Not long ago, healthcare IT professionals thought of the cloud merely as a place to store data and handle back-office solutions. But ideas about the platform for provider organizations continue to rapidly evolve.Healthcare IT leaders are more willing than ever to expand how they use the cloud, a recent national survey shows, and they are turning to the technology for advantages in scalability, flexibility and cost savings. Healthcare leaders also tap the cloud for services such as disaster recovery and Big Data analytics, for which cloud use has jumped dramatically.More applications and storage in the cloud mean less hardware to buy and maintain. The cloud has also become more secure, removing some of the security burden from healthcare organizations and turning it over to better-equipped cloud service providers. For instance, a growing number of cloud providers have received Common Security Framework certification from the Health Information Trust Alliance, a collaboration among healthcare, business, technology and information security leaders. HITRUST CSF is the gold standard for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability compliance.

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