HHS to expand adoption of cloud computing

Chris Nerney
Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer |
HHS to expand adoption of cloud computing

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will continue to aggressively adopt cloud computing, according to the federal agency’s chief information officer.

As reported by Healthcare IT News Associate Editor Jessica Davis, CIO Beth Killoran said during an online interview on Federal News Radio that HHS plans to increase the percentage of IT services it delivers from the cloud to 30 percent this year from 18.5 percent last year.

“HHS became the first federal agency to authorize a cloud service provider through the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program in May 2013,” Davis writes. “Killoran said cloud adoption went from 1 percent in 2015 to 18.5 percent in 2016 – including an HHS financial system upgrade.”

“This sponsorship has enabled the federal government greater competition among providers while ensuring that the services they provide meet our stringent security requirements,” Killoran said on the program.

HHS currently contracts with a dozen different cloud service providers, Killoran said.

“We have worked to embrace cloud,” she said. “If you do cloud properly, the implementation should be transparent to the workforce. When we did our financial systems upgrade last year, we had to provide training on the new capabilities -- not the platform. The effort has been a great success.”

Healthcare providers also are moving many IT processes to the cloud in an effort to improve data sharing and storage capacity. Research firm MarketsandMarkets has predicted that global adoption of cloud services among healthcare providers will grow to nearly $9.5 billion in 2020 from $3.73 billion in 2015.