Organizations need reliable information technology (IT), and the healthcare industry is no different. Companies can hire an in-house team of IT consultants, or they can outsource and hire a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Why is it that so many more organizations within the healthcare industry are outsourcing their IT?
A recent Blackbook survey found that 75% of hospitals with more than 300 beds are outsourcing their IT. The percentage is even higher for hospitals with less than 300 beds. Canadian Healthcare Technology reported in 2019 that hospitals are increasingly moving to outsource IT, and also moving to cloud-based solutions.
Here are some of the key reasons that the healthcare industry is outsourcing to a MSP.
There is a large amount of data generated in the healthcare sector
A major reason that the healthcare industry is outsourcing their IT is that it creates a huge amount of data.
When reading the following stats, keep in mind that one exabyte equals one billion gigabytes. Visual Capitalist reported that in 2013, the healthcare industry had 153 exabytes of data. It is expected that by 2020, the industry will have 2314 exabytes of data. By this time, many healthcare organizations will be forced to house their data on their own. The same report estimated that global data centres will only have enough room to store 985 exabytes of data by 2020.
With this in mind, organizations in the healthcare industry are needing help storing and backing up all this data.
24/7 IT support can be tough for in-house specialists
Most healthcare organizations want 24/7 coverage when it comes to their IT. This makes sense: they help patients around the clock, and IT problems hit when you least expect them!
When IT is in-house, it can be difficult to match call volume to the number of working employees. Certain times of day and times of the year require more support than others. This can be difficult to schedule, and can be a wasted cost when you have an in-house IT support team.
Outsourcing IT means additional tools and equipment
The professionals tend to have more tools and equipment than the average user. For example, a landscaping company has specialized tools for all kinds of outdoor jobs, whereas a homeowner looking to DIY their first patio will probably have to rent some equipment.
The same is true in the healthcare industry, especially for smaller hospitals or clinics. It can be difficult for a smaller or more remote hospitals to attract and retain top talent, and have technicians that are experienced with the proper equipment. On the other hand, MSP’s often have more experience, plus a variety of tools that are simply out of budget for an internal IT team.
For example, at SupportMyMac we use the Ekahau Site Survey Planner to scan and check the speed of an organization’s Wi-Fi network. It also allows us to see any interferences in the surrounding area that could be impacting the network. As an outsourced IT provider, it makes sense for us to budget for specialized tools like this that we can use to benefit many clients. An in-house IT team, however, likely wouldn’t have the budget for this one-time use tool.
Cybercrime continues to rise within the industry
Organizations in the healthcare industry often have security issues ranging from malware that compromises the integrity of systems to denial of service attacks that disrupt the ability to provide patient data. Healthcare organizations have the key data that attackers are looking for, including patient information such as names, addresses and financial account information.
Attacks in this industry are costly. The average data breach for a healthcare cyber attack is $7.4 million, with the recovery costing an average of $1.4 million. Due to the high security risks, healthcare organizations are often more comfortable with an outsourced IT company monitoring their IT at all times.
Healthcare organizations across the country are looking for Managed Service Providers that they can trust and that are responsive. Due to the amount of data they generate and the demand for 24 hour support, healthcare professionals see great benefit in outsourcing their IT. IT support companies have a variety of tools to improve Wi-Fi connectivity, handle mobile device management, back up data and protect against cybercrime.