Challenged to balance low cost with service level commitments & stringent security requirements, the client asked WGroup to evaluate IaaS alternatives that would enable a SaaS delivery capability to leading healthcare organizations
With healthcare reform and emerging trends in value-based care, there is increasing pressure to reduce administrative costs and to integrate processes and data, not only among numerous sub-stages of the healthcare process, but also among different players. The emergence of new payment and delivery models (such as ACO’s – “Accountable Care Organizations”) presented a significant opportunity for the client to increase its market share and footprint in the care delivery and payment processes.
Additionally, as automation needs expand for mid- to lower-tier providers and payers, an opportunity to deliver traditional on premise products as SaaS offerings was seen as a potential growth market for the client. The maturing of cloud as a delivery model for software drove the desire to standardize the technology and re-architect the disparate applications (many of which came from previous acquisitions) into an integrated portfolio.
Many of these applications were installed on premise, but most were hosted at client’s data centers. The way these applications were hosted, supported and developed availed the business case for corresponding changes to offer infrastructure as a service to client’s customers.
The client sought WGroup’s advice to assess its current data center infrastructure, and evaluate the emerging corporate cloud capabilities in light of the client’s current and projected infrastructure needs. Additionally WGroup was asked to evaluate alternative internal and external IaaS solutions. This assessment included approaches to fault tolerance and redundancy across platforms, SLA’s, security for PHI/PII data, self-provisioning and cost accounting. Furthermore, several supplemental processes, which may impact the effectiveness of the cloud solution, were reviewed:
The WGroup infrastructure team began the analysis by linking the client’s strategic goals to infrastructure requirements. This work drove the identification and prioritization of key technical and service attributes for the IaaS solutions. The infrastructure tactical objectives included: cost containment, self-provisioning / cost and service monitoring, security / resilience, and Multi-tenancy enablement.
There were five potential candidates for IaaS Solutions:
Generally, the value of an IaaS solution depends on many functional and quality dimensions, including availability, scalability, acceptably low latency, and security etc. After acquiring a thorough understanding the client’s special operating environment and customer needs and applying the tactical objectives, WGroup reduced the numerous requirements into a succinct set of desirable IaaS design features, namely:
These six key features were then further decomposed into a more granular set of technical attributes and an evaluation scheme was developed to quantitatively score the candidate solutions, with three different sets of weighting factors depending on which of the three use cases is being considered:
After scoring the solution candidates along the technical attributes, additional analyses were performed to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of each with respect to qualitative operational, strategic and financial considerations, known upcoming changes to these solution candidates (such as the addition of a two-site DR capability already planned,) as well as impending market or internal decision drivers (such as healthcare industry’s acceptance of public clouds).
WGroup concluded that each of the three use cases calls for a different optimal solution:
WGroup demonstrated that many tangible and intangible factors can be transparently combined and systematically assessed to arrive at optimal recommendations for an IaaS solution that satisfies concerns of the corporate parent IT, the business unit’s IT and product owners, and prospective customers. WGroup further demonstrated that the final solution need not be a rigid choice between mutually exclusive options, but rather a creative combination of them executed over a transitional period that minimizes risk and organizational resistance.
By following WGroup’s recommendations, the client expects to benefit from:
Back to top