This Week Health
February 1, 2022

How a Hybrid Cloud Strategy Can Deliver Value, Speed, and Security with Sirius Healthcare

Health system leaders can enable greater agility and scalability for their Epic EHR, while also maintaining its performance, by developing a cloud strategy tailored around the use of the hybrid cloud.

Doug McMillian

Doug McMillian, Director of Healthcare at Sirius Healthcare -  A CDW Company

Today’s Challenges

Epic EHR changes at a rapid pace due to necessary upgrades required to keep up with the rapid changes in healthcare. Many times, this causes organizations to refresh their on-premise hardware before the typical lifecycle timeframes. Additionally, digital health initiatives, and the state of healthcare cybersecurity, adds to the burden of IT and security departments as organizations require applications and infrastructure to scale quickly. Organizations also expect business continuity and disaster recovery to be seamless to all IT offerings. As such, organizations may overcome these challenges by utilizing strategies to employ a hybrid cloud offers.

Sirius' Hybrid Cloud Strategy and Roadmap

It is critical that IT departments understand the overall requirements, business drivers, IT strategies, and cybersecurity strategies of their organization. Therefore, they can develop a fully encompassing cloud and data center strategy that will accomplish the right objectives. This strategy has proven crucial to setting the vision for the department and becomes the focal point when developing a roadmap, planning projects, and evaluating new technologies.

As a result, many organizations find that the first projects utilizing this framework are often focused on quick wins financially to prove the concepts are successful (for example, Hybrid Disaster Recovery environments). From an Epic EHR perspective, this may include moving their presentation tier or web and service tier to Azure. In some cases, they choose to move the Cache/Iris tier as well.

Understanding Hybrid Cloud Foundations with Sirius Healthcare

To be successful in cloud transformations, IT organizations must address the following foundational topics:

  • Workforce Alignment – New competencies, and likely new jobs, will require an investment.
  • Enterprise Architecture – Ensures the appropriate architecture, controls, and governance remain intact as business operations and customer experience will now span multiple provider environments, both on-premises, and cloud. Assists in the utilization of core platforms to avoid the pitfalls of point solutions and technical debt.
  • IT Service Management – Implementation of automation and orchestration enables rapid development and deployment with operational consistency.
  • Governance – Risk management, policies and standards, cost management, security baselines, identity and access management, consistency and configuration management, and standardized deployments will help drive a successful program.

Learn how to enable greater agility and scalability for your Epic EHR with the use of hybrid cloud


As organizations’ data and users continue to move, so must its security program platforms. This ensures solutions can be run physical and virtual, as well as in private and public clouds. Picking the right security platforms allows security teams to operate efficiently in any environment, while allowing IT teams to take advantage of hybrid cloud-scale and agility.


To optimize the management of your hybrid cloud environment, we recommend automating as much as possible. This includes standardizing toolsets, and utilizing cloud-native features where possible. Many organizations are moving to an infrastructure-as-code and DevOps approach to help minimize the risks of service misconfiguration. Additionally, this enables rapid deployment of environments.


The best adoption rates occur when an organization and its IT department are excited about the new possibilities they can achieved. As workloads begin to shift, the best practices below will help you drive a successful adoption plan and avoid pitfalls:

  • Minimizes costs by righting the size your VMs prior to migration
  • Ensure applications are architected to allow ease of migration. Utilize DNS CNAMEs and virtual IPs for application configuration.
  • Confirm contracts are written to allow workloads being placed in the location that is best for the organization, as opposed to the application vendor.

Upcoming Webinar – Owning Cloud in your Organization

A hybrid public cloud strategy can deliver value, speed, and security. It can minimize challenges and maximize application and service delivery, while safely migrating, managing, and running applications. But these attractive opportunities beg the question: who owns cloud in your organization?

Join Sirius Healthcare and This Week In Health IT on February 24th for an informative webinar. Experts will explain how to navigate today’s healthcare challenges, gain support, and properly collaborate with solution providers. Get into the gritty of understanding, building, and deploying a successful hybrid cloud strategy in your organization. Join the conversation to learn how to make the entire process faster, more affordable, and less frustrating.

Owning the Cloud Webinar

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