You’re about to make a major decision regarding clinical and financial software, recognizing the need to move into the next generation of applications. With competitive pressures, new reimbursement opportunities and restrictions, electronic medical records, health data and information interoperability, and quality care accountability, your team recognized that the status quo will not suffice. However, with a new clinical software application decision also comes the need to reexamine your IT infrastructure. To ignore that consideration, you run the risk of putting “new wine into (an) old (bottle)” and “the new wine doth burst the (bottle).” Cloud computing is the "new bottle of IT and continues to grow as a viable option that is cost effective and offers agility of service. It is scalable and helps you to focus on what you do best - operate your business. (Read our previous blog, How the Cloud can help you meet today’s opportunities more rapidly, for more details.) With virtualization leading the way, cloud computing affords businesses an entirely new IT paradigm. Assuming, cloud computing is your infrastructure of choice, how do busy executives, like you, best leverage cloud computing providers?
Cloud computing is a new world for many and changes the way businesses look at IT and how to use it. By entrusting the IT infrastructure to cloud computing providers or Cloud Services Providers (CSPs), like PCT, executives need to apply their well-developed management skills.
Because cloud computing offers on-demand and scalable solutions, executives are able to effectively apply such well-honed management skills as delegation, accountability, and oversight to this model. Start with the Master Services Agreement (MSA). The MSA not only addresses such issues and service features as security, infrastructure, data center, cloud computing service features, email hosting, and user support, among others, but it is a living, breathing document.
Here are three ways that you can effectively leverage you cloud computing provider of choice.
1. Delegation – Effective delegation implies not only the handing off of certain tasks, but most importantly, the vision and supporting goals justifying those tasks. If you are too focused on the individual tasks identified and miss the synergy of how the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, opportunities will pass unseized. Share with your provider your company’s goals and objectives. Lay out a five year plan with your provider clearly outlining how you expect the CSP to help you meet your goals. Harness the CSP’s project management skills and expertise to fully capture the power of delegation.
2. Accountability – Conduct regular accountability meetings using the MSA as a benchmark combined with your vision and the role the CSP is to play. Evaluate the services and projects, identifying road blocks and how to mutually bypass or remove them. This is a time for purposeful dialogue, discussion, decision, and redirection, if required. It reinforces that you are still in charge.
3. Oversight – Now, the tack I am taking with this may be a little different than what you would otherwise expect. I strongly believe that IT’s purpose is to help you more effectively manage your operations in much better way than without IT. One of the best tools to give you the oversight you need is real-time data mining or dashboard reporting. Your CSP should have the skill set to build and deploy for you a digital dashboard that displays in real time such Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as labor, census, collections, RUGs (where appropriate), and others that are important to your company and its vision.
Cloud computing takes IT and businesses to the next level of performance. In truth, your cloud computing provider should be a member of your management team not just a vendor. Better phrased, you can more effectively leverage the power of cloud computing by employing the management skills set you already possess – delegation, accountability, and oversight.
What qualities are you looking for in a cloud computing provider?
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