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Embracing the Cloud Continuum – Your Migration Guide

For federally qualified healthcare centers (FQHCs) and other healthcare facilities, there are no two ways about it when..

For federally qualified healthcare centers (FQHCs) and other healthcare facilities, there are no two ways about it when it comes to the quality of service offered to patients. It has to be the highest and most efficient, and it must keep up with the expectations and needs of the patients it serves.

A medical service provider willing to go to any length to improve service delivery must be ready to keep up with the pace of technological changes. Particularly, they should move to cloud-based hospital management systems, known as managed systems, to make their operations more efficient, reliable, and error-free.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs): What Are They?

Managed service providers (MSPs) provide information technology services based on a subscription-based model. If you sign up for this service, you will receive regular on-site or remote support and active administration of your IT needs in your provider’s data center. Many businesses have moved their operations to the cloud, so you shouldn’t be left behind.

According to research by Grand View Research, the MSP market was worth $239.71 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 13.4% in the next eight years. This remarkable growth rate is attributed to the fact that many companies have realized the importance of managed service providers. Once you sign up for this service, your provider will take over all (or some) of your business’ IT functions, which may include but are not limited to:

Use of relevant metrics to undertake ongoing optimization of your managed IT environment

  • Healthcare staff training
  • Software patches and updates
  • Software licenses
  • Networking
  • Device management
  • Data storage
  • Cybersecurity services (firewalls, antiviruses, etc.)
  • Cloud computing
  • Business communications, including emails
  • Disaster recovery
  • Backups before cloud migration
  • Asset management
  • Active administration
  • Applications

As a healthcare professional, you need not waste the time you could spend on the core function of your business. Managed cloud services will empower you to take charge of patient care and achieve the highest level of patient satisfaction. If this is something you want to try, this guide is for you.



Prepare For Cloud Migration.

Working with an experienced and reliable MSP ensures incredible advantages. Most probably, your in-house IT department is already overwhelmed if you haven’t hired any new employees while the business is expanding. An MSP could be the respite your internal team needs.

But before the transition to a managed IT work environment, you must ensure the business operations will continue to run seamlessly without disruptions.

Most federally qualified health centers have successfully transitioned to managed cloud services by following the steps below:

Needs Evaluation

Before even thinking of choosing an MSP, you have to evaluate your healthcare needs, bearing in mind that only some operations can be transferred to providers. It is advisable to engage your internal team (or hire an external expert) to identify specific IT activities the MSP can take over. It’s imperative to create a checklist of all IT activities in the organization, then strike off those that your internal team can continue handling.

It’s only after you identify your needs that you can effectively interrogate MSPs and select the one that checks all your boxes. Also, note that when migrating workloads and applications to the cloud, you will need a suitable configuration that only a specific IT environment can offer. Your preferred MSP should provide the necessary environment as well as prepare your workloads and applications for migration.

Create a workable management service strategy

Once you identify your needs, the next step is to develop a managed cloud services strategy that makes your migration run smoothly. The strategy must be documented and well-defined. The following questions can help you develop such a strategy:

  • How much hardware do you have, and how much of it is managed?
  • Are you ready to replace your on-premise servers with virtual servers?
  • Does your business require a partial or full-scale migration?
  • Does your business have remote automated management and monitoring tools?
  • Do you have any data security concerns?
  • If your internal team cannot analyze the questions above and develop an MS strategy, there’s no harm in hiring an expert to oversee the migration process on your behalf. The expert will work alongside your MSP until the migration ends.


Cloud Migration Cost

Cloud migration has cost implications that you must address. Cost is one factor that you can easily overlook, but it plays a major role in deciding which managed IT provider to choose and which tasks to migrate.

It’s best to look at all costs associated with migration, including the cost of hiring the personnel you need to manage your tasks. The amount you are willing to spend will determine the quality of service you get. If you want the best IT management services, be ready to dig deeper into your pockets.

Also, consider the pricing method and choose the friendlier one. AWS, for example, offers three pricing options: pay-as-you-go, reserved, and hybrid. In the former case, there is no upfront payment, and you will only pay for what you want to use.

With the reserve model, you can have reserved instances for up to three years, but you must pay upfront, the amount of which depends on your level of utilization. The good news about AWS is that they offer volume discounts. That is, if you order more services, you will enjoy volume discounts, but only on specific services.



Choosing The Right MSP

Once you’ve laid the groundwork, you can now proceed to choose a managed cloud services provider. There are many managed service providers, but not all of them can be good partners in your business.
The following factors can help you choose the best MSP:


Do they offer cybersecurity services?

Moving to a cloud-based system makes your data vulnerable to cyberattacks. For this reason, you have to confirm whether the managed IT provider you want to hire offers cybersecurity services. Some of these providers offer basic surface-level or perimeter security services, which may not provide adequate data protection.

A provider with no security can harm your business. Remember that hackers and other cybercriminals are working around the clock to find new ways to obtain data and use them for malicious reasons, including stealing from you or stealing your identity.

Provider’s Track Record

Research is important before hiring an MSP. Once you have a list of providers to choose from, visit their websites and find out more about them. In particular, find out whether they are certified, have satisfied clients, and how many years they have existed. You can get this information from their online reviews and testimonials. Avoid a provider that consistently receives negative reviews or has many negative reviews.
Managed cloud infrastructure providers with no information on their websites may be unreliable and are likely to hide something. For example, they may have hidden costs or not be providing the services they claim to provide.

Service Level Agreements

Service level agreements, or simply SLAs, outline your responsibilities and those of your managed cloud provider. Before signing up with an MSP, make sure the SLA is comprehensive and has all the services you need from them. For example, the SLA should guarantee service uptime and response time for tickets.

Make sure they provide 24/7 support, plus remote assistance. You can’t risk compromising patient satisfaction because of mistakes that don’t come from your end, like downtime and failed responses to tickets. A reliable provider should guarantee not less than 99.9% uptime, and in case of unforeseen breakdowns, they should provide practical solutions or alternatives.

Scalability and flexibility

As your business grows, you will need expanded capability and more storage space for enhanced patient satisfaction. A provider should allow your business to grow without you having to look elsewhere. Some providers offer subscription packages at different levels.

So, as a startup, you can pick the basic package. But as your business grows, you should be able to upgrade to other managed cloud packages that take care of your needs. Additionally, the provider should allow you to pick and pay for only the features you want to keep your expenses low. Some services that providers allow users to customize include:

  • vCISO services
  • Managed security services
  • Managed print services
  • Managed information technology services
  • Information technology infrastructure services
  • Helpdesk services
  • Co-managed information technology
  • BDR (backup and disaster recovery)

Flexibility is crucial, but you have to remember that your costs will vary as you scale up or down.


Your potential MSP must demonstrate a high level of transparency. Without transparency, your partnership will never be successful. For example, a provider should be transparent and open about long-term planning, the costs involved, data security protocols, and the services they offer.

They must also be open about their methods, processes, tools, culture, and approach, among others. All these will ensure you build a strong partnership with trust, adequate collaboration, and visibility.

The managed cloud service provider should not hide any information from you. Additionally, they must demonstrate to you that their technology is up-to-date. This will give you peace of mind, knowing that your data and your client’s data are secure.




There is no doubt that many federally qualified health centers have moved to the cloud, proving the importance of this service. If you have not done so, the steps highlighted in this guide should be enough to get you started. Managed cloud services, especially those offered by AWS, have all the features you may need to take your business to the next level and guarantee patient satisfaction.




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