News | February 24, 2014

Healthcare Providers Seek Cloud Technology, Cite Security Concerns

Level 3 Communications Healthcare Information Technology Cloud Storage Archive
Level 3 Communications Healthcare Information Technology Cloud Storage Archive
Level 3 Communications Healthcare Information Technology Cloud Storage Archive

February 24, 2014 — Level 3 Communications Inc. released results of a research study conducted among Level 3 healthcare customers and healthcare IT leaders. The study, which polled respondents about their cloud readiness, revealed that more than half were still investigating cloud options, and that a large majority referenced security concerns as the main barrier to adoption. 

The two-part study included multiple focus groups of healthcare IT leaders across the country, as well as an independent research survey of Level 3 healthcare customers facilitated by TechValidate. The study took place from September 2013 through January 2014. It found 30 percent of respondents were actively managing cloud-based technology, indicating many providers are still in the nascent stages of cloud adoption. When asked about barriers to cloud, 42 percent of respondents said security was a key concern.

According to, 69 percent of all individual cases affected by breaches have been from loss or theft of physical assets, while 18 percent are from hacking or server theft.

The study also discovered one-third of healthcare providers employing cloud technology cite flexibility as the primary reason for moving to the cloud, followed closely by cost savings. 

“Cloud is really the future of healthcare,” said Crouch. “Despite a relatively low adoption rate, Level 3 anticipates that in 2014 as more organizations become educated about secure cloud options, more healthcare providers will turn to the cloud to leverage a scalable, efficient and secure way to access and store data and health information technology (HIT) applications.”

Additional highlights from the research study, which polled more than 50 healthcare IT professionals, include:

  • 35 percent of organizations surveyed are investigating cloud technology
  • 16 percent of respondents highlighted mobility and anywhere access as a primary cloud driver. With future meaningful use (MU) stages requiring patients have access to their records through portals, this is a trend that will continue to drive HIT requirements
  • 13 percent cite leveraging cloud solutions for business continuity and disaster relief (BCDR) as a motivator
  • 17 percent of respondents cite loss of control as the second largest barrier to cloud adoption, highlighting more reservations brought by lack of information about cloud 


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