Jason McLaughlin,  Ortus Cloud Solutions, National Sales Manager

At Ortus Managed IT & Cloud we work with many clients within the Healthcare sector, including the top two homecare providers in Ireland. We understand that there is a very real need to give nurses, physicians and care managers a lot more freedom by allowing them to work remotely. Therefore, it is important that your existing applications and IT infrastructure are perfectly suited to this. Cloud computing allows businesses the opportunity to be virtual instead of physical which is a big positive for your business. Employees have on-demand access to the cloud from anywhere, any time, and the environments are readily available and dependable, which should improve overall team performance. We understand that the Healthcare sector is 24/7 and an ‘always up’ connection is vital. As long as workers have an internet connection they can get to the applications and data they need from practically anywhere, at any time, accessing patient information as and when they need it and in a very secure manner.

We are extremely passionate about cloud computing and believe that all businesses, both big and small, should make the move to the cloud, and our clients start to feel the benefits immediately.

A little background on us. We are a ‘Managed IT and Cloud provider’. This means we could be your new IT department, managing and supporting all your IT systems from our offices in Portlaoise, Cork, Galway and Dublin. Over the past ten years we have amassed a brilliant team of like-minded people in every area of our business including Health. We love what we do, and we have worked extremely hard to ensure that we are at the cutting edge of our business. Back in 2015 we were recognised by Deloitte as their ‘Rising Star Winners’ and very recently received our ‘Business All-Star accreditation’ award at the 2019 All-Ireland Business Summit in Croke Park.

What I’d like to outline for you in this article are all the benefits to the Health industry, of which there are many, including financial, operational, and security, of migrating your current IT system to the cloud.

Here are a few facts (don’t worry, there are only a few and we’re getting them out of the way early!) In 2018, 45% of Irish enterprises employing 10 or more persons purchased cloud computing services. This increased from 36% in 2016 and compared with an EU-28 average of 26% in 2018 (source – cso.ie).

So why are all these companies moving to the cloud? Let us begin with a little explanation of what cloud computing is all about?

Put simply, cloud computing is running and accessing your applications and data online. With cloud computing, you are accessing your data or software over your broadband connection. Your data is stored in secure and controlled data centres instead of in your site or office where you would have to worry about maintaining and constantly upgrading your IT hardware, keeping your data backed up and trying to keep your IT costs down in this ever changing sector.

The ability to connect applications and platforms in the cloud means cross-team or department collaboration is more possible than ever before. With cloud services such as Microsoft’s Office 365 suite you don’t only get access to traditional office application such as email and word processing but a complete suite of collaboration and communication tools that allow you to access, share and edit documents anywhere, anytime together.

When it comes to running a business, operational costs are a massive factor. With the shift away from traditional IT offerings (enterprise software, on-site servers etc.) to cloud based services a lot of money is being saved and investing in cloud computing gives small businesses access to the same IT applications that larger competitors have.

With no on-site servers, the operational costs of running and maintaining them is removed, thus eliminating unnecessary expense on maintenance and power etc. Cloud based solutions offer scalability, allowing businesses to be savvy with their costs, turning off non-essential servers at night, on weekends or during quiet periods. This approach delivers massive cost savings and the ability to have technology that can scale and grow with your business.

Other benefits of moving to a cloud-based solution include enhanced security and reliability. Most cloud providers are extremely reliable in providing their services, with many maintaining 99.99% uptime. If the cloud server fails, the hosted files can easily be moved to other available servers within minutes. In terms of security, all cloud vendors offer numerous data centres, backup, disaster recovery and layers of security. These are frequently audited to keep security up to date. The fact of the matter is that data is likely to be more secure with a reputable cloud vendor than on most businesses’ own premises.

By investing in more and more cloud computing solutions, we are collectively having less of an impact on the environment. As a Microsoft partner we are acutely aware of their move to a move environmentally friendly setup, utilizing wind, hydro or solar power as a component of their energy resources.

So, every cloud has a silver lining. An easy tag line for us to use, but one that really does get to the heart of what cloud computing is all about. The benefits are plain to see. All sectors, are continually looking for ways to streamline and get the most out of the resources they have, and the Healthcare sector is no different. In this day and age your IT infrastructure is arguably your most important resource, second only to the people you employ, so why not give them the best opportunity to work as effectively as possible?

Jason McLaughlin, National Sales Manager, Ortus Cloud Solutions