After years of waiting, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has finally sent out its initial round of notice letters for HIPAA audits. This first batch consists of 167 covered entities, who will have to answer a list of audit questions and provide a complete list of their Business Associates (BAs). BAs are where hosting partners come into play: a HIPAA compliant data center must sign a Business Associates Agreement with each covered healthcare provider. The OCR will be using these lists of BAs to choose around 30 BAs to audit, starting in September.
Even if your organization did not receive an audit letter, know that up to 50 more covered entities and BAs will face on-site comprehensive audits by OCR in early 2017. Now that OCR audits are upon us, how can healthcare providers and their business associates prepare?
While media reports are doing a great job of educating the public about the energy consumption of data centers – a subject that not many people might think about day-to-day – a recent study shows that even as data center loads continue to grow exponentially, their energy consumption has not grown at the same rate.
A recent Bloomberg article, on the flip side, indicates that investors are becoming wary of data centers due to their increasing water consumption, a hot button topic in popular data center markets like California.
The data center industry, in other words, dodges one efficiency and sustainability crisis only to step foot in another one.
While enterprise computing is still hosted in on-premise data centers, the move to hosting providers is accelerating. According to IDC, by 2018, 65% of all IT infrastructure will be located in cloud or colocation data centers. Meanwhile, cloud has the spotlight. Think pieces abound describing the inevitable move to cloud-based infrastructure, especially as on-premise data centers age or undergo consolidation.
Ultimately, cloud computing may mature enough to replace the majority of IT infrastructure loads, but for many years we’ll actually see colocation and cloud working together in concert. Colocation certainly isn’t dead and has its place in the infrastructure strategy of many companies, from smaller cloud service providers to huge enterprises facing compliance or specific hardware requirements.
Is cloud computing the future? It’s certainly a major part of it. But colocation isn’t going anywhere for the next decade or two. If anything, it will continue to grow alongside expanding cloud services.
If you're administrating an enterpise IT environment, you're dealing with databases. Database platforms collect and organize information from applications, allowing the program and users to access, manage, and update relevant data. You need a database to recall data when necessary.
Once you've chosen a database platform, you have a few major decisions to make. Where do you deploy your database? Who will manage your database infrastructure? Enter Database as a Service, or DBaaS. This emerging SaaS subcategory enables near-instantaneous provisioning of preconfigured virtual infrastructure stacks that are ready for data.
According to a recent Gartner survey, IT modernization is the top motivation to move to public cloud services for companies of all sizes. Cost savings came in a close second, but in many ways IT modernization leads directly to cost savings. Cloud providers offer the latest technology powering scalable infrastructure, and they can deploy it much more rapidly than an in-house IT team without a capital expense for the client organization.
Here are some of the reasons companies modernize their IT through cloud computing and some of the benefits they find when they do.