Five ways the cloud can safeguard our NHS

By Steve Haines | 13 October 2020

Steve Haines, Managing Director, PSC Health & Care, Civica, discusses the impact of rising cyber attacks and shows five ways the cloud offers the NHS more peace of mind

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic cyber-attacks increased by 33%. The NHS itself has seen its fair share of attacks. WannaCry is estimated to have cost £92m, while more than 41,000 malicious emails were reported to the official NHSmail reporting address between March and June. With more and more advances in technology, it’s an unfortunate truth that cyber-crime will continue to be a part of our daily lives.

A cloud first future

With GDS confirming cloud first is here to stay, 40% of health and care leaders stated the main benefit of cloud technology was improved security. So how can the cloud give NHS Trusts better peace of mind?

1. Easier to maintain: Digital skill shortages are well documented. Around 40% of public service organisations confirmed they lack the necessary skills to adapt to digital transformation. Cloud providers invest heavily in training and today’s cloud software is more intuitive and easier to implement than ever before – allowing NHS Trusts to focus on other critical areas.

2. Consistent patching and updates: Updates are needed to stay one-step ahead. However, security administration and patching can be difficult and time consuming in traditional networks. Cloud software is automatically updated to give more reassurance that systems are secure.

3. Continued investment in security: AWS, Google and Microsoft’s business model is built around the highest security levels. Indeed Microsoft invests more than $1bn annually on core technologies such as Azure. This level of investment ensures the latest technology is working hard to keep your systems safe.

4. It’s more cost-effective: In our recent survey, 36% of health and care leaders confirmed new deployment costs were their main cloud adoption concern. Ultimately, cloud solutions are cheaper to run and can be scaled as needed. In fact, 78% of public service leaders confirmed they saw cloud savings within the first 12 months.

5. Better resilience: In this new COVID-19 world, NHS Trusts need to be able to adapt. Cloud not only improves resilience, but is also the foundation pillar for digital transformation by opening the door to new and emerging technologies.

Legacy systems and migration challenges can make a move to the cloud seem complex or non-urgent. Working with trusted partners can make the journey less daunting. South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is using the cloud to keep its data safe and deliver 26% cost savings, while the Department of Health in Northern Ireland is using the cloud to lead the nation’s fight against COVID-19.

It’s in everyone’s interest to have a fit health service. The cloud is the best medicine to safeguard and strengthen its future in the years to come.

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