IT systems administrator reported that they were told by a CSP they had come to rely on for immediate capacity availability that their requests would be cut back. The reason: All of the CSP’s large customers were placing unforeseen demands on their systems. In essence, the CSP had begun rationing its resources.
For years, CSPs have told us that they offer unlimited computing resources that can be spun up immediately. Clearly this is no longer the case for some. AWS has recently assured me that they are not rationing services and furthermore, they have taken measures to prepare and are confident they will be able to meet customer demands for capacity in response to COVID-19.
So, if cloud services rationing is indeed part of the new IT reality – at least for the immediate future – I think any CSP would be forgiven, and perhaps even encouraged, by all its customers were they to give priority to healthcare providers.
The healthcare industry, given the regulatory environment in which they live, has been cautiously adopting cloud computing. Now this industry has an immediate need for systems and staffing resources they may not have. COVID-19 presents a clear use case for cloud computing and the industry should now be given priority. For the CSP, its an opportunity to accelerate the adoption of cloud services within the healthcare industry.