Underlying challenges manufacturing enterprises face during cloud migration

Cloud migration has increased enormously as manufacturing companies gain and maintain a competitive edge. A fundamental paradigm shift in planning and orchestrating business models is required. Manufacturing companies need to ensure that management and IT teams work together to build a product and cloud service portfolio that complement each other and are aligned for operational excellence. 

Although manufacturing companies produce tons of data, the irony is that there isn’t enough information. Manufacturers find transformation difficult since equipment lasts for decades, and replacements are costly. They tend to have siloed data that sits in a data lake before being used appropriately. When interconnected, they struggle to deal with unstructured data and the process required to scale that solution across the enterprise. Many manufacturing companies are now addressing this issue with an edge platform.

Jabil1, the manufacturing solutions provider, quickly addressed the data problem. Its plant floor quality assurance solution organizes data to analyze issues in real-time and offers a high prediction accuracy rate. With an ability to identify errors even before they occur, Jabil sees substantial productivity improvements. 

While young companies may find it easier to hop onto the Cloud, large enterprises often find themselves struggling under the weight of legacy IT systems that are somewhat rigid and may require more extended transition periods. 

We aim to uncover ways to circumvent these issues to ensure quick transitions and faster cloud success.

Implementing the right strategy ensures a successful migration to the Cloud. Let’s discuss

The state of cloud migration in manufacturing

As per a recent survey, the number of companies using cloud technologies as part of their digital transformation endeavors has increased from 51% in 2019 to 62% in 20212. During this time, edge computing deployments grew from 43% in 2019 to 55% in 2021, while fog computing, known for its capabilities to create a small, cloud-like computing infrastructure, rose from 20% in 2019 to 25% in 2021. 

The jump is not surprising because manufacturing processes require real-time control and response rate to operate and support efficiently while checking on downtimes. Cloud helps in remote monitoring, collaboration, and building a data-driven culture. 

A classic case in point is UNOX3. Its pursuit of creating ‘intelligent’ ovens took the cloud route to develop new cutting-edge projects for data-driven cooking. 

UNOX has revolutionized its customer service via an omnichannel cloud contact center that enables it to meet 95% of service-level customer requests efficiently compared to just 67% before cloud adoption. A managed live streaming service to create interactive video experiences and a content delivery network service to deliver content and applications with low latency and high transfer speed has helped it improve agility, scalability, and savings.

In the wake of the pandemic, remote monitoring compelled manufacturing companies to migrate to the Cloud. It allows them to create key performance indicators and enables plant floor managers to closely watch asset utilization and OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). 

Automation technology supplier Emerson for instance, witnessed a surge in the use of sensors combined with edge gateways when manual on-site inspection became difficult. Explains Peter Zornio, chief technology officer at Emerson, “Previously, people were looking into automating some manual inspection with sensors and edge gateways but held back because they thought it was too expensive. But suddenly, without enough people on site to do inspections, the technology presented them with a way to move forward.”

While everyone is sold on the idea of migrating to the Cloud for its apparent benefits like flexibility, agility, enhanced privacy, security, and greater operational efficiency, the struggle to migrate successfully to the Cloud is real and overwhelming for many. In manufacturing setups, systems are usually interconnected with the plant equipment, leading to roadblocks on the way to cloud adoption. 

However, there are ways and means to avoid them. 

Create a robust cloud migration strategy 

The right cloud migration strategy based on a thorough assessment of your needs and resources can be a good starting point. 

Core Technology Molding Corporation, known for its highly engineered plastic products and tooling designs, has been able to keep operations running smoothly with a cloud-based ERP system. It allowed the company to address its need for monitoring processes in real-time when employees were forced to work from home.

The one that’s most appropriate for you should be found on the following considerations:

  • What are your business goals? What problems are you trying to resolve?
  • In which stages of production are downtimes most damaging for business? 
  • What are your security, regulatory & data privacy requirements?
  • How equipped are you to tackle disasters to ensure business continuity?
  • Are skills & experience internally available to undertake a cloud migration project?

Your cloud migration exercise has to be driven by a purpose. You need to identify the pain points to understand what could work for your business. 

Assess your cloud readiness

Cloud readiness is not just limited to tools and platforms but includes people and processes too. The digital literacy of your employees is crucial for successful cloud adoption. Cloud providers offer advanced tools, testing, and interface options to enable agile development in a typical manufacturing IT environment where the cost of experimentation and failure is extremely high. With hundreds of applications spread across multiple physical data centers in diverse geographical locations, fragmented IT poses a considerable problem. 

Cloud can enable standardization of infrastructure and platform to recover quickly from outages. Suntory Group, a Japanese multinational brewing, and distilling conglomerate, adopted AWS cloud to standardize their infrastructure and systems. The decision was part of its global expansion plan to accelerate processes following a merger or acquisition and reduce operational burden. The Group reduced infrastructure TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) in the Japan region by 25% soon after cloud adoption.

Manufacturers need data to forecast demand, expedite orders, check the quality, and predict equipment failures in real-time. They need to break data silos and make informed decisions to increase production capacity and improve the supply chain. They need a 360-degree view of the data to get deeper insights. Going beyond the mere ‘life and shift and wait’ approach is essential to gain greater sovereignty over your data.

Siemens, the manufacturing giant, has been leveraging Google Cloud’s data cloud and AI/ML capabilities to implement artificial intelligence at scale. By harmonizing the factory data, employees working on the plant floor can visually inspect products and predict the wear and tear of machines on the assembly line.

Collaborate with the right technology partner

Applications and Data cannot be moved overnight and will cause security concerns if you overlook the migration time that would be required. It’s therefore essential to have a meticulously crafted roadmap based on priorities, business goals, timelines, resources, and budget. 

While everyone understands the importance of cloud adoption, a whopping 74% fail to capture its total value, according to McKinsey’s recent Cloud in Discrete Manufacturing Industries survey4. 50% of respondents have found cloud technology more complex than they had perceived it, while 40% admitted to exceeding their cloud budgets.

Choosing a migration partner based on familiarity or low pricing can lead to migration failures that can be too expensive to rectify. While iterating ways to budget cloud migrations, Gartner5 points out that 60% of infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders will experience public cloud cost overruns through 2024, putting a big dent in their on-premises budgets.

The role of a technology partner is highly critical here. 

The right technology partner will evaluate the complete ecosystem, review the interdependencies across siloed applications, and prioritize the workloads to be migrated. They will offer a comprehensive cloud strategy to enable successful cloud adoptions without impacting business users and service-level agreements. They will have the tools and resources to move multiple, complex applications. 

They will help you adopt the Industry 4.0 framework with appropriate automation tools and cloud-based data analytics. With real-time visibility into the manufacturing ecosystem, they can empower you to build more innovative products and create value for your customers and business partners.

Ensure migration success with Trigent

Allow us to help you migrate smoothly to the Cloud and manage your manufacturing workloads with ease. Our technology experts can help you with cloud-native applications and advanced data analytics solutions to achieve agility at scale. 

Our cloud strategy has been helping our clients get maximum business value. We can help you too. 

Call us today for a business consultation.

References

  1. https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/industry-blog/manufacturing/2017/10/11/digital-transformation-excellence-lessons-from-manufacturing-leaders/
  2. https://www.automationworld.com/TakeFive/video/21977710/how-industry-is-using-cloud-edge-and-fog-computing-today
  3. https://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/unox/
  4. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/automotive-and-assembly/our-insights/clearing-the-air-on-cloud-how-industrial-companies-can-capture-cloud-technologys-full-business-value

6 Cloud Migration Mistakes that Businesses Need to Avoid

Businesses worldwide are busy moving their legacy applications to the cloud in the wake of the pandemic. While reducing infrastructure costs and enhancing security remain important reasons for many, it is crucial to assess the individual business environment to understand why cloud migration is important for you. 

Cloud migration needs to be seamless and simple for it to be effective. Cloud adoption has tangible benefits as over 70% of companies have already moved some of their workloads to the public cloud, as confirmed by Gartner1. Yet, it predicts that 60% of infrastructure and operations leaders may experience cost overruns by 2024 that may end up hurting their on-premises budgets.

As per a Cloud Security Alliance report2, 90% of CIOs have experienced failure or disruption in data migration projects caused by complexities encountered while migrating from on-premises environments to the cloud. Only 35% of the survey respondents met their migration deadlines. The 2019 Fortinet study reveals 74% of the companies moved their applications back to on-premises on failing to attain desired returns.

This brings us to the most pertinent questions – why do these migrations fail, and what can you do to ensure a successful cloud migration? And most importantly, why is cloud migration an essential endeavor for organizations?

Address challenges and migrate to the Cloud seamlessly. Talk to us now

Advantage Cloud – Why migration from legacy systems to cloud is important for an organization

There are several benefits of migrating to the cloud as it gives businesses much-needed flexibility and scalability. The Coca-Cola Company achieved 40% operational savings while reducing maintenance costs and improving performance by migrating to the cloud. 

Cloud-native startups are already collecting data from their customers and markets to accordingly align their offerings and implement product updates in the production stage. 

SaaS is preferred by many who wish to add or delete features based on customer feedback. Subscription-based models that allow marketing teams to have more enriching interactions with end-users and implement changes across marketing, sales & pricing, and customer support functions are proving to be extremely valuable. 

According to Gartner, end-user spending on cloud services will grow at a CAGR of 21.7% taking it from $396 billion in 2021 to $482 billion in 2022. Explains Brandon Medford, senior principal analyst at Gartner, “Organizations are advancing their timelines on digital business initiatives and racing to the cloud in an effort to modernize environments, improve system reliability, support hybrid work models and address other new realities compelled by the pandemic.”

To meet retail’s new mandates, the largest grocery chain in the U.S. Kroger, recently unveiled a privacy-compliant collaborative cloud that offers a granular view of customer behavior. 

Planning for successful cloud migrations

Cloud migration calls for a lot of planning to ensure a positive business and operation impact.

When Netflix decided to go all-in on the cloud, most were unaware of the existence of the cloud. But it had problems that needed immediate attention, and thus came its famous Simian Army that unleashed the Chaos Monkey. It is a software tool developed by Netflix engineers to simulate failures of cloud instances and test the resiliency and recoverability of their Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Proper planning is the key to successful migrations and should consider various aspects from the present and future perspectives. Remember, you need to build the cloud for the future, anticipating growth and new business models. A simple ‘lift and shift’ may work for some while others may need a complete overhaul of application architectures through re-architecting. To avoid downtime and performance degradation, you need to understand cloud migration best practices. 

But before you start anything, you need to ask the right questions. Why do you want to move to the cloud, and what do you expect? Is your workforce ready for this transition? What migration strategies will work for your business? 

Here are a few mistakes you must avoid at all costs to ensure smooth cloud migration. 

Failing to understand organization networks and infrastructure

Every solution provider will offer unique attributes making it highly overwhelming for businesses to choose solutions based on their business and data needs. Lack of proper understanding causes breaks in the systems, and some data may be left behind. This can disrupt functions and lead to additional costs and frustrations.

For instance, Sime Darby Industrial Sdn Bhd (SDISB) faced scalability and security issues due to config limitations in their Cloud infrastructure. Periodic lags and downtime arising from these misconfigurations caused major disruptions driving up costs for the company.  A personalized, end-to-end solution by a partner was needed to help SDISB improve its Cloud e-commerce site performance.

Trying to migrate everything in one go

While migrating data and workflows, simply prioritizing a ‘life and shift’ approach to move workloads without modifying or analyzing them may not be the best move. You may have to rewrite and re-release applications in a cloud-native manner or replace them based on a proper assessment. Workloads need to be assessed first before initiating a migration project. 

Besides, every storage and solution will have its own merits and limitations that need to be evaluated, and the right backup strategies would play a critical role. Organizations like OVHcloud, Europe’s largest cloud provider, had already taught us a lesson in data backup the hard way when its data center suffered a catastrophic fire. Those who had purchased the backup and disaster-recovery services offered by the company were able to resume operations while others suffered.

The right migration partner can play a crucial role here. A proof-of-concept or minimal viable cloud is recommended to get a realistic view of the migration. This will eliminate the threat of losing essential data or causing breaks or breaches arising from inefficient migration. 

Not having the right migration partner

The migration partner you choose will largely determine the success of your cloud migration. Rather than choosing them based on familiarity or low pricing, you should focus on their experience. A partner with certified experts across Cloud Vendor solutions will provide you with a design that is right for your business rather than pushing a specific technology. Handing the migration project to internal teams may be feasible only if the team has relevant prior experience and expertise.

You may ask your migration partner for a cost proposal along with the necessary recommendations following proper assessment of your data and infrastructure to commence the project on the right foot.

Failing to map dependencies

Incomplete application assessment also leads to encountering dependency bottlenecks later. You need to discover and account for the interdependencies between on-premises systems early on to ensure there are no hiccups along the way. Failure to do so would lead to incorrect grouping and order of application migrations, eventually leading to burgeoning costs and cascading delays. It will also lead to perennial performance issues and cause your migration costs to go off the rails.

Failing to factor in hidden costs

You need to pay close attention to transformation costs that may involve upskilling, increased salaries for cloud management roles, changes in organizational structure, operating procedures, new practices, etc. 

Adobe found this out the hard way in 2018 when its engineers realized that a single computing job on Microsoft Azure was racking up charges of $80,000 per day. A week later, this had accumulated to a bill of more than half a million dollars.

No matter what the cost, budgeting must include indirect project costs to ensure the organization operates optimally without any financial stress.

Added care required to move legacy applications safely onto the cloud

It’s easier to safely move legacy applications to the cloud once you analyze the complexities involved in different types of data and apps. For instance, moving your corporate email service to a public cloud SaaS service is pretty straightforward. What’s challenging to migrate is an application that was developed years ago. The fact that your entire business relies on it can only make it even more difficult. 

There could be bespoke applications developed in-house, but the new cloud offerings cannot align with these customizations. A classic case is Autodesk’s SaaS offering that runs just one version of the software and is not compatible with customized applications or third-party add-ins. What’s more, businesses that have unique ERP applications often struggle with cloud solutions that cannot accept such personalized versions. Organizations can avoid this turmoil by choosing one of these options to ensure safe and swift migrations.

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) wherein applications can be moved as is or with minor tweaks to operate from the service provider’s infrastructure.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offers a secure database or development environment for organizations to install and manage their customized applications or code. 
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) wherein all responsibilities are managed by the service provider to offer a tailored service to organizations for cost efficiency, scalability, and flexibility. 

The right migration partner will help you with suitable cloud solutions and strategies and even offer customized ones to ensure migration success. The infamous data scraping breach or the breach that cost Facebook huge losses, including a $5 billion penalty, have taught us essential lessons in cloud security.

No matter which migration partner you choose, make sure they adopt a security-first approach. After all, security cannot be an afterthought and is the only way to reduce the attack surface and the breaches arising from it. Ensure you regularly maintain the patches and updates, configure cloud-native solutions correctly, and secure the network for vulnerability management and incident response.

Simplify your Cloud migration journey with Trigent

Our domain experts at Trigent assess your portfolio and business needs to determine the pain points and ways to address them. As a cloud migration specialist, we blend unique methodologies with purpose-built assessment tools to decide the right migration strategy for your business. Accordingly, we devise a detailed transformation roadmap prioritizing apps to be migrated and treatments to migrate to the cloud using best practices seamlessly. 

Allow us to assess your cloud readiness to help you rapidly scale and succeed with the right cloud solutions. Call us today for a business consultation.

References

  1. https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/6-ways-cloud-migration-costs-go-off-the-rails
  2. https://www.ciodive.com/spons/why-do-cloud-migrations-fail/600946/

Cloud: a lifeline for the healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry has been steadily expanding, owing to a rising aging population and the growing trend of wellness centers. With a pandemic in the mix, however, the industry has been left burdened and unprepared. The silver lining here is that people have embraced telehealth services. With the onset of Covid 19, the number of users accessing e-healthcare services has catapulted. Doctors can now provide remote care to patients from the safety of their homes, making life easier for everybody involved.

Cloud has played a heroic role in these trying times. Even those that swear by traditional systems established regulations, processes, and operational methods, have had to make the mental, cultural, and ultimately, physical switch to the Cloud. Admittedly for them, the pros outweigh the cons.

Saving time, reducing costs, increasing efficiency

When Hunterdon Healthcare, a healthcare center in New Jersey, migrated to the Cloud, they saved $1.3 million in IT costs. With a Cloud-based system, tasks are simplified, making the turnaround quick and seamless. Processes are streamlined, thereby eliminating silos and enhancing resource utilization. Cloud-based technology brings with it a sense of ease and convenience, cutting down administrative and hardware costs in the process. In hospitals that use legacy systems, a lot of time and effort is lost on manual data collection and transfer, notwithstanding the additional costs invoked by human error. Cloud brings operational efficiency into play – giving patients better care and healthcare organizations a better bottom line. While there is an initial cost incurred to transform legacy systems into Cloud-based ones, in the long run, the cost of running the latter is much lower. Right now, as physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers are (at best) experiencing exhaustion, Cloud-based systems are proving to be a necessary, life-saving investment.

Interoperability and collaboration

Interoperability between hospitals, diagnostic centers, clinics, dispensaries, pharmacies, etc., is perhaps the biggest advantage of Cloud. Different information technology systems can communicate with each other, making it easy to compile a complete and comprehensive patient history record – this helps physicians make informed decisions. Further, with Cloud, one can access patient data and other applications remotely – this drastically scales the reach of medicine, especially to rural areas. Research into Covid 19 has shown that individuals with pre-existing conditions and compromised immunity are more susceptible to the virus. When testing for Covid 19, access to one’s complete medical records helps doctors prioritize cases and provide care accordingly.

Real-time remote care

Transcending time, distance and other variables, cloud-enabled IT relays real-time information, which cuts down the time, cost and effort involved in physically going to a healthcare facility, waiting for an appointment, etc. Real-time e-diagnosis has been widely helpful amidst the pandemic, ensuring that people do not unnecessarily put themselves at risk by visiting hospitals for non-Covid-related medical issues. Instead, complying with social distancing norms, telehealth services help doctors communicate directly with patients, and make a diagnosis (and if necessary, a treatment plan) without putting either party at risk. Research by McKinsey and Company shows that out of a number of people that had canceled medical appointments during the lockdown, 44% accessed telehealth options. They also found that online searches for telemedicine increased more than ninefold. Since Cloud-based healthcare facilities keep track of the numerous technological advances in medicine, it helps improve patient outcomes, giving them an advantage over facilities that do not use Cloud services.

Data security on cloud

The biggest apprehension with cloud-based systems is data security. The confidentiality and security of one’s medical data is an obvious concern, but Cloud systems can reduce risks by complying with regulations and policies like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Skilled personnel

Other worries include internet connectivity issues, unskilled personnel, and worries over a lack of the ‘human’ element. The implementation of training programs will help familiarize staff with the workings of Cloud systems. As for the human element or the lack thereof, it is important to note that like with everything else in the service industry, healthcare too, has had to be tailored to suit consumer expectations in terms of speed, comfort, etc. If anything, therefore, Cloud-based systems provide patients with a value-based service.

Although it took a pandemic to catalyze the industry’s adoption of cloud services, there is no denying that it is the future of healthcare. The benefits and undiscovered potential of Cloud could redefine diagnoses, treatments, and more. Trigent helps healthcare organizations that are at any Cloud maturity stage – whether it is on an advisory level, migrating from a legacy system to the Cloud, developing a particular application, adapting portfolios to match the evolved Cloud architecture or any other Cloud service.

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Ref:

  • Siwicki, B. (2019). Hunterdon Healthcare migrates to Google Cloud/G Suite and saves $1.3 million.
  • Fabius, V., Kohli, S., Timelin, B., & Veranen, S. (2020). Meet the next-normal consumer.

Evolve into a Cloud-Native culture

Why go Cloud Native?

Cloud-Native is one of the biggest trends in the software industry today. The cloud-native approach works for modernizing existing applications and building new applications.

Cloud-native application takes advantage of cloud computing models to increase speed, flexibility, and quality and reduce deployment risks. The key factor to consider here is how applications are built, deployed, and managed.

As a platform-agnostic application, it is easy to manage iterative improvements using Agile & DevOps processes.

1. From a legacy system into the cloud
Organizations that moved from the legacy system into the cloud may face certain challenges. The legacy backup and disaster recovery tools used in old-school data centers do not work in cloud-native environments. Considering that the responsibility for data, processes, data management, maintenance, troubling shooting rests with the business, and not the cloud service provider, cloud-native is the way to go.

2. Rebuild technology foundation
Organizations that wish to make technological changes but do not have the luxury of rebuilding their technology foundation can adopt the Cloud Native approach. They stand to gain significantly by making gradual and fundamental shifts in their culture, processes, and technology to become cloud-native.

3. Innovation & Speed
As software is key to how consumers engage with businesses, innovation and speed have become imperative to their survival and growth. Businesses benefit from the cloud-native approach that gives them the ability to improve the quality of applications, reduce deployment risks, and improve the time to market.

Benefits of Cloud Native

Benefits of Cloud-Native

The building blocks of Cloud Native apps

Whether the challenge is in creating a new Cloud Native app or upgrading an existing one, organizations need to consider these essential building blocks of a Cloud Native ecosystem.

1. Microservices architecture for continuous improvement
The process breaks applications down to single-function services called microservices. Microservices are loosely coupled but remain independent. They allow incremental, automated, and continuous improvement of an application without causing downtime.

2. Containers for flexibility and scalability
Containers package software with all its code and dependencies in one place allowing the software to run anywhere – on a desktop, traditional IT, or the cloud. This allows maximum flexibility and portability in a multi-cloud environment. Containers allow fast scaling up or down with Kubernetes orchestration defined by the user.

3. Kubernetes for cost-effective Cloud Native development
The container orchestration platform enables scheduling and automating the deployment, management, and scaling of containerized applications. Kubernetes is versatile and offers a breadth of functionality, vast open-source of supporting tools, and portability across leading cloud service providers.

4. Agile methods in DevOps processes
Application development for the Cloud-Native approach follows Agile methods and DevOps principles with a focus on building and delivering apps collaboratively by development, quality assurance, security, IT operations, and delivery teams.

Are you ready for the Cloud Native journey?

The path to Cloud Native is unique to each organization depending on their stage in cloud maturity and business goals. Before beginning the Cloud-Native journey, consider these factors.

Cloud applications

1. Cloud-enabled
A cloud-enabled application was developed for deployment in a traditional data center but it was later changed so that it could run in a cloud environment.
Cloud-Native applications are designed to be platform-agnostic and are scalable.

2. Cloud-ready
The cloud-ready application works in the cloud environment or a traditional app that has been reconfigured for a cloud environment.
Cloud-Native apps are developed from the beginning to work only in the cloud and take advantage of cloud architecture.

Business objectives

1. Develop new Cloud Native apps – Organizations can quickly respond to new opportunities with the Cloud Native approach to building new applications.

2. Modernize existing apps – Many valuable applications are critical to business operations and revenue. They may not be easily replaceable. Applications are portable from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud and re-architected to become Cloud Native.

3. Improve app delivery – Container-based automation can accelerate the app delivery cycle.

4. Drive business innovation – For businesses whose success depends on constant innovation, introducing new features, Cloud Native tools support innovation, new ways to deliver solutions faster.

As Cloud Native technologies grow, businesses that wish to keep pace with competition and stay relevant in the future need to start right now. Evolution towards cloud-native affects the design, implementation, deployment, operation of applications. Being prepared for the next big technological wave by making the shift today is essential.

Trigent Cloud Services team handholds businesses to leverage the advantages of the cloud for next-gen business requirements. Our experts help in building scalable, reliable, secure, flexible cloud-based apps in the native environment by leveraging Cloud-Native features of AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Among other Cloud Services, our portfolio includes Cloud Architecture and Cloud Managed Services with a key focus on Cloud Native applications.

Take the next step in the cloud journey – get in touch with our experts for a business consultation.


Sources:
https://www.ibm.com/cloud/learn/cloud-native
Red Hat – the path to cloud-native applications

The Importance of Small data vs Big Data for Healthcare

Clinicians favor small data over big data for healthcare assessments and predictions. Here’s why

The healthcare sector is fragmented, complex, and hyper-local. There are over 100 healthcare systems in the US, 280 health information exchanges, and over 5500 hospitals. One million physicians are addressing the healthcare requirements of 320M Americans. While all these channels spit out data, leading to what is popularly known as big data for healthcare, there is another quiet and continuous flow of data from individuals or in this case patients, called `small data’.

Deborah Estrin, Computer Science at Cornell Tech and Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill Cornell Medicine puts it succinctly when she says, “Small data is being generated continuously on our mobile phones and through our online activities: walking and location patterns, as well as shopping, communicating, and web surfing. It is the various data traces we each generate every day, just by living our day-to-day routine: checking email, taking the bus to work, going grocery shopping, walking home, and more.”

Why clinicians prefer Small Data to Big Data for healthcare prediction models 

The big difference between big and small data is in big data large volumes of data are analyzed for patterns while small data looks at an individual’s historical data to develop models for predictions and futuristic treatment.

 

While big data has been at the forefront in healthcare technology for some time now, clinicians are often turning to small data to efficiently manage patient care. Small data helps them by providing quick input on allergies, times for blood cultures, missed appointments, and so forth, which are tactical in nature but extremely important inefficient patient care. Big data for example can say, X number of patients were admitted in the ER during a certain period of time. Can big data quickly identify how often or why Mr. or Mrs. John was admitted to the ER last month?

Small data is providing big insights for the individual. An app for managing pain for example quietly collects data about the individual, such as a fitness tracker, and can be presented to the individual and his clinician. In similar ways, smartphones can track heartbeats, eating habits, fitness quotient and you name it, to empower the clinician with insights into a person’s physical well-being.

The rising importance of Small Data in healthcare technology

Technology companies see the potential of smartphones in healthcare and innovative solutions are being unleashed. For healthcare ISVs, the challenge is to connect small data to big data, to improve individual healthcare, even as solutions are uncovered which can have a far greater impact on a larger target group. Not stopping there, the hidden challenge is to ensure privacy even as data that is collected is assessed and answers are uncovered.

Healthcare systems that have implemented electronic health records (EHR) can extend this to patients. If the systems can integrate individual health information, then both physicians and patients are maximizing digital health technologies.

Big Data Model  Small Data Model
What can be the effect of immunization programs? Is my child’s immunity to diseases taken care of?
Where do some of the healthiest people in the world live Is my diabetes medication working as expected
Are there any generic factors to identify a disease  Am I susceptible to X disease?

Some suggested systems include:

  • Health information exchange
  • Point-of-care decision support systems
  • Workflow tools to track and report on patient health
  • Smartphone and online appointment setting and registration.

Trigent Software understands the healthcare space having served a large number of clients over the last 20 years. Our commitment to patient healthcare has resulted in our focus on small data to improve the quality of patient care, reduce healthcare costs, and enhance patient loyalty. Call us today to know how we can enhance your patient-clinician relationships.

Reference:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jep.12350

https://research.cornell.edu/news-features/small-data-and-big-health-benefits

Marked Improvement in ROI for Cloud Ready Organizations

Evolve into a cloud-native culture and enjoy the myriad benefits it has to offer.

The cloud infrastructure market is cumulus and expected to cross $51.7 billion in 2019, driven by the need for cost-effective and scalable IT solutions. Talking about the cloud effect on businesses, Natalya Yezhkova, IDC Research Director of Storage Systems says, “The breadth and width of cloud offerings only continue to grow, with an expanding universe of business- and consumer-oriented solutions being born in the cloud and served better by the cloud. This growing demand from the end-user side and expansion of cloud-based offerings from service providers will continue to fuel growth in spending on the underlying IT infrastructure in the foreseeable future.”

The cloud infrastructure boom is a natural transition for organizations whose IT costs were weighing them down. Scaling up or down meant more costs. Mandatory software upgrades were also needed and the overall IT infrastructure management required resources to manage it, but with no scientific method to limit costs.

Cloud infrastructure has changed this scenario and is providing companies of all sizes and across all industry segments the opportunity to maximize their IT infrastructure. However, having said that, when it comes to measuring Return on Investment (ROI) on cloud infrastructure some questions crop up. If one were to choose cloud computing – in-house or public cloud, how would one assign an ROI to it? What features of cloud infrastructure affect ROI?

ROI is the proportionate increase in the value of an investment over a determined period. Investments when moving to the public cloud are less, but calculated over a period, can be more. With a private cloud, the initial investment is more, but over time, this cost is factored out. This kind of measurement is purely technical and misses the broader impact of the cloud on a business. Overall, for any company, revenue numbers matter, but so do customer value, brand value, and the value of competitive advantage which cannot be ignored. Therefore, when calculating ROI on the cloud, one must focus on productivity, speed, size, and quality.

Keeping these factors in mind, here are some tangible ROIs from cloud computing:

  • Cloud computing as an abstract virtual hosting solution offers a real-time environment. It has taken away the need to invest in physical servers and upheld the pay-per-use model. It provides businesses with the resilience required for workplace productivity. It enables resource sharing and thus helps to improve utilization. This sharing feature is not restricted to enterprises; it can be between an enterprise and a public cloud or an enterprise with a private cloud. Its flexibility combined with the power of savings in the immediate future makes cloud infrastructure an attractive alternative to traditional IT infrastructure.
  • Cloud infrastructure empowers clients to access virtualized hardware on their own IT platforms. This offers numerous features and benefits such as scalability, limited or no hardware costs, location independence, security, and so forth.
  • Cloud infrastructure assures businesses tremendous performance whether they scale 10 percent or 100 percent. Not having to worry about additional infrastructure investment costs helps companies to plan their IT budgets better. There is also the fact that capacity wastage is brought down to nil.
  • There is no lockdown in infrastructure. A seamless performance wherever an organization’s businesses are located, performance remains the same. The pay-as-you-go model frees up investment costs bringing down IT expenditure considerably.
  • The capacity utilization curve is a familiar concept for all. The model illustrates capacity versus utilization. It helps organizations to maximize their IT spend and helps to provision more or less as deemed fit. It is fitted around the central idea of utility requirements provisioned by on-demand services to meet actual needs.

ROI from cloud computing

To summarize, the ROI on cloud infrastructure requires intuitive planning right from the plan to the execution stage. More importantly, to maximize savings on the cloud requires intuitive planning. Trigent’s Managed Cloud Infrastructure Services helps enterprises to control their cloud journey.

We help enterprises to choose the right cloud platform to move on-premise infrastructure and help run business applications. We help enterprises to identify the business areas and workloads that can be migrated to a cloud computing model to reduce costs and improve service delivery in line with business priorities.

6-Step Framework for Your Cloud Strategy

Cloud adoption just keeps on growing and it’s time to take control. Gartner predicts “By 2021, more than half of global enterprises already using cloud today will adopt an all-in cloud strategy.” Nevertheless, just moving your workloads to the cloud does not make them more efficient for your business. When you decide to embark on a cloud journey, you need to have a cloud strategy in place.

A cloud strategy defines the business outcomes you are looking for, and how you are going to get there. It also explores your end goals and motivation for adopting the cloud. Your deciding factors could be many – cost, innovation, your need for business growth, keep up with your competitors. You also need to define business outcomes, establish governance, and control.

Strategies to transform your business into the digital world

The key component of a cloud strategy is a framework so you can evaluate the benefits and challenges of adopting the cloud approach.

Here’s a six-step framework for a successful cloud strategy:

  • Identify and understand the key area where cloud can deliver business benefits for your organization
  • Plan and optimize your cloud strategy
  • Understand common cloud challenges and how to overcome them
  • Identify and develop cloud competencies
  • Prepare your organization for the shift
  • Learn the capabilities of the integrated products that can manage the cloud

Let’s take a look at a few cloud computing strategies:

  • What type of cloud: A careful consideration should be done while selecting the cloud – Private cloud or public cloud or hybrid. You need to understand and evaluate the pros and cons of each available option.
  • Plan your budget: According to what type of cloud you choose to fit your business needs, choose your IT support backbone. You also have to invest in hiring the proper workforce for cloud development.
  • Value your options and choose: Most businesses view the cloud as an enabler of process improvement and a means of reducing costs. You need to see what do you want the cloud to accomplish and what your business will gain from the shift?
  • Technology: After you have done considering your needs and the budget and resources available for your cloud shift, you need to look at the best technology stack available.
  • Choose the right cloud service provider: Most cloud service providers offers hosting needs. Keeping in mind your go-to-market strategy, choose a cloud vendor that is a one-stop-shop for all your cloud-based needs.

Trigent can help you develop the right cloud solution to transform your business. Through our Cloud Adoption Maturity Model, we determine the maturity of your organization’s cloud adoption.

With our Cloud Advisory Services, we assess your current IT infrastructure, the applications you use, costs, and resources. We help you adopt a cloud-first strategy and deployment models and then chart out-migration road-maps with minimal disruption time.

Derive true business benefits with us. Watch this explainer video to explore how our cloud solutions define and complement your cloud strategy.

How to Ensure HIPAA Compliance in the Healthcare Cloud?

Cloud computing has overcast most, if not all, industry segments because of the benefits it offers. From manufacturing to e-commerce, banking to insurance, and education to real estate, industries are adopting cloud for its inherent benefits. The healthcare industry is also undergoing considerable change with healthcare organizations focusing on delivering ‘smart healthcare’ which means non-traditional care settings, multi-location facilities, and long-distance patient service. According to Deloitte, “With quality, outcomes, and value being the buzzwords for health care in the 21st century, sector stakeholders in the US and around the globe are looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to deliver patient-centered, technology-enabled “smart” health care, both inside and outside hospital walls.”

Continue reading How to Ensure HIPAA Compliance in the Healthcare Cloud?

When Will Cloud Security Stop Being an Area of Concern?

Any discussion around cloud infrastructure services at some or the other hits a raw nerve – one that has to do with cloud security. There is no question that cloud computing is the most revolutionary trend in the digital era. Forecasts remain positive with analysts seeing revenues growing almost four times as fast for the cloud services market. These forecasts are triggered by the positives that cloud infrastructure offers including, anytime access, faster time to market and of course, cost advantage. Yet, when it comes down to taking the final step, CIOs and security officers are vexed. Their concerns, if we have to sum it up in one sentence, relates to the loss of control associated with the cloud. For decision makers, the cloud’s security ambiguity makes them nervous. They are used to protected security networks sitting in their respective premises and the cloud is a little too nebulous.

For example, a sales manager sitting in the comfort of his home logs into the enterprise network, which resides on the cloud. He is accessing data from the secure network, to close a customer deal. This is digital transformation for you. But for the IT manager who is responsible for information security, the feeling is slight different, “Every time someone logs into the network from a device, I feel as though my insides have been exposed. It is a feeling of vulnerability, which simply makes no sense!’

Are you in control of your cloud journey?

His reaction stems from the fact that the cloud does not provide visibility into the cloud service providers’ processes and security procedures. There are of course reassurances, but none that can satisfactorily assuage the fears of data compromise or leakage – both of which can be disastrous for a company. Because of these concerns, companies vacillate between ignoring security issues in the cloud to ignoring the cloud itself. Turning away from the cloud, during tight IT budgets, can also be a challenge.

The best approach to adopting cloud infrastructure minus the worries is a holistic one. This requires looking at enterprise data in a structured manner and deciding which data should be moved to the cloud and which needs to reside on-premise. There are also some questions that need answers such as:

  1. How will data be protected during transit, storage and when in use?
  2. How to ensure security when data is being accessed on devices such as smartphones?
  3. What are the security measures that are built into the cloud architecture?
  4. How to ensure that private cloud service providers are compliant with security and regulatory requirements.
  5. Will adding security measures impact the overall cost benefit from cloud infrastructure?

These questions and many more like this stand in the way of cloud adoption. The IT managers who are responsible for budgets understand the value of cloud infrastructure. However, they need help to ensure that all questions related to security are answered in a way that makes complete business sense to them and their managers.

Trigent provides end-to-end cloud security solutions that meet privacy, compliance and business needs. Trigent’s Cloud Security Services range from Vulnerability Assessments to Security Advisory Services to Security monitoring and everything in between. Get in touch with us to know more about Trigent’s Cloud Security Services.

Cloud-based Transportation Management System: A Game Changer in Logistics Industry

Read how you can make your TMS more competitive.

Technological advances have brought rapid changes to the transportation and logistics sector.
For businesses with complex supply chains, a cloud-based TMS can unlock new levels of efficiency, improve opportunities for automation and data consistency.

According to a new market report published by Credence Research, Inc., “Transportation Management Systems Market” the global transportation management systems market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% during the forecast period 2015 – 2022.

Benefits of TMS

  • Plan, manage and optimize the daily operations of transportation across geographies
  • Reduce invoice errors by automating the freight payment and audit processes
  • Provide transport intelligence to improve service delivery and reduce cost
  • Increase delivery reliability through collaboration across all modes and providers

Cloud-based Transportation Management System

TMS is not a new concept, but when hosted in the cloud (often as SaaS), is still new to the Shipping industry. With SaaS TMS, there are no costly upgrades, businesses have access to complete and accurate information, and collaboration is faster.

This next-generation of cloud-based TMS gives remarkable benefits to:

  • Shippers – Can gain a global view of transportation in real-time, including order information for each vehicle and its routing progress.
  • Supply chain managers – Streamlining all supply chain activities and make better decisions based on real-time data.
  • Vendors – By eliminating the labor and upfront investment that traditional software implementations require.
  • Logistic Service Providers (LSPs) – Seamlessly connect with their network, optimize all web-based transport management system modes, provide the proper metrics needed to manage their businesses.

Trigent enables “logistics–as-a-service” (SaaS) business models for TMS providers. Our services facilitate flexible integrations with other key business processes to optimize all operations.

Our cloud-based TMS services provide flexibility and scalability, as well as standardized and harmonized processes across the whole organization, which is especially important for LSPs or carriers who have grown through acquisitions, and currently, rely on a patchwork of legacy systems.

Successfully Delivered 30+ Digital Transformation Projects in the Last 10 Years

For the modernization of legacy TMS applications, we start by understanding your unique business requirements and help create a roadmap. By establishing a phase-wise project plan, reinforced with industry best practices and structured processes, the migration will be well planned, executed, and supported. Read more about our Cloud Transformation services.

Using a cloud-based transportation management system will help your supply chain operate the best it can. Embrace SaaS TMS and stay ahead of the competition with Trigent.

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