What are the best practices for cloud governance within healthcare?

When you think of cloud computing in the healthcare vertical, you also have to think of security and governance.  Indeed, the need to control and secure healthcare data in the cloud is a big issue, and thus cloud governance is critical.

On the whole, cloud computing needs governance to succeed.  If you think about it, at the end state of the cloud computing implementation, we’ll have thousands of services and data elements under management.  To control how they are accessed, added, deleted, and altered, we need a solid approach, processes, procedures, and technology.  That is why we call it ‘governance,’ or, more specifically, ‘service governance.’

Service governance is important in the world of healthcare in the cloud for a few key reasons:  

Laws and regulations within the healthcare vertical make it necessary to control access to data, services, and processes in very fined-grained and configurable ways.

  • Cloud services that are leveraged within healthcare organizations are many and complex, and require a full tracking of their use.  This includes dependencies in and between the services.
  • Limits should be placed on the use of services to avoid saturation from systems that reside in healthcare organizations.
  • Security on services should be in place to limit access to only those authorized to use the services.

Governance, as related to services or service governance, is most applicable to the use of cloud computing since we basically define our architecture as a set of services that are relocate-able between on-premise and public cloud computing-based systems. 

SOA is the approach here, and service governance is the approach and the technology we’ll leverage to manage the services within the healthcare organization, and in the private or public clouds we leverage. 

Policies, in the context of cloud computing, are declarative electronic rules about what can be done to a service and by whom.  This includes:

  • Who can access the service.
  • What they can do to the service.
  • How changes to the service affect other services.
  • How changes to the service affect applications.
  • How governance works with security.
  • How governance links into service testing.
  • How governance works with service discovery.
  • How governance works with service delivery.
  • How to set and maintain appropriate service levels.
  • How to manage errors and exceptions.
  • How to enable online upgrades and versioning.
  • How to perform service validation.
  • How to perform auditing and logging.

This is a complete approach and system to make sure the deployed services do what they should do, and are monitored and controlled from a single centralized utility…service governance. 

For those who leverage public and private clouds in the world of healthcare, it’s important to keep in mind that people and processes are the core issues. 

Governance won’t work unless education goes along with the implementation of the technology.  Those who maintain healthcare data or systems within the cloud need to understand the proper design and use of service governance. 

Service governance is not optional technology.  When considering the needs of the healthcare vertical, and how they will leverage cloud computing, a strong governance plan and supporting technology is critical to the successful use of cloud computing.

The post Best Practices For Cloud Governance within Healthcare appeared first on Logicworks Gathering Clouds.

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