[Survey Results] HIMSS + Netgain Cloud Readiness and ITaaS Survey

As a service provider in the healthcare industry, Netgain conducts regular industry research to determine what’s on the minds of our clients and what IT issues keep them up at night.

We recently partnered with HIMSS Analytics to conduct industry research surrounding IT challenges within the healthcare industry and specifically as it relates to cloud adoption and IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS). After some extensive analysis by our research teams, the results showed some defined trend lines, and we’re excited to share the results with you in the hopes the results are beneficial to your organization in its journey to the cloud.

Survey Methodology

HIMSS Analytics targeted administrators, owners or partners, physicians and IT leadership contacts via their HIMSS Analytics Logic database.

Survey Purpose

The purpose of the survey was to provide the perspectives of healthcare leadership about the challenges of traditional IT management and why they have moved or plan to move to the cloud.


The survey was completed by 154 respondents via a web survey link between October 26 and November 13, 2017.

Of the 154 respondents, 48 percent were physicians, 46 percent were owners or partners and the remaining six percent were a mix of IT Directors, Practice Administrators, Quality officers and CIOs.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents belonged to small single specialty physician groups with between 2-15 physicians, 24.7 percent belonged to independent single specialty physicians practices with one physician, 21 percent worked for large multi-specialty physician groups with 100+ physicians and almost 12 percent work for medium single specialty physician groups with 16-99 physicians.

Key Findings

Alongside the research team at HIMSS Analytics, we’ve evaluated the results and wanted to share some of our key findings. Consider how your practice compares against these results and future plans for using the cloud.

Private cloud is still dominant in healthcare
The advancement of security, availability and support in public cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure has caused an uptick in adoption of public cloud services, but it still doesn’t measure up to private cloud adoption. Over 45 percent of survey respondents stated that less than 25 percent of their IT environment is hosted in the public cloud.

Conversely, over half of respondents stated that 76-100 percent of their cloud computing is hosted within a private cloud. Private cloud providers boast availability, security and support features that surpass those of the public cloud platforms.

Clinical applications and data are most common use for cloud

Survey respondents stated they use cloud services mostly for hosting clinical applications and data (46%), health information management (43%) and backup and disaster recovery (42%).  Cloud services can be used effectively throughout the IT environment, but practices of differing sizes find economies and benefits in using the cloud in different ways.

For medium single or multi-specialty physician groups of 16-99 physicians, nearly 60 percent of respondents use cloud services for hosting of communications services (email, voice, etc), while 56 percent of large physician groups with 100+ physicians use cloud services mostly for backup and disaster recovery.

Security continues to be both a driver and concern

Our clients repeatedly report that cybersecurity is one of their main drivers to the cloud. They note that Netgain’s focus on cybersecurity is something they could not replicate within their own practice.

The HIMSS Analytics Survey proved that 63 percent of respondents are still concerned about the security of cloud platforms. More specifically, 80 percent of IT personnel stated that security slows their adoption to the cloud. The same 80 percent of IT personnel also stated support (response times, times to resolution) and performance (availability and latency) are concerns that slow their adoption of cloud computing.

Costs and fees are primary challenge with cloud service providers

Costs, availability and support were the top three challenges respondents identified with their cloud provider.

Costs and fees was a challenge for 24 percent of respondents. The research showed that the smaller the practice, the higher the sensitivity to cost. Further, 68 percent of respondents said lowest cost was the number one factor in choosing a cloud provider.

Twenty-four percent also stated that availability and uptime was a challenge with their cloud provider.

Conducting industry surveys like this one allows us to validate our own insights of the healthcare industry and also learn new insights that help us prioritize where to invest our resources into bringing new products and services to market for the betterment of the industry.

Interested in the full breakdown of survey results? We’d be happy to send them to you! Just send an email to marketing@netgaincloud.com with “HIMSS Survey Results” in the subject line.

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