The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that many healthcare organizations do not have the necessary agility and business continuity programs or technologies to support them during crises.It is forcing businesses to act on cloud and digital transformation strategies that they had been delaying until now.
The cloud is more critical than ever in helping healthcare providers respond to the pandemic and prepare for future disruptions. Healthcare cloud service providers have been strengthening their partner programs by reinforcing and increasing partnerships with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), System Integrators (SIs), Cloud Managed Service Providers (MSPs), telecommunications, and network services providers. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly and mostly positively impacted the market in 2020, as it accelerated trends that were already being prioritized by most healthcare organizations, such as implementing a digital transformation process or an end-to-end hybrid and multi-cloud strategy. The revenue of the global healthcare cloud computing market is expected to reach $52.30 billion by 2026 up from $11.59 billion in 2020, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 28.5 percent during the period. The main growth factors till 2026 include increased adoption of Software as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud service, with a market share of 63.7% in 2020, owing to increasing number of providers and payors migrating toward more SaaS healthcare computing services to manage the growth in patient data.Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS) had the second-largest market share of 26.0%, as key market participants expanded their market presence in this segment. The increased demand for data interoperability for provider-patient collaboration accelerated IaaS (computing and storage) adoption to support patient demands for online and digital interactions.Platform as-a-Service (PaaS) is catching up with the market share of SaaS and IaaS, as healthcare organizations and digital health start-ups continue their investments in platform strategy for building innovative business models to meet the consumer demand for anytime, anywhere healthcare services.Top cloud providers in healthcare include AWS, with a worldwide market share of 40.0%, followed by Microsoft Azure, which increased its share to 18.0%. Google Cloud Platform (12.0%), IBM Cloud (13.0%), and Alibaba Cloud (7.0%), also expanded their market share in 2020 as against their market share in 2019. The strong revenue growth of top 4 market participants—AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and IBM Cloud—has been due to their strong investments to build their healthcare cloud capabilities in secured and compliant (HITRUST CSF, HIPPA, GDPR) data storage, data interoperability (DICOM, HL-7, FHIR), Big Data and analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML).Other significant market participants include Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Rackspace, Fujitsu Cloud Services, Tencent Cloud, DigitalOcean, SAP Cloud, Salesforce Cloud, Cisco Cloud, VMWare, Infor, NetApp, and Nutanix. The largest and most mature healthcare cloud market, North America, will gradually lose share in the forecast period, as nascent markets (Latin America) and fast-growing Asia-Pacific take up the market space.North America held the highest market share of 56.7% in 2020 and the region will offer several growth opportunities to market vendors during the forecast period.With the highest CAGR during the forecast period, and the third-place in regional market share, Asia-Pacific is gaining momentum. The Chinese and Indian market are among the biggest in the region. They are also significantly different and more mature than the rest of Asia-Pacific. Later entrants to the market, cloud participants in China have been expanding and increasing their market share. Besides Alibaba, the market leader in Asia-Pacific, key participants include Tencent Cloud, Fujitsu, and Huawei Cloud.As the 2020 Global Cloud User Survey shows, hybrid and multi-cloud have become the norm in 2020. This occurs as healthcare organizations continue to move away from vendor lock-in to flexible, best-in-class environments and platforms for their workloads and applications. The cloud promises significant cost savings to providers and payors, but the transition is not a trivial matter that the vendor will always manage. Rather, a well-developed migration strategy on the part of the healthcare stakeholder will be vital to a successful deployment of a cloud service.Improving the patient experience is the key driver for adoption of cloud in healthcare. Healthcare organizations are increasingly focusing on adoption of digital health tools, such as online video conferencing and virtual visits, resulting in increased cloud usage (storage and computing).Reducing costs is the second priority for the healthcare organizations while adopting new technology to improve care delivery. Return on Investment (ROI) is the key driving decision for the adoption of new technology, including cloud, in healthcare by business and IT leaders.Healthcare organizations are increasingly migrating to hybrid and multi- cloud adoption to be more innovative to meet their consumer demands for anytime, anywhere care. There are concerns that hidden costs may be overwhelming, especially during the transition period. Ensuring security and privacy also remain a significant aspect of a migration to the cloud. Managing the cost of cloud migration and implementation is one of the key restraints for cloud adoption among healthcare organizations. Many of them lack the skill sets needed to manage a cloud, resulting in cost overshoot and cloud repartition.Ensuring the compliance and security of data and apps becomes critical for organizations dealing with sensitive data. For healthcare organizations, patient Protected Health Information (PHI) and data security and compliance (HITRUST, CSF) are of paramount importance while migrating to the cloud.Fog and edge computing architectures may prove to be the most significant alternative to the cloud in healthcare.As countries are starting to reopen and implement recovery plans, healthcare organizations are stepping back from rushed initiatives and looking for support in creating long-term strategies for their cloud and digital transformation plans. This should continue to impact the global healthcare cloud market positively until the end of 2021.
Author: Rishi Pathak
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